Friday, May 20, 2011

Sun Tea in the South

Good morning from Florida.

My son's chore everday is to make the sun tea. When he forgets, we really miss it at dinner and he gets a good brow beating.

This gallon pitcher with the strawberries belonged to my mother-in-law.  I love seeing it out in the garden working for us now.  It was a cookie jar.  Cookies don't last long enough around here to be put in a jar, so it's perfect for our sun tea.

Make sure your jar is sterile. I prefer a glass container like this Bormioli Rocco Frigoverre Jug pitcher without a spigot.  Bacteria can be an issue if your pitcher is dirty or your tea gets old. Don't make more than you can drink in a day. We drink so much tea, leftovers aren't a problem. When we do have leftover tea, I just throw it in the garden as soil loves the sugar.  Acid from the tea is good for acid loving plants as well.  

We live in the south, so naturally there's gobs of sugar in my Mother-In-Law's tea.  When I make my tea with fruit or spice flavored herbal teas, I feel less need for sweetener and enjoy drinking really cold unsweetened tea.  Make what you prefer.  

Here is how I make mine:

  • Use a very, very clean, sterile, glass gallon jar (I don't like plastic).  You can buy a new one, or use recycled pickle jars from Sams or Cosco.  They are easier to find in the summer.  
  • You can use tap water, or distilled.  I'm fine using my tap water, but if you feel more comfortable, bottled is fine.  
  • I use 5 family sized black tea bags (use 4 for weaker or 6 for stronger tea).
  • On occasion, I additionally will use 1 or 2 Fruity Herbal or Spice Teas. Experiment and use what you like.  I love peach or raspberry.  My grandmother always put mint in hers.
  • Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Let it sit for at least 5 hours in full sun.  If it sits all day, it can get bitter.  5 hours is sufficient on a sunny day.  
  • When you feel it's done, I add 1 cup of sugar.  My mother-in-law added 1 1/2 cups of sugar (basically making tea flavored syrup...LOL).  Everyone, especially the kids, love it this sweet.  I like mine just a pinch less sweet or unsweetened.  
  • Put it in the ice box immediately.  Keep chilled.
  • I think most people would say it will keep at least 2 days, but I just throw mine out.  Fresh tea just taste better every day and there is less risk of bacteria growth.  
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  
I'm happy to answer. 

Pick some of your green tomatoes and make a favorite family recipe, Chow Chow.

Do you have a favorite brand of tea?  
Do you put baking soda in your tea?  
Comment below and share your tea memories with me. 
"Ecstacy is a glass full of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth."
~ Alexander Puskin~

"Talk and tea is his specialty," said Giles. "He has come along inside....We'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place."
~ The Wind in the Willows


Be blessed and Be a blessing!

May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, 
for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains."

2 Timothy 1:16

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