Sweet Tea

April 2, 2006

It’s been hot in Mississippi the last few days. Yesterday the temperature on my bike odometer hit 88 degrees. This afternoon it cooled down to 85. And the humidity has been up in the 70-80% range. And of course it’s not really hot yet. Summers in the South are notoriously humid, so much so that you are covered with sweat just by going outside for five minutes. There are various ways to cope with this, most notably by staying inside all summer (as long as you have air conditioning), an option I do not recommend.
Or you can drink a wonderful Southern concoction called Sweet Tea. It is so popular that most restaurants routinely offer it to their customers. Sweet Tea is not simply tea with sugar. Here is a fairly typical recipe. The key is adding sugar to the water before you bring it to a boil and add the tea bags. I don’t know why that makes a difference, but it does, and the result is incredibly refreshing on a hot day. I mention this because Marlene served Sweet Tea for Sunday dinner today, and it was mighty good.
This is a regional drink that you won’t find in other parts of the country, but it’s the perfect thirst quencher for a hot day. It’s even enough to make me stop drinking Coke, and that’s saying something.

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