I spent last week up in stormy, humid Queensland, enjoying some time with family and friends. On the day I was scheduled to fly, I was delighted to hear that a category 5 tropical cyclone was due to hit the coast of central Queensland at precisely the same time my flight was due to land in Brisbane. Excellent. It appeared that there was a high possibility that my flight would be cancelled and I would spend most of the day at the airport, so I prepared myself with fully charged batteries and some reading material.
No one was as surprised as me when our flight departed precisely on time. It seemed that I wasn’t the only nervous passenger at the airport, as I received a free upgrade to the emergency exit row; the passenger boarding the plane before me (also in the exit row) requested a last minute change to another seat, far away from the exit row. So I was feeling pretty, aah, relaxed and confident. Despite my slight anxiety and unusually careful attention to the air hostess’ safety instructions, after a very rough and bumpy 10 minute descent, we safely landed. I was met by grey skies, heavy pelting rain and drenched parents. We spent most of the weekend inside away from the foul weather, chatting, reading, cooking and eating, and watching the reports on tv of the cyclone wreaking havoc. My thoughts go out to those families affected by the devastating cyclone.
After delaying our holiday up to the Sunshine Coast for a day, we set off on Sunday to a beautiful house with a view over Castaways beach. We were met by blue skies and high humidity, with intervening bursts of rain, storms and huge gusts of wind.
The surf was fairly rough and choppy, which made for some great grey and stormy wave scenes from the house. We managed to enjoy some sunny beach time and a couple of morning runs and walks along the beach. We also made a trip to the Eumundi markets where I bought (amongst other food items) a couple of bags of passionfruit.
I carried the passionfruit back to Sydney and waited for the skin to turn a darker shade of purple and begin to shrink and shrivel (unlike other fruit, they taste best this way!). Passionfruit is best eaten with a spoon straight from their skin, or scooped over yoghurt or ice cream, but I bought so many at the markets that I decided to make this iced tea. When poured over ice, the green tea based tea is very refreshing, with the sweet-tart passionfruit, lime and honey, and is a good way to combat the the Indian summer we have been experiencing this week. This recipe makes around 3 litres of iced tea.
6 tablespoons good quality green tea leaves
3 tablespoons raw honey
4 passionfruit, halved
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut into very thin slices
- Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
- 3L serving jug and ice
- Fill up the kettle with water and bring it to just before boiling (around 80-90ºC). Add the tea leaves to a large heatproof jug, and add approx 2 L of the just boiling point water to the jug. Stir the tea leaves, cover and let steep for just over 2 minutes and then strain into a large serving jug. Add another litre of cold water to the jug and stir in. Discard the tea leaves.
- Once its cooled down, stir in the honey, the passionfruit pulp and the lime juice. Stir and taste – I don’t like my iced tea very sweet, but if you do you may need to stir in more honey. Add the lime slices, and put the jug in the fridge to cool for 2-3 hours or so until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, add ice to a glass, pour over the iced tea and garnish with mint leaves.