Adventures In Your Own Back Yard

chinatownWhile I think Ottawa has something to tout for every season (then again, I’m pretty into championing my hometown), signs of summer definitely breathe new life in to the capital. The arrival of warm weather after a chilly start to spring is especially exciting; it seems like everyone in the city is thrilled to be outdoors. Jacket and scarf have been shed in favour of a sundress and sandals. It seems cliché, but it’s hard not to get caught up in all the weather talk when the seasonal transitions seem to happen so quickly, and the transitions are so beautiful. A perfect time for adventures in your own backyard.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI spent the last week living in Ottawa’s Chinatown, while I house/cat sat for my cousin (thanks, Anne!). While I’m no stranger to the area, it was swell to play house outside of the burbs and we had a great time acting like locals (and posing in front of murals like tourists). I think I consumed just enough pho and ramen to turn in to a bowl of Asian broth–all things in moderation?adventures in your own backyard (4)phyogaMeanwhile, the city is blossoming, over 2000 people came out to the first Parliament Hill yoga session (Wednesdays at noon if you’re in town!), and I’m taking off with my family for some adventuring in the French countryside (!!!). I spent my last day at home running errands, planting snow peas and lounging in the sun in our backyard with the beau. Over last minute guidebook perusing we sipped on iced green tea that I insisted on making the morning of my departure and I couldn’t have felt more content. (Thanks for indulging me, T! See you in Paris.)SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCadventures in your own backyard (9)SONY DSC

Iced Green Tea with Lemon, Mint and Ginger
Makes 4 cups

4 cups water, boiled
2 tbsp loose leaf green tea (or approx three tea bags), I used a Gyokoro green tea blend from David’s Tea
1 lemon
10 large mint leaves
1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced
2 tsp honey

Steep the green tea in hot water — the longer you steep it, the stronger it will taste (I let mine sit for about 10-15 minutes).

Roughly tear the mint and slice one half of the lemon. After the tea has steeped on its own for five minutes or so, add the mint, the lemon slices, the ginger, and the honey. Stir gently to dissolve the honey and combine the flavours.

Once you’re happy with the strength of your tea, remove the tea and the add-ins, and enjoy right away or chill until serving. To serve: strain into glasses half full with ice cubes, garnish with a sprig of mint (or slap a mint leaf to release the flavour more fully…as in, just clap it between your hands, and throw it in your drink. A lil’ cocktail trick learned from a handsome mixologist.), and twist a lemon peel or a small lemon wedge.

Sip in the sunshine and enjoy! (And consider how well this might work as a sangria base? Or with a little sparkling something? Gin? Hello summertime!)

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