Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Night Football and Sweet Tea

I doubt there is a family in the Kansas City/Denver area that has not anxiously awaited our turn at Sunday football. The Kansas City Chiefs battle against the Denver Bronco's tonight.

It is even more exciting because the Chiefs enter this battle undefeated this year. And the Bronco's have only had one loss.

We will be watching the game at home. In our pajamas {or at least I will be}. I made a homemade lasagna for the family to enjoy. Along with some brownies.

I also made my family my homemade sweet tea. I did not grow up on football. But I did grow up on sweet tea. I have to wonder how many gallons of sweet tea my mom each and every week of my childhood.  After leaving home I transitioned to drinking unsweetened tea {it always seemed more grown-up}.

However, my children both have a "thing" for sweet tea. The one who drinks soda would prefer sweet tea over a soda any day. They younger one enjoys  sweet tea every now and then.

Here is my sweet tea recipe.  If you hurry, you have enough time to make it before kick-off.

I start off with a good black tea. I use the family size bags that brew a quart per bag. I use four bags because I make a gallon at a time. If you don't have time to let the sun brew your tea, just put water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. After it boils, I just let it seep for a few minutes.

In a smaller saucepan I make my simple syrup. Honestly this is probably the most important step in making sweet tea. If you have ever added a sugar packet to a glass of tea at a restaurant you understand why this is so important. Without the aide of heat, that sugar is just going to sink to the bottom.

For a gallon of tea I use anywhere between 3/4 cup and 1 cup of sugar. How much sugar you use depends on just how sweet you actually want the tea to be. Next I use double the amount of water and put it on the stove.

Bring the water to a boil. As the water gets hot you can see the sugar melt. Be careful to not let it boil for very long. You just want the sugar to melt. If you accidentally boil it too long you will accidentally make something other than a simple syrup and you will have to start all over again!

The good news is that a simple syrup will keep in the fridge for several days. So you can make up a batch and have it on reserve.

After all the sugar has melted and you are left with a bubbly clear liquid, you are ready to add them all together.

I add the hot tea, the simple syrup, then I add my final ingredient.  If you have ever spent a lot of time drinking tea you know that sometimes it has just a tiny bit of a bite. Like maybe it was brewed too long and it is extra strong? Well, I combat that with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

Yes, I said baking soda. I add it while the tea mixture is still warm and I melt it in. Then I add cold water until I have a gallon. Serve this tea with ice and your favorite garnishment.

I hope you enjoy the tea. And Go Chiefs!

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