Appendix 2. Sweet Tea Recipes and Stories

From: Sweet Tea

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appendix 2 sweet tea recipes and stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I asked all of the narrators if they like sweet tea. To my horror, there were some who actually do not like it. I forgave them and let them keep their southern card, however, because they agreed to be interviewed for the book! I’ve included both recipes and stories about sweet tea below. ‘‘alex’’ Do I like sweet tea? Well, you know I think we all like a little tea. [Laughter] Yeah. Of course. I do make it. And actually I spice it up a little bit. Um hmm. I can tell you my secret. You know those Celestial Seasonings? I use the peach. Okay? Then you use the Lipton. So you throw in like maybe two or three bags of the Celestialpeach.Oryoucandoraspberrytoo,butIusuallyjustdo the peach because that seems to be the one that everybody seems to like the most. You add just a hint of peach schnapps. You boil the water and then you squeeze fresh lemon in there. And you sweeten it while it’s still hot. And you chill it and serve it on ice. You will think you have died and gone to heaven. Seriously . That’s my recipe for your sweet tea. [Laughter] ‘‘c.c.’’ Do I like sweet tea? I used to love it and I don’t anymore. And the only reason I don’t love it [is] because I’ve got this new kind of like intellectual palate. [Chuckle] [. . .] Oh Honey, drink that sugar and shut up. Of course you know I drink it now with too much knowledge. And you know, when you get to have all this knowledge and you’re going, ‘‘Oh God, I’m just drinking pure sugar.’’ You know. So my answer to it is like, when I’m not being intellectual, I love it. [Laughter] ‘‘r. dioneaux’’ Tea is sugar with brown water. [Laughter] In the South, the tea is always sweet. In the North, they ask what type of sugar you want to put in it. I think that’s a nice metaphor for the differ- 560 : appendix 2 ence between the North and the South. In the South, the tea is always sweetened . It’s understood. You don’t ask for ‘‘sweet tea,’’ you just ask for tea. The tea is sweet by definition. How dare you bring tea to this table that’s not sweetened! You do that at restaurants for northerners that don’t know any better. That’s what I’m saying. When you come to someone’s home, including in my refrigerator, there is sweet tea. With lemon in it. I try to get red zinger and get lemons and peppermints and mix them. [. . .] And so I put peppermint in and boil it in a nice mix. [. . .] Oh yeah. Oooh, yes. It’s so good. [Laughter] A little bit of sugar and a little bit of spice. A little bit of Tang. A little bit of sugar. It’s just like life. ‘‘dlb’’ I can’t believe you asked me that question. My roommate just asked me a minute ago, how come my tea thing in the refrigerator is empty. I keep sweet tea in my refrigerator. Do I like sweet tea? The only thing I drink is sweet tea and water. I don’t drink sodas. [. . .] Sweet tea and water are the only two things that go in my body. That’s why my, I told my roommate I was like, ‘‘You’re talking about where’s the tea, why is it empty? Help me make it sometime. At least boil the tea bags for me.’’ ‘‘No, no, we’re not touching your tea because we know if it’s wrong you’re going to be throwing it down the drain and we’re not going through all that with you.’’ Yeah, I have a little special, have to have tea bags brewing. You have to let them sit in the water, in the hot water for a while to get all the stuff out of those tea bags. Don’t be all hasty and fast. And you have to use plenty of sugar. [. . .] Don’t be talking about, ‘‘Ooh that’s too much sugar.’’ Close your eyes when you put it in there. Okay? Don’t look. And [if] somebody’s standing behind me saying, [you] use all that sugar in your tea? I tell ’em, ‘‘Shut up, because when you drink it you haven’t been complaining...


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