BY PATRICK McCRAY
1 t of Lady Grey tea per person.
Boiling water. (Aunt Abigail is good at using fire. Ask for her help.)
1 pint of raspberries.
1/3 C sugar.
1 T fresh lime or lemon juice.
Boil the tea, and then chill it.
Toss the raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice together. Refrigerate the combination for two hours, stirring every thirty minutes as the raspberries dissolve. At that point, if you dislike pulp and seeds, train the resulting syrup. If you like the extra texture, then enjoy it. Decant the syrup either way.
The tea should be ready, so pour it over ice into tumblers or rocks glasses. Serve the syrup beside it, allowing guests and yourself to flavor to taste. If you find that it is too tart, add sugar. If it tastes too sweet, add more citrus.
On this sunny day in June, I am taken back to Martinique and our earliest times together. Do you recall them? You certainly recall the song I taught you! There is little doubt on that, as father reliably reminds me. We have but to be in your presence for scant minutes before your generously-timed serenade. It became your very favorite tune. Who can forget your dedication to “London Bridge” when you forcefully rebuffed Forbes — the Eel — and his unsavory shanties? I vividly recall the various draughts concocted by the finest physicians to pull you away from your architectural anthem. However, you were too stalwart for them. In the end, a tonic was recruited to enhance your audience, but that potion's merits are best appreciated in the ripeness of adulthood, when you must needs embrace a tiny songstress of your own issue.
After the eighth or ninth hour of your performances, the tracheal consequences of the enduring aria would escape even the great Galen's estimate. Knowing that you still have three or four more hours of musical musings left on the bill, my heart sinks with sympathy for you and your melodic martyrdom. With this in mind, I retired to the scullery of the unfinished New House to fashion a salubrious solution that would refresh and reinvigorate you after the cessation of your truly unforgettable coloraturas.
In simpler English (should Josette ask): I made up a recipe for a tasty, cold drink.
All my love,
PATRICK McCRAY is a comic book author who resides in Knoxville, Tenn., where he's been a drama coach and general nuisance since 1997. He has a MFA in Directing and worked at Revolutionary Comics and on the early days of BABYLON 5, and is a frequent contributor to The Collinsport Historical Society. You can find him at The Collins Foundation.