WND – Ice Tea vs. Mac & Cheese

May 29, 2008

Memorial Day weekend heralded the first time this year that it’s been hot enough to make ice tea.

My mother is from the South. Mostly this means that I think that the plural of you is y’all and that dark meat in your chicken salad is tacky. It also means that I’m serious about my ice tea.

Ice tea in my house was always made with cold water and a sufficient number of tea bags in a glass pitcher and then left to steep in the sun until it is a warm golden brown color. There are lots of people who make their ice tea by brewing tea and then leaving it to cool, but I find that sun tea is less tannic tasting. And, it’s fanciful, but I always think you can taste the sunshine in the tea when you drink it.

I, personally, am a purist about my tea. I don’t like anything in it, except maybe a sprig of mint on the rare occasion that such a thing can be found in my kitchen. I know that sweet tea is supposed to be the house wine of the South, but honestly I don’t like sugar in my ice tea. I’m sure this makes me a heathen, but it’s not like I’ve taken up wearing black to weddings so I’m not going to worry about it overly much*.

The fact that it was warm and sunny enough to make ice tea made it a perfectly glorious Memorial Day weekend, but perhaps not the perfect weather to make Macaroni and Cheese. But, Macaroni and Cheese is what I was in the mood for when I got up on Sunday morning, and the craving hadn’t worn off by the time I went to the grocery store in the afternoon so that’s what we had.

Macaroni and Cheese is a very traditional Southern side dish and gets served whether it’s 48 degrees outside or 98 degrees. As long as it’s someone else’s kitchen that’s getting heated up with the baking I’m perfectly happy to eat macaroni and cheese whatever the thermometer says. When it’s my kitchen, however, I try not to turn the oven on when the mercury climbs above 90. I am a fan of the heat, but I’m not crazy.

However, we aren’t quite there yet, and the weather has cooled down from the heady heights of the mid-80s that it reached on over the weekend and I don’t even look eccentric for making Macaroni and Cheese much less truly mad. It’ll give me something to aspire to later this summer.

Macaroni & Cheese
Pan Fried Chicken

Macaroni & Cheese
Recipe previously given: Macaroni & Cheese

It is a sad truth that I can get better melon at the slightly sketchy fruit/vegetable stand at my T stop in downtown Boston than I can at my local grocery store. I have no idea where their fruits and vegetables come from, and I am very very careful to never ask because I probably would feel guilty about whatever the answer was.

* Wearing black to a wedding is another thing I internalized as tacky at an early age, but apparently it’s perfectly acceptable up North. This never ceases to strike me as odd. The next thing you know people will start wearing red to weddings and where will it all end?



  1. I also think you shouldn’t wear black to a wedding. Neither should you wear red, and definitely you shouldn’t wear white! Neverthless, people wore all these to my wedding (maybe not red, but all black and all white definitely). I think you can have a little black on you, but all black is weird. MAYBE for an evening wedding.

  2. You have Southern relatives, I’m not sure if it counts.

  3. We had the Macaroni & Cheese on Friday night and are looking forward to the leftovers tonight, (although not as heart attack on a plate!). It was delicious. Mr B has reminded me several times that we have some left to have for dinner tonight. I had no mozzarella but a wealth of other cheeses, so I used a flavorful goat in place of the mozz.

    As usual, I am looking forward to reading the site on Thursday to find out what we will have to eat at the end of this week.

  4. You are correct in saying that black is acceptable to wear to weddings up North. In fact, it is the color of choice for most guests. Often if there are bridesmaids, they are dressed in black too. In fact, my daughter is getting married next month and the only requirement I was given for my dress was that it should not be white. Most of the dresses that I tried on and considered happened to be black.

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