Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tea and Lemonade (A.K.A.- Arnold Palmer)

My MaMaw was a true southern woman and a real life June Cleaver.  Every morning she would wake up, "put her face on" as she would call it, brush her teeth and then get dressed.  It didn't matter if she didn't have anywhere to go, she was ALWAYS presentable.  It was customary, especially for her generation, to always be ready and be presentable.  Oh, and leave the house (even to go to the mailbox) without lipstick, well that was a no no. 
I remember one time my mom was running incredibly late.  You know, having one of those mornings where you start running from the time your feet hit the floor just trying to catch up?  Yes, one of those.  So she got ready and then ran me up to my MaMaw's and popped her head in long enough to say hi, gotta go, bye.  But, it wasn't so quick that my MaMaw didn't notice she didn't have on her lipstick.  So she immediately stopped my mom and asked, "Dear One, are you okay?  Are you not feeling well?"  To this my mom replied, I'm fine why do you ask?  My MaMaw, without a beat said your lips are naked and I just knew that something had to be wrong if you left your house without lipstick.  So after going back to the car mom quickly put on her lips, and carries those words with her to this day. 
My MaMaw always looked like she had stepped off the cover of a magazine.  Her ensemble complete with a big strand of pearls, large "ear bobs" (earrings), hose and shoes.  My MaMaw, typically left the outside work to my Papaw and her sons but we do have an infamous picture of her mowing the yard.  But she wasn't wearing working clothes, she was wearing slacks, a blouse, ear bobs, pearls and flats.  Yes, I believe even she put June Cleaver to shame with that move!
I know it's a little blurry, but this is the infamous picture!
Another thing my MaMaw was known for was tea and lemonade.  Before you could walk through the door and close it she greeted you with the affectionate term "Dear One" and was offering you a glass of tea and lemonade.  Whether it was a random visit, needing advice and prayer, or a gathering it wasn't completely without a glass of tea and lemonade.  I promise, no advice was ever complete without a glass of the good stuff.
I honestly believe my family was drinking this concoction before it became popular.  You couldn't walk into my MaMaw's, our house, or any of the other boy's houses without seeing a pitcher of tea and a pitcher of lemonade in their refrigerator.  My uncle was even responsible for getting it on the menu at a local restaurant, but not before getting a lot of looks from his request.  He told the waitress he'd like a glass and continued telling her just how much tea and how much lemonade to put in the glass, she did so then brought it to him.  But she didn't stop there, she quickly went back to the counter and fixed a glass for herself and was shocked.  She loved it.  Quickly other patrons began ordering the concoction and a few days later when my Uncle returned he saw a new beverage on the menu!
To this day I still love tea and lemonade.  Every time I take a sip I'm instantly transported to my MaMaw's avocado green kitchen complete with the avocado green fridge, stove top, ovens and countertops.  I miss those days, sitting across from her at that kitchen table and just visiting.  She was always so interested in the lives of her chillren's (kids), and their families.  She cut out every newspaper article that mentioned any of her family and she kept every invitation, card and note that they gave her.  As proud as she was of her boys and their families, I can honestly say I was (and still am) just as proud of her and that she was my MaMaw.  I miss her each and everyday but on those days that seem unbearable I find comfort in sipping on a glass of tea and lemonade and suddenly she doesn't seem so far away.
I know this probably doesn't seem like much of a recipe to you, or maybe it seems overdone.  But this concoction has been and still is a staple in my family and I just had to share it with you.  This drink was my inspiration for #Teaweek!  So, the next time you need to relax or you're entertaining one person or a crowd whip up a pitcher of tea and lemonade and serve your guests the southern June Cleaver's drink of choice, Dear One!

Tea and Lemonade
Ingredients:

1 Cup strong brewed unsweet tea
1/4 Cup pink lemonade (yes, it must be pink...it just tastes better)
1-2 Packages sweetener of your choice, depending on how sweet you like your tea

Directions:

Fill the glass 3/4 full of ice (ice used a combination of ice cubes made of tea and lemonade).  Add sweetener, start with one package and add more to taste.  Add tea and lemonade and stir to combine.  Enjoy!

Recipe source: My MaMaw

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