In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, I’m going to give you a little insight on how much my life has changed in the past two years by telling you about things I miss from my life, B.D. (Before Diabetes).
This post is about Sweet Tea
Sweeeeet Teea, honey chile,
You know we go waaay back
to back in the day
family reunions, Sunday dinners, birthday parties, to just-because-the-only-thing-we-got-in-the-house-to-drink-is-these-tea-bags-and-some-sugar days,
we go back to sunshine and breezes sitting under the cool shade,
we go back to ice cubes in mason jars.
I remember learning how to make you on a hot summer day in South Florida,
by boiling multiple Lipton black leaf tea bags at once (not too many though)
waiting for the color to be just the right shade of brown.
Then pouring the scolding water into my grandma’s pitcher until it was about half full,
(we were not concerned about plastic being BPA free back then)
mashing the tea bags but avoiding pressing too hard so that the bags don’t burst and leave too many tea particles in the tea.
Next came the sugar
and oh, did the sugar arrive
in full effect cause
sugar was as important as the tea,
it gave balance to the bitterness,
it gave the tea life cause
don’t nobody that lives below the Mason Dixon line want no tea without sugar added to it WHILE the tea is hot.
(I love the way black English uses triple negatives and it still means negative).
Sugar added to cold tea just ain’t Sweet Tea!
I’d grab the 5lbs bag of white sugar that we bought from the Winn Dixie or Piggly Wiggly, and I would let it flow
it was like watching waves roll in from the tide.
The bottom of grandma’s pitcher would be white.
and I’d get the biggest spoon in the drawer and stir.
The sound of sweet sugar crystals being dragged across the bottom of the pitcher would start off loud,
stirring would be tough,
but in time the hot tea would win,
the two would become one.
Then I’d move that pitcher to the sink
under the faucet for
some good and cold faucet water,
the kind that we rarely drink now
(we rather buy faucet water out of bottles), but
grandma’s faucet water would multiply the sweet tea so that the pitcher would be full and
the part I hated the most
the final stage of making sweet tea
You gotta wait.
See, you don’t drink sweet tea warm like the way they drink in China and in the UK,
you gotta let the hot tea and the cold faucet come to an agreement, and
when they do
you got Sweet Tea.
Now, I don’t drink sweet tea anymore since my pancreas has quit working for me on a full time basis. Sweet Tea and I had some fond moments though, like when I was an undergrad at Florida State University, I would go to Denny’s during the night shift, just to have a glass of sweet tea. A Vietnamese waitress (turned Southern girl) knew how to make the best sweet tea. But wait, the tea at Gutheries was pretty good too.
You get the point, I know my sweet tea. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to toast when I had my last my glass, since I didn’t know diabetes was coming, but it’s all good (maybe you can toast for me, if you still indulge).
Today, I drink my tea tea hot and I do something that I would have never imagined.
I drink tea without adding ANY sugar. Yep, not one single crystal makes it into my cup and… I LOVE IT!