Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Sip Of Southern Hospitality and Sweet Tea

Today I am so pleased to have my friend as a guest blogger today. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her for the past year and a half through her poetry and tireless work as an Author, Poet, Speaker, and Mississippi Goodwill Ambassador.
Please enjoy a little Southern Hospitality and a few sips of Sweet Tea from my dear friend and tea lover Patricia Neely-Dorsey .
We Southerns love our sweet tea...and the sweeter the better.
Sweet tea is just a part of life .
We are raised it.
Sweet tea is so ingrained in Southern culture that in 2003, as part of an April Fool's joke, the Georgia Legislature introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for restaurants not to offer sweet tea.
In the movie Steel Magnolias, Dolly Parton proclaimed that sweet tea was "the house wine of the South."
In the South when there is tea at  any function,, like at a church gathering , picnic or other event, .it's just assumed that it will be  sweet tea .
To get anything else you usually have to ask for that , and even  then you might get some funny looks . 

I was really caught off guard by the whole matter of how tea is consumed outside of the south, when I went off to school in the North ( Boston University)
When you ask for tea, you most probably will get some type of hot tea or spiced tea !
People look at you crazy when you ask for sweet tea.
They don't even understand the request at all.
They don't even know that it should be iced .
I guess they look so funny because they think that you could just put your own sugar in your HOT tea just like coffee.
The concept is almost close to right because you do add the sugar into the hot tea  to dissolve it well before adding the cold water and ice . 
I just gave up asking for tea altogether at a restaurant , because it was just too much to try to explain every time .
The joke goes...
The Mason-Dixon Line begins where every restaurant serves sweet tea

Here's a very simple/basic sweet tea recipe .

Makes 1 gallon
What You Need
3 family-sized black tea bags (or 12 individual tea bags)
4 cups water, plus more to fill the pitcher
1 cup sugar
lemon slices, optional to serve

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat.
Steep the tea for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove the bags and discard.
Add the sugar to the tea.
Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Pour the tea base into the pitcher.
Add another 3 quarts of water to make a gallon of sweet tea.
Refrigerate until very cold. .
Serve over ice.
Once you know the basics you can run with it and make it your own, to your taste .
Every Southern woman has her own unique way of making sweet tea !
You would not believe how much the taste can vary with the amount of sugar and lemon or other additives.
All we know is that sweet tea is delicious ...as is the Southern way of life !   

A huge thank you to Patricia for sharing with us her love of Sweet Tea and Southern Life.
To learn more about Patricia and her work please visit her website by clicking here. 
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems   
" a celebration of the south and things southern"
"Meet Mississippi Through Poetry, Prose and The Written Word"

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