Hey friends, how’s it going in your neck of the woods?
Here in Baton Rouge it has been brutal. You’ve likely seen the news, and I am imagining that it’s downright impossible to not know what’s going on here. The emotional struggle that consumes our days has been exhausting; sadness, tension, anger, anxiety, uncertainty. And just as we thought things were potentially calming down, this past Sunday the bottom seems to have fallen out of the sky.
As we were dressing for church this past Sunday, the reports began coming in that multiple police officers had been shot in the general vicinity of where we attend church with barricades and our normal route being shut down. We re-routed and momentarily debated going at all, but I knew if we stayed home, we would just glue ourselves to the television feeling helpless.
However, because of the close proximity and the relatively close timing following the shootings, once safely inside the sanctuary, we were then asked to remain inside the building until further notice from law enforcement…..as the situation was not yet under control. For hours. I’d be fibbing if I said I wasn’t scared at that moment. It’s one thing to hear reports on the news of what’s happening, but until you are personally advised to remain on lock down, I don’t think you truly realize the magnitude that you are THAT close to the unthinkable and that this is real life. Can we all agree that we are saddened that this is real life? Our regularly scheduled sermon was modified to one of a community prayer as we all held hands and mourned for our beloved Baton Rouge.
It’s been really, really hard finding the motivation to post a recipe, or a fun DIY when my community is hurting so badly. Everything seems so trivial or insensitive. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks it’s that the sun continues to rise and we are forced to continue moving forward. Continue praying, continue loving, and continuing to believe that goodness will prevail.
During times of sadness I find that I cling to the recipes that represent much happier times. I’ve often talked about my favorite lunch spot to eat (The Cottage) in Alexandria, Louisiana and their ah-mazing Shrimp & Corn Soup. My routine order is a Hot Chicken Sandwich on a croissant bun (you have to ask for the croissant specifically as its not on the menu), a demi cup of Shrimp & Corn Soup and Almond Tea.
I crave that Almond Tea like no one’s business.
So much so that I twiddled and fiddled with the recipe until I got it pretty darn close to the way I remember it tasting.
Similar to an Arnold Palmer you’ll be combining sweet tea with lemonade. Unlike an Arnold Palmer, however, you don’t combine equal amounts of sweet tea and lemonade and instead add a bit of almond extract.
- 8 cups cold water, divided
- 9 tea bags (or 2 family sized tea bags)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons almond extract
- 3 lemons, the juice of
- In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a gentle boil. Add the tea bags; cover and remove pan from the heat.
- Steep for 10 minutes.
- Take out tea bags but don't squeeze them. Pour the tea into a 2-quart pitcher and add in the sugar; stir until dissolved.
- Add in the vanilla, almond extract, and lemon juice; stir to mix. Add the remaining 6 cups of water and stir.
- Let tea cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator.
- Serve in glasses over ice. Garnish (optional) with a sliced lemon and sprig of mint.
Easy, delicious and absolutely perfect for a summertime crowd, or for simply treating yourself when you’re feeling a bit down.
Stay safe out there y’all!