By: Donna Hale Chandler

tea potI can remember as a child there was most always a pitcher of sweet tea in the refrigerator, particularly in the summer. For special dinners, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc., the fancy crystal glasses came out – only for the adults, of course. The children drank milk from jelly glasses so if one hit the floor, nothing of value was lost.

The ‘brewing’ of tea always seemed to be quite a production to me. Boil water. Place 3, or was it 4 teabags in the teapot. The tea bag strings with the label on the end must hang over the edge and held in place by the lid. The boiling water is poured into the tea pot, over the tea bags and allowed to steep. How long to steep? Always a mystery, but evidently if allowed to steep too long, the tea was too strong, steep not long enough and the tea was too weak. My mother must have had in inner timer because she knew exactly when that tea should be poured into a pitcher where it was immediately sweetened before placing it in the refrigerator.

If a guest wanted unsweetened tea — well that NEVER happened because tea wasn’t ‘finished’ unless it was sweetened and letting each person sweeten their own was unheard of, unless you were drinking hot tea and only rich people drank hot tea. Working folk drank coffee, black but we’re talking about tea.

For a treat my granny would have a tea party with me when I visited. She would pour hot tea into a pretty tea cup; make quite a show of stirring in a teaspoon of sugar, no more than 1 teaspoon. Then she would saucer her tea. Don’t know what that is? Well, it takes the ‘fancy’ right out of tea party because that’s when you pour a bit of the hot tea into the saucer under the cup. Holding the tea cup in your left hand, you blow on the saucer of tea to cool it and then drink it from the saucer. This is done until the tea is cool enough to drink straight from the cup. My granny was the only person I ever saw drink hot tea and the only person I ever saw who ‘saucered’ their tea. She was one special lady.

I still enjoy sweet tea and am thankful that it can be purchased already made at the grocery store. With my cooking skills, I’d surely burn the water.


Grams use’ta say

Old Lady 2

“A good kiss must last at least 10 seconds.”





  1. I would love to meet your grandma! We would sip our hot tea and “saucer” it, with gusto. I’ll be back for some more “tea” talk cuz you stroke a cord with me 🙂


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