Sweetened Up

I never used to be a big fan of iced tea–sweetened or unsweetened.  I liked hot tea, whether it was black or some kind of herbal.  When I did drink hot tea, I liked it BLACK!  The same with my coffee–BLACK: no cream, no sugar.  None of that wimpy stuff goes in my morning drink.  By the way, I think I have mentioned before that caffeine doesn’t do anything to me…at least not to the point where it’s noticeable.  I just drink coffee or tea for the comfort of it more than anything else.  My good old Dad (no, I’m not going to say how…um…young he is turning in few days, right Dad?  Let’s just say it is a milestone in life.) says that used to be him too, until he hit about 40.  Then, he said, he drinks a coffee in the evening and ends up staring at the ceiling while trying to fall asleep.  That does not sound very fun at all!

Now, Ms. Andrea, she likes plenty of sugar in her tea.  I always make fun of her for it!  “Oh, we can’t afford all of that sugar you’re putting in there!”  “Why don’t you have some pancakes with that syrup?” etc.  I am still the unsweetened person–in tea preference and personality!

Over the past couple of years I have grown to like iced tea on the rare occasion–unsweetened of course.  Once in college, just because it was a dollar, I bought a large McDonald’s Sweet Tea.  I don’t hesitate to say that college kids many times sacrifice quality and taste, and just throw money at it just because it is cheap!  Let’s just say I almost gagged because that goop was so sugary.  I vowed to never drink sweetened tea again!

Recently, something has come over me, though.  Maybe it’s being married has sweetened me up a little bit.  All of the sudden one day several weeks ago, I had a craving for sweet tea.  “What’s wrong with me!?  I don’t like that stuff,” I thought.

Andrea and I were looking on All Recipes (our main “cook book”), and there on the front page of the site was a highly rated recipe for Smooth Sweet Tea.  Well, we made some up according to the recipe, and I fell for it–and am still falling for it!  With ice, tea, sugar, and the secret ingredient, you will be craving more even after already drinking a big glass!

We adapted it a little to our taste, and tend to drink it regularly.  It is so much better than hot coffee or tea on a hot, muggy summer day.  I find the biggest glass in our house, and fill it to the top.  And when we don’t have any made–I hate to admit this now–I even enjoy having a McDonald’s Sweet Tea.  Indeed, my Andrea has sweetened me up some!  But I will always just like my coffee and hot tea black!

Here’s that recipe adapted to us a little:

  • SECRET INGREDIANT–1 pinch baking soda (1/4 teaspoon or a little less)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 7 tea bags
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 cups cool water

Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda (yes, that’s what I said…just do it!) into a 64-ounce, heat-proof, glass pitcher. Of course, make sure you warm the pitcher warm water before pouring in the boiled water…unless you want a broken pitcher.  Pour in boiling water, and add tea bags. Cover with saran wrap, and let it to steep for 12 minutes.  Next, remove the tea bags, and throw them away; stir in the sugar until it is dissolved. Pour in the cool water, then refrigerate it until cold.  Optionally, you can add ice and subtract some water for a quicker drink!  The baking soda acts as a base on the PH scale, therefore countering the acid in the tea.  This makes the drink slide right down!

High Tea

Well now, I simply must inform you that I have recently joined high society here in Brogue.  And yester-evening I had the pleasure of attending a Tea!  Of course, it must be admitted that truly, we here at Mt. Zion Baptist Church are not assuming women who put on airs merely to be thought wealthy or of position.  We are simple ladies who try to follow our Lord and love our families, and being all of that same mind, we enjoy one another’s fellowship along the way.  Now, there are some among our company who delight themselves in the English custom of Tea!  They then, have the utmost kindness to introduce others of us, such as myself, to the practice.  We enjoy tea together once every couple of months or so; and the hostesses, might I share, truly exert themselves to ensure it is a most delightful time for us all.

Yesternight was our first Nutcracker Tea.  It was to be filled with “sugar plum fairies and nutcracker sweets” according to the invitation –which, I might add, was quite a beauty in itself!  And it was a splendid evening, I mean a splendid one!…complete with baked potato soup in bread bowls with all of the condiments, pesto/basil mini sandwiches, mini quiches, and numerous delectable desserts including three varieties of chocolate truffles, raspberry-almond tarts, strawberry shortcakes, and others.  And the fellowship –did I mention the fellowship?  It was just as pleasant if not more so than all of the tasty trifles!

Place setting

My chocolate truffles! RRRich!
Strawberry Shortcakes --a work in progress!
Our two hostesses, at right

Pesto-Basil Mini Sandwiches being made
All of our tea cups and saucers...waiting for use!
The little ladies having a party of their own, cracking the nuts!

All of the dainties!
All of the dainites