Today's Wonder of the World is...Sweet Tea!
Flickr photo by Ladybug1016
Or, as Truvy Jones (Miss Dolly) called it in Steel Magnolias...
The House Wine of the South!
Ooh Lordy, how I love a cold glass of sweet tea in the summertime!
Of course we just call it tea around here. The only folks who drink unsweet tea are the out-of -towners (I'm too polite to say Yankees) stopping off I-85 on their way down to Florida.
Don't tell anyone, but I grew up drinking... um...I'm almost too embarrassed to admit it...instant! I know! Blame it on my mama. (Hi Mom!) My parents are from Kentucky where everybody drinks instant. So even though I grew up in the South, I was woefully ignorant on my Iced Tea Fundamentals. It was a tad embarrassing.
Luckily I married into this family.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Ramseys! Or a least a few of them.
These people are Sweet Tea Professionals. They KNOW HOW TO DRINK SWEET TEA.
At every meal except breakfast. And for snacks.
Notice the tea on the table? See how dark the tea is? Proper Sweet Tea is STRONG!
That photo was taken when my hubby was eight. We weren't even engaged then. Ha ha.
The lady in a pinkish dress is my Official Iced Tea Instructor/Mother in Law. She's pregnant with my sis-in-law at that moment. See the blond beside her? That's Todd's Aunt Edna, whom shall be hereafter known as the Queen of Sweet Tea! Aunt Edna's tea is so sweet that we have a special name for it: Edna Tea. Take one sip and feel the sugar begin to crystallize between your teeth. It's amazing.
Back to sweet tea...
I make only one change to the treasured recipe my Official Iced Tea Instructor/Mother-In-Law gave me. I occasionally like to sleep at night, so I use decaf teabags. I don't feel terribly blasphemous because my mother in law drinks decaf too these days.
Luzianne is the way to go. I'll give the recipe/Cardinal Rules at the end of the post.
As you can see by the container size, just about everybody around here likes their tea sweet.
Flickr photo by wreck99
Some people think it's funny to call plain tea unsweet. Obviously they're not from around here.
Though I do think this is funny...
Flickr photo by robisnonbrooks
UNSWEET (Cause you sweet enough.)
When we moved to France we were delighted to find that they like sweet tea too! And they even like it peach flavored! See, yet another thing Southerners have in common with the French!
You know what else is sweet?
My Sarah! A few years ago she and a team from her high school won the state finals for Destination Imagination. They had to design a pin to trade at the global competition, one that would represent our state. So what did they dream up?
Out of ice cubes! Isn't that clever?
I bet these ladies would like one.
Photo by The Sweet Tea Queens
They're the Sweet Tea Queens, a group of Belles Gone Bad from just up the road in Spartanburg, South Carolina. They're a chapter of the Sweet Potato Queens and they spend their free time spreading Sweet Tea love in parades and events all over the Carolinas.
I'll have to tell Aunt Edna about them. She might enjoy the sisterhood!
Now go have a glass, before your ice melts!
Flickr photo by Rachael K E B
Have a wonder-full Friday and a super weekend, y'all!
Start it off with this favorite clip of mine from Steel Magnolias. Wait for the end--it'd be too sad without it!
PS. Here's my recipe for a delicious pitcher of sweet tea:
1.Bring about 1 - 2 inches of water to boil in a small saucepan.
2.Add three family size tea bags to the boiling water and immediately lower the heat to medium.
(If you boil it too fast and furious, the tea will be bitter.)
3.Simmer the tea bags for 8 - 10 minutes or so.
4. Take off the heat. Remove the tea bags and immediately add 1/2 cup of sugar (Twice that for Edna Tea.) Stir until completely dissolved.
5. Add a couple handfuls of ice cubes to the hot tea and stir until all melted. This is to cool the tea quickly. (You don't want to have to sit around waiting for it to cool, do you?)
Put the tea into a 2 quart pitcher and fill to the top with cold water. Stir. Serve with lemon slices if you like.
1. Make a fresh pitcher for lunch and dinner.
2.Be sure to serve it with glasses FULL of ice, (all the way up to the top,) or else your in-laws will make fun of you and call you an Ice Miser.
3.Be sure to add the sugar WHILE THE TEA IS HOT, and before adding the extra water. Follow the directions, sweetie!