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May 1, 2009 10:53 AM

Bon Appetit Y'All by Virginia Willis: Part 2 ...The Thread

Now that Bon Appetit Y'All, The Thread is 300 posts long I thought I'd start the new month of May 2009 off with a new BAY'A thread... Part 2. This is the thread in which I shall be posting the recipes I make from the book as I continue my southern culinary adventure, I hope y'all will join me once again.

Here's a link to BAY'A ... The Thread: Part 1:

BTW: Any good sweet tea recipes in Your family? I know there was quite a lengthy discussion here a little while ago.

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  1. Not sure it qualifies as a recipe, but we always had sweet tea in the house when I was growing up. Just put a lot (maybe 3/4 cup?) of sugar in the bottom of what you're making the tea in, the tea bags or whatever vehicle you have for the tea, and then the hot water. The sugar disolves and the tea brews and then you refrigerate.

    I knew that my Canadian husband was finally feeling at home here in the south when he ordered "sweet tea" with his lunch one day.

    6 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      Thanks so much for your recipe LLM. I have one deep in my archives somewhere.... if I only knew where to look.

      1. re: Gio

        Been 9 months since I made sweet tea, but let's see if I can remember. My sweet tea is halfway between my Georgia partner's and my Boston taste, so not as sweet as real Southern tea. Adding more sugar is easy though.

        2 quarts water
        4 tea bags [Tetley or Red Rose]
        1/2 cup sugar
        1/2 lemon
        6-7 mint leaves

        Bring water to a soft boil. Turn off the heat and add the sugar and tea bags. Let steep 4-6 minutes [depending on your preference.] Stir once or twice until you don't feel the sugar. Scoop out the tea bags. Squeeze the lemon juice into the tea and drop in the rind and add the mint. Let steep for up to 6 more minutes and scoop out the mint and lemon. [Don't let this go too long or the lemon rind makes the tea bitter.]

        So, not a true Southern tea, but I love the mint, and mint is taking over my small garden and this is a great way to use it regularly.

        1. re: smtucker

          AhHa... SMT, that sounds very like a recipe I found ages ago on a site called something like Grandmother's cook book - or something like that. I'll have to try to find it.

          Anyway... Many thanks for your version of Sweet Tea! Much appreciated.

          1. re: smtucker

            I've been making mint simple syrup, for sweet and unsweet tea for differing tastes in the house
            great in hibiscus tea with lime
            (it's also 100 % awesome for cocktails)

            The idea of a recipe for tea is kinda funny to me, but I saw one in my Low Country Cookbook . . . 8 tea bags, 6 cups of boiling water - let it steep 5 minutes (or longer if you want stronger.) Remove tea bags. Add 1/4c fresh lemon juice, if you want lemon. Stir in 1/4 c sugar. Let cool. Pour over ice and serve. He cautions against chilling the tea in the fridge -- says it will go cloudy.

            Great idea to open up Pt2 Gio!

            1. re: pitu

              But you have to put the sugar in *before* you make it cold - the hot water has to melt it so that it gets very sweet.

              I totally agree on how great simple syrup can be in a cocktail!

              1. re: LulusMom

                Absolutely, LM, that's what makes sweet tea so delicious - no sugar granules.

      2. Finally got around to the mayo biscuits (so sorry - don't have the book in front of me for the page number). Mine are not close to as pretty as those in the book but they were really tasty. My maiden voyage making biscuits and I felt it was a big success. Could maybe use just a smidgen of salt, but otherwise loved them.

        1. Those look Great, LLM!! The proof of the pudding.... and all that. In this case biscuits. They're on my list....

          Did you know that we've already cooked more than 35 BAY'A recipes so far? Tonight in honor of the Kentucky Derby I'm finally making VA's Pimento Cheese... a few weeks after the fact of the Masters.. and a couple of other dishes. Tommorow I'll start with the current COTM and insert some southern dishes periodically. That should be an interesting juxtaposition.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            These biscuits are as easy as rolling off a log. Sometimes you want a nice, easy starch with dinner, and this definitely fit the bill. Might try them with chives and a little salt next time or some other fancy-up thing, but they are worth making.

            You'll be keeping your taste buds on their toes this month, huh?

            1. re: LulusMom

              Am I crazzzeeee or just inquisitive? I dunno. But as long TDB has the will to cook I'll keep on keeping on. Though, I think I have to shy away from the recipes with multiple procedures.

              1. re: Gio

                I'll be keeping on too, but like you, for the next month probably my labor intensive recipes will be from CoF. Heck, I bought this book because there was so much that appeals to me, so I *better* keep cooking from it!

          2. I make tea in the microwave...
            Fill a 1 qt Pyrex measuring cup with water (not all the way to the top).

            I use a couple of the family-size Luzianne teabags, plus 1 Constant Comment and 1 Plantation Mint (both those are Bigelow).

            Nuke on high for about 8 minutes. Let steep for 5 minutes or so after it finishes in the micro. Remove the teabags and stir in sugar to taste. We don't like it very sweet, so I only use 1/8-1/4 cup.

            This is very forgiving. If it's too strong, add a little water. Or if you need a larger quantity of tea, add more tea bags and make it very strong, then dilute with water.

            1 Reply
            1. re: onrushpam

              <"This is very forgiving. If it's too strong, add a little water. Or if you need a larger quantity of tea, add more tea bags and make it very strong, then dilute with water.">

              That's the direction I remember from the old recipe I was trying to remember. The strong tea is refrigerated then diluted when serving, adding ice cubes, of course. Also the use of the Luzianne and Constant Comment teas is familiar. I think you have the recipe I was looking for! Many thanks, Onrushpam.....

            2. Pimento Cheese in Cherry Tomatoes, Ch.1: Starters and Nibbles, Pg. 17

              Now I know what all the shoutin's about! A creamy, tasty spread that enhances any tidbit you'd care to put it on. Neither of us had ever had Pimento cheese so we were excited to try this recipe... we loved the flavor and will definitely make it to serve to guests. It works up quickly and is very easy to make. The recipe makes 4 cups but I halved it and have a small bowl left over.

              The recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2 a grated Vidalia onion, some mayo, a small jar of drained and chopped pimentos, hot sauce, S & P. Although the recipe recommends stuffing small cherry tomatoes, I stuffed celery stalks, the alternative way of serving this delectable mix.
              Notice: No Cream Cheese.... ahem.

              3 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  Since it's no longer Vidalia season, what would you substitute?

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Hmmm.. Good one, CO. I think, right off the top, I'd sub Bermuda onion/red onion. Or, even a large white onion, since in my neck of the woods the white onions seem to be less harsh. But you know the drill - whatever you find most pleasing to your palate...even if you do want to be "authentic." You may not like taste the authentic recipe gives you, but still want to experience the process....