Monday, June 15, 2009

Household Happiness: Tea Pitcher

There is an old Southern saying that I've always loved: "Iced tea is the house wine of the South." In warm weather season, that's certainly true at my home. If it's warm enough to open the windows, then I know it's time for the tea pitcher to take its rightful space on the kitchen counter.

I have two tea pitchers and both have been with me for a while. Both are made of heavy stoneware, which means that they can handle warm or cold liquids. Both pitchers came into my possession nearly 20 years ago, when I was living in Nashville. This one matches the first set of dishes I owned, the Yorktown pattern by Pfalzcraft. My mother has a set of these dishes, so this pitcher reminds me of home.
My second pitcher is blue saltware pottery that is a fixture of Tennessee homes. It's made by Overcast Pottery. It reminds me of Nashville, the city I love best.
I make my iced tea the old-fashioned Southern way. I fill the kettle with cold water and then set it to boil on the stove. While the kettle comes to a boil, I tie three Red Rose brand tea bags together and drop them in the bottom of a clean pitcher.
When the water reaches a fast boil, I fill the pitcher half full and steep the tea for 15 minutes. If I am making sweet tea, I add a half cup of white sugar to the hot water and stir it in to the steeping tea.
After 15 minutes, I remove the tea bags and then fill the pitcher to full with a combination of ice and cold water.
Now that you know the secret, you should make yourself a pitcher of iced tea. But if that's too much trouble for you, just come on over to my house. There's always a fresh glass waiting.


Nichole said...

I think the hubby and I may just take you up on the offer to visit next summer. I'm dying to go east coasting. Nebraska can be so stifling. Be prepared. . .

Shark Butt said...

You make a damn fine glass of tea, and you have a killer ice recipe.

throwcly said...

Found you while searching for Overcast pots online. I did piecework for them for a year or two after college. It was a great experience.
It isn't salt fired however. It is high fired with an extremely thin glaze and the blue is from using pure cobalt carbonate. It is almost no glaze at all... so I can see it mixed up with Salt fired ware easily.
And the tea? Delicious.