Sweet tea and summer thoughts…

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So if you haven’t noticed, I have been AWOL for a month of so. I’m sorry, life got very busy and fun all of a sudden. Old best friends coming through,  music festivals etc… But the most exciting news (in the way of food) is my new job! I am now a cook at the super amazing restaurant, Chez Liberty. This is the kind of job cooks wait their whole career to find. It’s laid back, my chef is super talented, passionate and fun and the food is orgasmic. I have an amazing crew I work with, and am learning new things literally every day. I can’t wait to share some of what I’m learning with ya’ll. And the best part is that my chef loves The Hedonist Cook and has agreed to be a guest on a video soon. Ya’ll are gonna LOVE him!

Besides all that great stuff, it is hot as hell here in East Tennessee. Today is the first day of summer, and it’s so hot outside I wanted to cry earlier while driving my non air conditioned VW fox across down. If I drank I would get drunk and stay drunk until mid September. Anything to distract me from the heat. But I don’t drink, so I had to come up with another solution. And my solution is sweet tea. Sweet tea is something I discovered when I moved to the South, and it’s one of those things that just doesn’t exist across the mason/Dixon line. In the south, if you ask for tea it will come sweetened unless you request it otherwise. When my dear friend Mickayla, who is a Tennessee native, moved to South Korea she literally panicked at the idea of not having sweet tea for a year. Her parents send her packages of Luzianne on a regular basis, that’s how much it means to her.

When I first moved here I didn’t get it. I mean, it’s just iced tea with a boatload of sugar. But after 2 years here something has changed and I’ve begun to crave sweet tea, especially in the summer. It seems to cool you down better than any other beverage. An ice cold cup of sweet tea in the afternoon makes me feel like there is hope, that I’ll make it through the humidity for one more day. And it makes me feel like a true southerner, which I love. The best part of it? It’s soooo easy to make! Here’s the recipe I use. You can find all sort of recipes with additives to remove any bitterness, as the tannens in tea can give off a bitter taste. But this is how Mickayla taught me to make it, and her word is law when it comes to all things southern. Enjoy!

Sweet Tea

  • water
  • 3 family size tea bags (Luzianne is best, but Lipton works for my non southern friends)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Ice
  • Gallon sized pitcher
  1. Fill a medium size saucepan with water and bring to a rolling boil. (It doesn’t matter exactly how much water. I’d say 4-6 cups)
  2. Remove from heat and steep 3 family sized tea bags in water. Cover with lid or plate and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Pour in 1 cup sugar and stir until sugar is totally incorporated. (That means no grittiness. It only takes a minute or so.)
  4. Throw away tea bags (be careful, they’re hot!) and pour into a gallon sized container. If it’s glass, be sure to warm the container first with hot tap water so it doesn’t crack. If i’ts plastic don’t melt it, duh!
  5. Fill container with ice and cold water. Cool or serve over ice.