Michelle Jones, Founder

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Blessings for Life was founded in 2000, after the birth of our 4th child. In 2001, we began another amazing journey at Better Budgeting, helping families around the world, of all faiths, save money and live a better life. 

In 2006, my mother was set to take over as editor for Blessings for Life to help with my crazy schedule. God had other plans. Within just a few short months she got a promotion.

No more tears, no more suffering. 

We could not have done this without her help and endless encouragement. And, we must carry on.

Never Give Up...

God Always Has a Plan!

 

 

 

Southern Sweet Tea  
by Michelle Jones

bullet8-10 tea bags, any kind you like (although I highly recommend the Lipton Iced Tea Brew or Luzianne)
bulletSmall pot of water, with a lid that fits
bullet1 cup of sugar 
bullet1-gallon size pitcher (or a big pickle jar will do)

(You can halve this recipe for a 2 qt. pitcher, and you can also freeze the tea in a water jug, just be sure to leave a few inches of space at the top because it will expand.)

Depends on how sweet you like it, but this is the way many southerners make their tea. And the way my grandmother used to make it was wonderful, although she used some kind of metal ball to hold the tea leaves, and I use the regular tea bags that are more common now. 

She would add the sugar to the water first, bringing them to a boil together. This seems to make it more syrupy, and tastes better too. But if you forget this step, it's okay; I do it all the time. Just be sure to add the sugar before you fill the pitcher up with cold water, or you'll wonder what that grainy stuff is at the bottom of your tea!

Doesn't matter how much water you boil; just make sure it gets really hot and bubbly. If you remembered to put the sugar in already, you're doing great! Now get your tea bags ready so that when the water is bubbling you can just toss them in. 

Be sure to keep the little tags on the outside of the pot, not that it would do you any physical harm, it just seems unsanitary.  If you choose to ignore this warning, just don't tell anyone! But give it some serious thought before taking this action, think about how hard it's going to be to get those hot tea bags out of the water if the tags are not hanging off the side of the pot. 

Now as soon as you get those tea bags in, the water may act like it's about to boil over. I usually try to add the tea bags in with one hand, and grab the pot off the stove with the other. That way the bubbles have shaken the tea up a bit getting them off to a good brewing start.  If this troubles you just remove the pot from the heat and then add the tea bags.

After taking the pot off the stove, cover it quickly with the proper fitting lid. If you were unable to find the matching lid, this is not going to work very well. It's important to cover the pot so that the tea will steep and continue to get stronger.

Let the tea steep for as long as possible. It will be okay in 20 minutes, but even better in an hour or two. Then pour the tea syrup (that's what it's actually called when made this way) into the gallon size pitcher and fill with water, making sure to gently squeeze the tea bags to get all the good stuff out. You can use spring water if you have it, but well water will do too, just be sure you've had it checked out lately and there's no risk of contamination. (Wish I was kidding!)

That's it; your Southern Sweet Tea is ready. Just pour into a glass (canning jars are our favorite) filled with ice and serve. Some people will keep this in the fridge for several days, but it's really only good for the first two. After that, it's time to make a fresh batch.

Disclaimer: I know the picture at the top of this article has a wedge of lemon served with it, but be careful; not all southerners like lemon in their tea. Although I do love lemon in mine, if I served it to my husband that way he'd probably dump the glass out and make a new one!

 

 

 

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