Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sweet Tea

Hello everyone!
This blog is called Hot Southern Mess because I am hot, but that's mainly due to hot flashes.  I am Southern, born and bred in South Louisiana.  You can't get more Southern than that, bless my heart.  And just ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I'm a big ole mess.  I have had 4 ankle surgeries so I'm usually on crutches or in some sort of brace.  I'm very clumsy so I'm always bumping, bruising, or burning something.  Plus, I was a stay-at-home Mom for years so I know how to pinch a penny!  But I love to cook and entertain!  That's what this blog is about.  I will share recipes, tips and hints that might make your day go a little smoother.  If any of this sounds interesting, great!  Keep reading!  If not, keep reading anyway, it gets better.

The first thing I thought I'd share with you is how to make Sweet Tea.  This is a very Southern thing.  Iced tea with lots of sugar, sounds like a no-brainer.  But there is an abundance of really bad sweet tea out there! And since I am known to have the best Sweet Tea ever (not to toot my own horn but Toot-Toot!) here's how I do it:


Put 6 cups of cold water in a tea kettle or just use a pot.

Add 3 Family Size tea bags.  Note:  Family size tea bags are much bigger than regular tea bags.  If you can only find small ones, use 9 tea bags.
I love Community Tea Bags.  They have a wonderful flavor and are specially made for iced tea (Black tea and Orange Pekoe).  But out of the South they can be hard to find, so just use Lipton or something like that.

Bring to a boil, then take it off the heat.  This step is very important:  Let it sit there for at least 20 minutes!  The tea has to steep.  You can let it sit for longer if you want.  I wouldn't leave it longer than 45 minutes.

Pour the tea into a gallon-sized pitcher.  Add 1 1/2 cups sugar.  OK, I know that sounds like a lot, but we are making a gallon of tea.  And keep in mind that it is called "Sweet Tea".  The name should have been a warning.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Add cold water to reach the gallon mark.  Refrigerate until cold.  Serve over ice.


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