Tuesday, April 10, 2012

All Things Southern - Like Sweet Iced Tea

Sweet Southern Ice Tea

This is for all of you Southern wanna bes. Every Tuesday I will be writing a piece on our Southern culture. Being Southern is all about our traditions. And for me, it all starts with my Gramma's Sweet Ice Tea. As far back as I can remember, my Gramma always made her Sweet Iced Tea. It was like sipping sunshine on a cloudy day. Here is my version of my Gramma's tea.

A true Southerner - in my opinion - owns a tea kettle. It doesn't have to be pretty, but if it whistles, well that is good enough. Fill that kettle with water and set it on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, slice up a couple of Louisiana Sweets and place them in a GLASS pitcher. Do not use plastic. I wouldn't use a really expensive glass pitcher either. I did this and cracked my favorite crystal pitcher. It's great to display freshly cut flowers in, but not tea. After the tea is made and slightly cooled, then you may transfer it to a pretty pitcher for serving. Remember, it's all about presentation too. We Southern Ladies love our "pretty". 

Kettle, 2 Community tea bags, 2 oranges, pitcher (and a clothespin)

Ready for the tea bags and water.

Once the water is boiling (the tea kettle whistling), pour the hot water over the oranges and the tea bags. The hot water will draw the sweetness and flavor from the oranges. You may also add a few slices of lemon and sprigs of mint along with the orange slices.

I can taste it already!

 Let the tea seep for about ten minutes. Then discard the tea bags and stir in one cup of granulated sugar. Do not, I repeat DO NOT!! use artificial sweeteners. That would be an absolute sin of the worst kind in the South. The whole idea of Sweet Tea darling, is the sweet. After you add the real sugar, then grab a pretty glass (remember - pretty) and fill it with ice and tea. Find yourself a veranda and have a party. Now, that's what it's like to be a Southerner!

My youngest daughter lives in Manhattan. She tells me that when she serves her Southern Sweet Tea that people there think it's dessert. I say, "That's what Southern charm will do."

A glass of Sweet Ice Tea? Don't mind if I do. This one's for you Douglas!

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  1. looks lovely and refreshing,will definately make some, thanks donna

  2. I would make a horrible Southerner. I don't like sugar in my tea at all. And I don't like iced tea - only hot :-) Oh well.

  3. I'm embarrassed. I use hot water from my Keurig, throw in a tea bag, cover for 3 to 5 minutes, and down the tea. I like your style better.

  4. I am not sure that I have had sweet tea with orange slices but now I'm going to have to try it! I'm a New Yorker living in South Carolina, I've got a lot to learn! :)

  5. Loved your instructions! I had southern parents, so grew up on sweet iced tea (though not with oranges), and my mother always served it in a pretty goblet. This brought back nice memories.


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