Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Science of Sweet Tea and Other Southern Cooking Shenanigans

Yes, I succumbed to my south Louisiana roots and had a live crawfish boil at my house over Easter weekend.  I kind of freaked out my husband's northern relatives : )
But, this is what you do in the south!  You make the most of the one time out of the year that you can get a certain food alive and fresh.  This might be fresh deer meat during deer hunting season, strawberries in the early spring, fresh blueberries right off the bush in the summer and of course live crawfish in late March.

After you boil the crawfish live with cajun spices and seasonings, you dump them on a table peel ( I had to teach everyone how to do this properly.) You are supposed to boil them with corn and potatoes, but I forgot about this at the last minute (big, oops in Louisiana!)

OK, I hope my Louisiana relatives aren't laughing, but we had to cook them on the grill.  I didn't have the big kettle that most cajuns do to do it outside.  But this is a great southern cooking tip.......cooking on the grill!  Really, anything can cook on the grill.
So, now on to the sweet tea and the science of how I make it.  Sweet tea is the drink you never ever make with a powdered mix and you always have on hand if you live in the south.  The following is my recipe that I made up myself.  It's the easy, cheap, healthy way to do it.

To make a regular 2 quart pitcher........
Fill a 2 cup measuring cup with water.
Add 2 large family size Luizianne decaf tea bags (you can use Lipton family size bags if that is all you can find)
Add 2 regular size plain green tea bags (I mostly do this for the antioxidant benefit)
Put in the microwave and zap for 5 minutes.  Then let it sit for 5 minutes.
Put 1/2 cup of sugar in the bottom of your pitcher.  Then pour in the hot tea to melt the sugar. Fill the pitcher the remainder of the way with cool water.  Stir and pour over ice.  Never put ice in the tea pitcher and never add lemon to the tea pitcher either (it will cloud and dilute the tea!)  Add a slice of lemon to each glass. When I make it for my large crew, I use a gallon size pitcher and a 4 cup measuring cup and double the recipe. We go through a gallon a day : )

And the biggest southern cooking tip...........always have pork on hand.  Bacon and ham make anything taste better.  And really, it doesn't have to be too much or too fatty.  We had 14 bean soup tonight for dinner with a little Virginia ham chopped in and it was healthy and yummy!  And every recipe that starts with "first, fry up a little bacon" has to be good : )


  1. What do you do to your tea now - HWT much steva etc nice THM ? Love your blog wholeheartedly !

    1. I was wondering is someone would ask this : )
      I make seperate tea for me because I'm still not real comfortable with my children having stevia on a regular basis, plus none of them have weight issues.
      So I fill a 2 cup measuring cup with water and put in 2 family size tea bags and 2 green tea bags. I microwave that for 5 minutes and then let it sit for 5 minutes. I put 1/2 teas of nunaturals stevia powder in a 2 quart pitcher. I pour the warm tea on top and then fill the pitcher up with water. Stir and it's done! My husband loves it too. I could never get the sweetness right with truvia unless I just make it unsweet and add 1 teas truvia to each glass I drink.

  2. Thank you! It's Di from New Zealand - my Irish husband has a penchant for sweet iced tea!!! You look fabulous in your photos for the tea! You look like a sister instead of a mother. You are always smiling and your kids are lovin bein around you! So glad, you guys are what you are a godly family living out your lives before the world - I'm so glad you're not harking on an agenda just sharing your experiences. I hope my husband and I have a loving and spiritual marriage the way you do after 22 years (we're in our 9th year)
    I'd love you to post on HOW you homeschool with newborns ( I saw your post - i won't lie ... It's hard)
    And also about HOW you make homeschooling fun in winter or during stressful times, and also about living peaceably with your spouse .... I guess that says a lot about where I am at right now!!! Thank you for your super blog :)

    1. Hi Di! thank you so much for your comment and your encouraging words. I will try to do a homeschooling post soon and address your questions. Also, I do need to do another marriage post. Marriage is hard and sometimes we struggle to live peaceably with each other just as everyone does. Putting the Lord first in our marriage is key and walking in love and forgiveness regardless of what you are feeling is so important as well. Blessings to you and your precious family!

  3. Great tips, the only thing I see missing is when we have crawfish boils we spread newspaper (thrifty nickels) out all over the tables. :) ~From the outskirts of Shreveport.


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.