Monday, August 24, 2009

Strawberry and Nectarine Rooibos Iced Tea

La Vogue is a summer celebration very typical of my region - not every French person knows about it. It's basically a very small carnival, with a merry-go-round, bumper cars and a few target shooting game held on a village's square. La Vogue travels from one small town to another and stays for about two weeks in the same location. Sounds kind of hick doesn't it? Well I do come from a very small village in France, so I won't disagree.

During these festivities, everyone turning 18 - les conscrits - in the village organizes a big outdoor dance on the village's square on Saturdays. There's lots of loud music, dancing, flirting and drinking.

I wish I could go back to France more often during the Summer to show Juan (and Noah!) this part of my culture that I grew up with. I have some fond memories of it as a kid, trying to follow my older brothers while thinking it was so cool to stay up until 10pm!

Today, La Vogue also means another party that my parents and a bunch of their friends throw every year. They gather in the backyard of a beautiful old house and feast for a whole weekend. More often than not, they serve a delicious suckling pig, along with lots of different summer salads. My Mom, always known for making a delicious flan caramel, is usually in charge of the dessert part. The party goes on for days, until late in the night, as they sing old songs in Patois (with the help of a few drinks of Chartreuse). Yep! That's how we party in my family, and I miss it a lot.

Speaking of partying, a few weeks ago we invited friends over for a pool party at our place - and it was Noah's first swim. Our friend Ceci made a fabulous strawberry and nectarine Rooibos iced tea. It was incredibly refreshing, and the sweet flavor of the fresh strawberry and nectarine pieces really added a lot of flavor. I couldn't help but think about La Vogue that was going on that same weekend and how much everyone would have enjoyed this tea (they would spike it with rum though).

I'm happy Ceci let me share her recipe with you all (and incidentally, Ceci is a wonderful photographer, so I also asked her to take the pictures for me).

Strawberry and Nectarine Rooibos Iced Tea (makes about 6 tall glasses)

1 quart Rooibos tea leaves

1 quart lemonade (fresh squeezed or bottles but preferably organic)

1 carton frozen strawberries

2 nectarines, diced

Brew the tea and add the lemonade. Strain the tea leaves.

Place half of the strawberries along with the nectarines into the tea/lemonade and refrigerate.

Freeze the other half of strawberries to use as ice when serving.