I'm back at my parents' house for spring break, which is both relaxing and awkward. It's easy to behave like a child when I'm with my parents, because it's what they're used to and, deep down, what they expect. Trying to assert my independence to them sometimes feels like trying to convince a contractor that a trained chimp can operate a forklift. Sure, he can do it...just not very well.
    Helping with the cooking is one of the ways I try to show my parents I can take care of myself. The other day, I made them a variation of my noodle stir-fry with zucchini and mint for dinner, and wound up with a lot of leftover mint. Today I used the leftover mint to make mint iced tea with a hint of orange. Refreshing is the word that best describes this iced tea. Cool and minty and just a little bit sweet, it will be perfect on the hot days that are just around the corner. Next time I have leftover mint, I know just what to do.

1 cup whole fresh mint leaves, rinsed
1/2 navel orange, sliced thinly
3 cups boiling water
4 tsp granulated sugar
2 cups cold water
ice cubes for serving

    Put the mint leaves and orange slices in a large jar or ceramic bowl. Pour boiling water over the leaves and slices, add the sugar, and stir. Let the tea brew for 10-15 minutes, then strain the tea into a large pitcher and add the cold water. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, serve with ice cubes.

*note: This tea is also excellent hot. Just microwave a mug of the iced tea for 2 minutes to heat it up, if desired.