Monday, March 16, 2009

sweet tea

My parents both grew up in Texas. I lived there for a while as a kid. I grew up drinking sweet tea. No other would do. I still love sweet tea. 

I honestly don't know how my mom made it. I don't ever recall seeing her make it. But I do know how to make the best sweet tea. And because I'm so nice & generous, I'll share with you how I do it.

Start of with setting a smallish pot of water to boil. I think the one I use is 1 quart. Pour in a little under a cup of sugar.

Who are we kidding? Pour in the whole dang cup. Wait for the water to boil, stirring occasionally. The sugar will melt with the heat. What you are making here is essentially a simple syrup. No grainy sweet tea going on here.

We all know that watched pot won't boil, so busy yourself with getting the tea bags ready while you are waiting. Use about three regular size tea bags or 1-2 family size tea bags. I use Lipton. I'm sure other brands have perfectly fine tea bags, but this is one of the times I stick with the brand name.

See there? That water came to a boil while you were busy. The sugar should be all melted at his point.

Turn off the heat & put your tea bags into the hot water.

See, the water is already getting darker. Now, walk away. Don't rush this part or you'll end up with a weak-sugar-water excuse for tea. That's no good. Let the tea bags steep for a good while ~ ten minutes or even a little more. The water will be far darker than you think it should be when you come back. 

Fill your 2-quart pitcher about one-third full with ice. 

Remove the tea bags & pour the tea over the ice. I was going to snap a picture of the pouring, but the pot was getting kinda heavy and I was having a hard time aiming through the view finder!

Add more water to fill the pitcher up the rest of the way.

Stir a little to finish dissolving the ice.

Pour yourself a tall glass, sit on the back porch, and do not think of all the house work that needs to be done.

Right about now some of you are scratching your head in wonder. Where's the ice? Isn't she making iced tea? Yet there's not a speck of ice in her glass. Well, this is one more instance where I ride that crazy train ~ I don't like ice in my drinks. If it's already cold, the ice just messes things up. If a soda is not already cold, I will use ice. But otherwise, totally not necessary. I even prefer for water and iced tea to be room temperature. 

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