Since about Thanksgiving, we have been drinking a lot of soft drinks. That would be “cokes” for you folks from around here, and “pop” for some of you. I have no idea what they call it in New York. Whatever you call it, we, the Bartfasts, need to stop.
We had been stocking up because I’ve been easing up on the kids during these last few crazy months, and the darn things are just so cheap, if you buy 2-liter bottles at WalMart or Kroger. Even though we’ve been drinking diet sodas, there is no denying that sodas are bad for your teeth, and just generally not good for you.
We drink plenty of milk (I’m going to have to figure out one day how I ended up with TWO Asian children who aren’t lactose intolerant). And water’s always good. Juices generally are not, because my kids just don’t need the sugar. But, I’ve found that my kids enjoy dinner more if they have that “restaurant experience”, and if they can’t have sodas, the next best thing is sweet tea.
I did not know until a few years ago that sweet tea was a regional thing. (For that matter, so are “chicken biscuits”, I’ve found). But when I started traveling more, I discovered that outside of the southeast, it’s hard to find pre-sweetened iced tea. Even at Disney World. There are only two restaurants at DW that feature sweet tea, one is Trail’s End in the campground, and I don’t know the other one. I’m sure Kat Coble knows.
I can tell you that restaurant wise, the two places I’ve been that have the best sweet tea are the Rendezvous in Memphis and Monell’s in Nashville. Cracker Barrel is OK, but the Rendezvous and Monell’s understand how to make it: that see-through orangey-brown color, enough sweetener so it’s sweet, but not too much.
Anyway, I just finished making a couple of gallons of sweet tea (It’s been so long since I’ve made it, I had forgotten that you have to dilute the final product, so I ended up with 2 gallons).
Let’s hear it for the official drink of the south!