Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tea for Tuesday

I was disappointed when the Tea Lovers community on G+ didn't recommend a Southern sweet tea recipe to me. I didn't need to worry, though, as all the recipes are pretty similar. Black tea, water, a little baking soda, and depending on your preference, a whole lot of sugar!

I will back up a bit as Southern sweet tea is a bit of a mystery to Canadians who haven't travelled to the Southern United States. My first trip ever to the US was to Kentucky. It was a hideously long journey that consisted of three flights and a thunderstorm. By the time my friend and I hit the hotel, it was pitch black and raining buckets. The hotel didn't have a restaurant, but fortunately the bright yellow sign of a Waffle House beckoned.

Hungry and tired, all we wanted was a good cup of hot tea and some toast. The waitress looked at us like we were from another planet when we ordered tea.

"Sweet tea?" she said.

"Just tea."

"Sweet tea?" she said.

"No, just regular tea."

"Sweet tea?" she said.

We were so confused. I didn't understand what the problem was. "No...just tea like with hot water and a tea bag?"

My friend was mortified, but I didn't know how else to explain what we wanted (oh Canadians, so polite :-)). In that grand moment of embarrassment we learned the difference between hot tea, iced tea and sweet tea. Canadians are used to drinking powedered mixes like Goodhost iced tea or Lipton Brisk. Sweet tea turned out to be a delicious treat, when we finally tried it later on in the trip.

So, for our latest potluck at work, I endeavoured to make sweet tea. No one really thinks to bring drinks to a party. It was ridiculously easy. I made it the night before at work since trying to carry one of those giant Tupperware pitchers would surely be a disaster. Everyone asked what I was doing and some people raised an eyebrow at the two cups of sugar. I claimed a spot in the fridge and felt proud of myself for being a smartypants.

The next day, however, anxiety set in. What if the concoction was too sweet? What if no one liked it? I gamely set it on the table with some plastic cups, and took a big glass for myself to get the ball rolling. I noticed that others were taking cups too. Whew! But this is the devil of anxiety - what if there were dozens of half empty cups left all around the meeting room? Again, I didn't have to worry. When I circled back later in the afternoon, the pitcher was empty. It was a hit, not a miss!

The 4 Quart Tupperware always seems like a foolish purchase until you really need it!