Yesterday I did something I have never done before: I, as the occupant of my very own home, made a pitcher of tea. One would think that this accomplishment would be minimized by this fierce triple-whammy:
1. I am from the South: North Carolina to be precise. Tea is not an afterthought in North Carolina. There was tea, there is tea, there will always be tea. Of course, you can have water or Coke if that's what you'd like this time, but really, what goes better beside a barbeque plate at Wednesday night supper than tea?
2. My parents are from the Deep South: Mississippi and Alabama. Tea is in my genes.
3. I've been making tea from the time I could boil water. My mother might realize she forgot to put on the kettle for the EXTRA pitcher of tea when company was coming. Or the regular pitcher might be running low...I have made gallons -- tankers -- full of tea.
Yet, even with all this, it was a momentous occasion.
Perhaps I should step in here for any readers who do not share my blessed ancestors: by "tea" I mean "iced tea."
Please do not ask if it is sweet.
Also, for reference, the best tea in the world, hands down, is made by my Aunt Mae. She told me her recipe once, and if you've ever made simple syrup (one part water, one part sugar), you get the idea. In the interest of avoiding, oh, diabetes, I thought I might better should come up with my own basic formula to fill the pitcher.
4 tea bags
4 cups hot water
(Brew for 15-20 minutes)
1/2 cup sugar
(Stir until dissolved)
4 cups ice
(Stir in one cup at a time)
Simple! Achingly easy. But such a milestone for me. And I am pleased to say that I was not alone in seeing it as one:
When my lovely husband got home from an errand yesterday afternoon I said, "I made tea!" He looked down (after many two-cups-of-mint-tea winter evenings for his wife), saw my glass and said, "Iced tea! WOW!"
I think this means I'm a grown-up now.
Call me when you pour yourself a glass. I'll be on the front porch.
P.S. Extra credit for anyone who didn't have to reread "might better should" to catch my drift.