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Sunshine and Sweet Tea

If Dolly Parton is right (and why wouldn't she be?) in proclaiming sweet tea "the wine of the South," then DC and I are going to get along just fine.

Sweet tea is my fuel during the summer. It is fun to drink and helps keep me awake when it's 91 degrees inside the house and I'd like nothing more than to nod off on a big veranda somewhere during those two days in July when summer actually comes to Santa Barbara. I'm perfecting the recipe now to impress my new Maryland neighbors with my southern hospitality after August 1.

SOUTHERN SWEET TEA
makes 3 quarts

4 Pitcher-size cold-brew tea bags, 8 regular, or 6 tablespoons orange pekoe tea leaves in a diffuser
¾ cup sugar
Ice cubes
2 lemons, sliced (optional)
Fresh mint sprig (optional)

Place the tea bags in a large pitcher. Add 3 quarts cold water, and steep for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and the sugar. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove the tea bags. Add the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Serve over ice with lemon and fresh mint and a viewing of "Gone with the Wind," if desired.

*Recipe from Martha Hall Foose from her book Screen Doors and Sweet Tea (Clarkson Potter, 2008).

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