Friday, October 15, 2010

Aunt Shelba's iced tea recipe

Aunt Shelba is a wonderful lady who lives in the South.  She is warm, loving and kindly with the best southern accent I've ever heard.  She is also an excellent hostess and wonderful mother and grandmother. 

As well as being an expert in the area of child development, she is a skilled  cook with a large repertoire of all the southern staples that most southern families have enjoyed for well over a hundred fifty years now.

On a side note, when I first saw Paula Deen on television I instantly liked her because she reminded me so much of my sweet Auntie.

She also makes the best iced tea you could ever have.

Just like when you see the recipe for pie crust and it looks like it would be easy but the truth is it's all about the technique as to whether it turns out right.  Well, iced tea is similar (but not quite as difficult to master as pie crust in my opinion).

Here is Aunt Shelba's recipe with plenty of notes along the way to help with technique.

Put 4 cups of water in a 2 qt saucepan and bring to a boil.  When the water boils turn it off and put in 8 small tea bags (I use 10 because I make mine with decaf tea bags).

Let this sit for about 4 hours. You can let it go longer but I have found at some point it starts to get cloudy so I like about 4 hours.

Put 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a 1 gallon container (I like to reuse the cleaned out glass jugs from wine or apple cider for this purpose).  Add the steeped tea water and shake together until mixed well.

The run cold water over the tea bags (still in the pan) over and over until the gallon contained is almost filled to the top (leave the neck empty).  Then put in 1/3 cup lemon juice. The best is either fresh squeezed or the thawed frozen lemon juice (Minute Maid) from the freezer section of the grocery store. 

Refrigerate and enjoy.