Recipe fantasy to food reality.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Iced Tea

It took me a long time to realize that iced tea didn't have to be a few bags of lipton thrown into a big jar and left in the sun all day to get bitter. In fact, it was only after hearing a story on NPR (a year ago? two?) that I realized any tea can be served cold. I blame the ubiquity of pre-packaged foods. Certainly not myself. Every once in a while, I have a sort of epiphone (if you can call it that) where I realize "Hey, I could make macaroons." Or, "Wait a minute, the difference between making a cake from scratch and making a cake from a box is only a few measured ingredients, and I don't have to pay for the packaging or wonder about the preservatives."

Anyhow, I'm currently drinking some cool darjeeling/peppermint tea, and was wondering what other tea combinations anyone likes to make in the summer. Suggestions?


At 7:03 AM, Blogger deafeningsighlence said...

My opinions (your mileage may vary):

luzianne standard tea bags - minimum of packaging = tree-hugger friendly - 2 family sized bags per half gallon ... second place goes to lipton loose tea

I steep for 6 minutes in water just off the boil then refrigerate in a glass container (I broke a jug like this once -- let it cool before pouring into the container). Though I am quite certifiably southern, I don't sweeten my tea at this point. Doing so means you get a maximum of 1 day storage before it starts to ferment (what with black tea leaves being already fermented) and I can't stomach it. Also, I can add the amount of sugar I want depending on my mood. Sometimes I even drink it unsweetened much to the dismay of my kinfolk :). The trick to getting the sugar to dissolve is to stir for a long time before you add ice. I like the standard lemon slice added in there.

My wife likes to sweeten her tea with honey. Fresh mint sprigs mashed up in the bottom of the glass are good too. Other ideas: pineapple, blackberries, peaches.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Sara E Anderson said...

Some of the Southern cuisine I've heard about (Grits? You'll eat something called "grits?") has made me wonder just what happens to people when they live there. Sweet tea is one of those. Glad to hear that it's a regional insanity that doesn't affect all.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger deafeningsighlence said...

Actually, grits are quite good if prepared correctly. I like them with cubed hash browns and bacon all mixed together. I promise this is better than you probably think.

Still, it might be an acquired taste for some folks. I would certainly not fault anyone for not eating them.


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