What do you do with a few hotel points and part of a weekend? Well, we went to Savannah. After going there, I don't think you can be a proper Southern woman without taking in the sights. I did encounter a small problem. I went without my sensible walking shoes. I rarely pack incorrectly for a trip, so I lost the advantage I typically hold over my husband who tends to forget things more often. That was depressing. My first injury was a nice blister that caused me to limp around much like one of the famed Savannah pirates. My second injury came at Tybee Island. I'm blaming Hurricane Earl for this one, even though he was still cruising in the Caribbean. A giant wave knocked me down, and I scraped my leg. I eventually found my swimsuit. I have details of our visits to The Lady and Sons and to Goose Feathers Cafe on the Southern Restaurant Favorites page. I also have more photos and information on the Pilgrimages page.
So I finally put on the house dress that I bought at Wal-Mart. Here is the good news - you can buy a size smaller than you normally wear and it is still a little large. I find that to be a positive in any clothing. I actually saw someone wearing this at Wal-Mart after I bought it. I stared. She didn't seem to care. That seems to be the magic. If you're wearing this to town, you just don't care anymore. My husband said that I had a good 20 years before I could pull off this look. I corrected him; he surely meant to say 40 years. Lively discussions make for a healthy marriage.
My Grandma Leona wore a house dress whenever she was at home, which was most of the time. Some of you may not be familiar with the house dress. It is not a house coat, which is a favorite of my mom's. Once, my nephew came out of his room with his hospital gown on backwards. He told his mom that he was wearing that thing that Gigi wears. He was wearing his own version of a house coat. All he needed was the slip on house shoes, and his outfit would have been complete. Anyway, the house dress is usually considered daytime wear. If the meter man knocked on the door, it would be acceptable to go see what he needed while wearing the house dress. You would not be considered the neighborhood flasher. It seems as though house dresses are difficult to find, unless you visit a Wal-Mart or K-Mart which happen to be the last bastions of fashion. Photos will come in a day or two.
I've added a new restaurant favorite. If you can find it, you will enjoy Sageberry.
Wow. Talk about waking you up. I made decaffeinated tea, but that sugar will get you going in the morning. I think her recipe may be the way to go. Bringing the tea bags to a boil rather than adding after the water is boiling makes a stronger tea. Fewer tea bags lead to cost savings; I've really been in the business world too long. You should be at my aunt's house for Christmas when we pair this tea with her coconut cake. There is no sleeping on Christmas Eve, just festive bouncing off the walls. I am still holding on to a few Fried Chicken pounds, so I have to go to a non-cooking topic next. I'm still in search of the perfect house dress. Cross your fingers.
I didn't have a chance to try my next sweet tea recipe this weekend. We went to a family reunion on my mom's side. My nephew was so excited to go; he obviously had never been to one. Typically, people try to figure out how to get out of them. He was so excited that his Gigi (grandmother) had invited him. As family reunions go, it was actually kind of nice. There was good food and very normal people. I hear that is not always the case. Nobody asked me when we were having kids (thank goodness), because they were too busy looking at how pretty our nephew is. I know I'm not supposed to call him pretty, but he seems to be able to handle that. The desserts caught my eye. I do believe that the most perfect dessert is peach cobbler. Feel free to argue with me. There was also some sort of lovely white pineapple jello thing. Proper Southern women do need to be able to make something out of jello...other than jello. My momma has at least two special jello recipes, as I'm sure is the case with your momma as well. I will find a couple to make later on in this process. Tomorrow, I will update you on the 2nd tea recipe. If it is any like my aunt's, it will be liquid perfection.
After allowing the sweet tea to cool, I gave it a try. It was definitely strong enough. I'm not sure what the little bit of brown sugar added exactly, but I did seem to sense a sweeter taste than the tea I have made in the past. Once again, this may be my imagination. Next, I am going to make sweet tea with my aunt's recipe. She makes the best tea, and it's a pretty simply process. She also make the best coconut cake on the planet, and I doubt I will ever attempt that. Talk about me making a mess of something. For her tea, she puts 2 to 3 family size tea bags in some water and brings it to a boil on the stove. Once it boils, she takes it off the eye and lets it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. She uses 1 1/2 cups of sugar to mix with the tea and then fills the gallon container with water. I fear it will not taste like hers. I need to make certain which brand of tea she uses. That may make a difference. This whole sweet tea exercise is not very exciting. There is very little danger in the process, other than the boiling water. I'm going to find a Mason jar to put my tea in and take a photo. There is something comforting about drinking out of a Mason jar.
I have made sweet tea many times. Never have I been satisfied. The tea tastes weak and the sugar just doesn't seem right. I realize that our Northern friends refer to cold tea as iced tea, and they refuse to sweeten it with actual sugar. Do not order sweet tea north of Kentucky, even if it is on the menu. Trust me on this one. The recipes are not the same. I find that when you ask people for a recipe for sweet tea that they look at you strange and say "I don't know; I just make it." Now, with most Southern dishes, people will give you hints. They do expect you to know the basics. So, this is my try with my first set of hints from a friend in Georgia. She told me to use 6 family size tea bags. I used Tetley, because my Momma used Tetley and that is the only reason I need. Then, I brought 4 cups of water to a boil, put the tea bags in, and let it steep for an hour. Pour the tea into a container that holds a gallon of liquid and stir in 1 cup of sugar. The big secret to this recipe is to add a pinch of brown sugar. After you stir the mixture, fill the container with water. Refrigerate the tea and enjoy later. I am opposed to ice in the sweet tea strangely enough. I'm not sure what camp you fall into, but you should never expect to come to my house and find fresh ice. Old ice, we have that. As a result, I will let you know tomorrow how the tea tastes. Next, I will try my aunt's hints.
Check out our visit to The Appalachian Grill in Cartersville, GA. I will go on and on about it, if you ask me.
My sister said that my mom was the one who told her to add water to hot grease. When my sister said, "Didn't you tell me that Momma?" Our mother replied, "Oh no, that sounds dangerous." So, my advice is definitely do not add water to hot grease while frying chicken. I may revisit fried chicken another day down the road, but for now I am over it.