It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Iced Tea

I don't know why I haven't added this to my list of simple things that I love, but I realized that iced tea belongs way up on the list!  I love iced tea!  And, let's face it - it is a simple thing.  I don't care if it is sweet or un-sweet, flavored or un-flavored.  Just no "diet" tea, please.  I've loved tea from the time I was a baby and suspect that I was given sweet tea in a bottle (yes, parents did things like that when I was small.  They put Kool-Aid in bottles, too!). Mostly now I use the Cold Brew bags and lately have been making the decaf variety which tastes the same as the regular.  Years ago I made sun tea and it was so refreshing on a hot afternoon! 

I remember my grandmother making tea and how beautiful it would look with the morning sun shining through the glass pitcher.  Every morning as she began to wash the breakfast dishes she would boil water for that day's tea.  She did not drink tea, but everyone else did.  She would always make one pitcher but if a lot of family was present then she made another, smaller pitcher, too.  The tea was made with well water; my father always claimed that it was the best water in the world (except when the red Mississippi rust/dirt slipped into the pipes, yuk!) and I'm sure that contributed to the beauty of the tea as well as the taste.  When I was there she would let me count out the tea bags and open them.  Mamaw would put the sugar in the bottom of the pitcher and pour the boiling water over the sugar and the tea bags. To keep the pitcher from cracking she would put a long metal cooking spoon in the pitcher before she poured the water in.  I would be allowed to stir the tea with the spoon to dissolve the sugar.  The tea would darken into a beautiful reddish-golden color while it swirled gently in the pitcher. 

Ice for the tea didn't come out of ice trays when a lot of family was present.  One of the men would go to the ice house (not a convenience store as we know them today locally) and bring home a block of ice in an ice chest.  Just before we ate a meal one of the men would go to the utility room with an ice pick and chip out a chunk of ice and then put it in a large wooden bread bowl and break it into chips. A block of ice would usually last about two days. I remember going along on an ice run once or twice but the big dark ice house was scary and the big burly men working there also scared me.  I would usually decline the offer to go!

Yes, let's add ice tea to the list of small, simple joys of life!

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