I came down with something nasty Thursday night. I got out of bed twice yesterday, I think - once to take out the trash and once to see to the mail. Nearly fell over in the road and rested both times. I kept thinking that maybe I was just really tired, for some reason, until I realized that I dialed my telephone banking service and had somehow pressed "2" instead of "1" and had been responding to the nice Spanish-speaking lady. For 14 minutes and 36 seconds. I can't be sure, but I may have transferred all my money to Guatemala. Yep, think I'm sick. So I took something and watched Monk and then slept. Slept and slept and slept.
When most people are sick they want chicken soup and flat Dr. Pepper and Saltines and things of that nature, right? Not me. When I'm sick I (never fail) wish for the following: chocolate pudding and orange juice. Cold things. Always. But this time I've prayed for peanut butter cookies and iced tea. (My peanut butter cookies. I may be partial, but they're the best.) Since I'm not eating carbs at the moment... and haven't been in almost a month... the cookies would have to wait. So iced tea it is. Let's talk tea.
It should be noted that southern iced tea is nothing like its hot, British counterpart. (I was surprised to learn this week that one in every eight people who read this blog are reading from somewhere in the United Kingdom. So I hope one in eight of you doesn't take offense.) Sweet iced tea is a concoction all its own, and although every family has its own method... usually involving a special pot or kettle... here's how my mother taught me. And I should point out that we're both known for our iced tea.
Southern Iced Tea
½ cup loose tea leaves, or 2 family-sized tea bags
2 ½ cups cool water
1 cup sugar, or preferred sweetener to taste
Pour cool water into a saucepan over medium high flame. Add tea leaves or tea bags. (I like Luzianne. Have always used Luzianne.) Heat just until boiling, then remove from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Pour brewed tea into a clean gallon pitcher or jar. Add cold water until pitcher is almost full. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Keep in back of refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
Since I'm staying away from flour and sugar, I usually have two tea pitchers stirred up and ready: sweet and unsweet. I prefer my tea with Stevia and mint... or sometimes with lime... but most of my favorite folks prefer it as described above. (With a few exceptions, of course. My mom never drinks hers without lemon, and her mom stirs 1 1/2 cups sugar into her pitcher.)
Yes, I realize it's crazy to be talking tea in the dead of winter. But you almost forget it's winter with a glass of sweet tea at your lips. (This coming from the girl who puts "freshly cut grass" and "sweet tea" at the top of her Favorite Things Ever list....)
I'm also the girl who needs to call her bank and see what in the world kind of Spanish transfers I made yesterday.