Sunday, June 10, 2012

When life hands you lemons make sweet tea





Here in the south (SWFL to be exact) we have long had a secret for well being that is just now starting to leak out across the rest of the globe. With health conscious companies marketing homeopathic-this and all-natural-that all promising to improve your health and give you a sense of well-being we southerners have had the cure for hundreds of years. Are you having one of "those" days?  You know the kind of day.  It feels like you are slogging through jello.  You are just in a funk with no creative energy or forward inertia. Stuff happens and it is happening to you.  The southern elixir that puts a drawl in your speech and pep in your step is Sweet Tea or just tea as we call it.  The sugar is just a given.


Case in point - my niece Pookie.  After a crappy day at work facing all the drama that a typical 25 yo woman has to face in an 8 hour time span she heads for some solace at my house where the washer and dryer are free and the sympathy regarding life challenges is even cheaper. The first thing she asks upon arriving is "Did grandma make sweet tea?".  Grandma uses 2 cups of sugar as opposed to Ant Karen who only uses 1 cup so obviously grandma's is the preferred recipe.  After downing a large glass of tea her scowly face brightens and her mood miraculously changes from negative, hopeless, & life sux to I'm the queen of the world!! (FYI - a Dunkin Donuts coffee coolotta has the same effect on her but sweet tea is cheaper & more readily available)


I wish I could give you my mother's sweet tea recipe but she never measures and uses a different amount of tea bags every time.  The magic recipe is actually the one that tastes good to you.  I like less sugar & more lemon.  Pookie likes the sugar content to make her teeth tingle when she drinks it.  IMHO the greatest invention of this decade thus far would be the  McDonald's .99 cent Sweet Tea.  Served in a big foam cup your tea will stay cold on the hottest of beach days.  (I know foam - I'll just have to reduce my carbon footprint somewhere else right)  Chik-fil-A tea is right up there too but at Chik-fil-A I get 2/3 tea & 1/3 lemonade aka Arnold Palmer.  (I know.....I just haven't put any thought into this at all)  So the next time you are having a crappy day or just find yourself pole vaulting over mouse poo put your Valerian & peppermint oil away and  give sweet tea a try.  It's good fer what ails ya.


My favorite tea.  I use the recipe on the side of the box which calls for 2 family size tea bags per quart of water.  They also have green tea & decaf.
Fruit Tea.  I first drank fruit tea at a Cracker Barrel.  It was so tasty but they wouldn't give out the recipe.  This  recipe tastes almost exactly like it.  Make 1 gallon of iced tea using 8 family size tea bags.  Add 1 1/2 cups sugar & 1 can of Welch's Orange Pineapple Apple frozen concentrate.  I made 30 gallons of this fruit tea for a friend's wedding and people still talk about it.





Hay tea always tastes better in a Tervis Tumbler.