Dec 31, 2008

New Year's Eve Party

This time of year is wonderful. I like the parties. I like the festivity.

It also requires a little outlay!

My sister is throwing a small New Year's Eve party and asked me to bring the following:

Snap peas (For the veggie platter she already put together.)
Sweet Tea (We're transplants to The North from The South--we like our sweet tea.)
Coke (Hubbies are also from The South, but prefer Coke--which is also from The South.)
Rotel Cheese Dip
Tortilla Chips

I will go to the grocery store later today to purchase a few things. I'll add that to my "Holiday Purchases" total on the sidebar in the interest of full disclosure as I walk out my experiment.

Since I'm cooking, I'll list my recipes.

The Recipes:

Sweet Tea

There are a few folks up here who try to be kind and provide Sweet Tea on occasion since they know we Southerners have a hankering for it. The problem is not the consideration. It's the technique. They just don't know how to make proper Sweet Tea. (Always use capitalization when referring to a nectar of the gods.)

To the uninitiated, the following is how you properly make a gallon of Sweet Tea:

  • 1 Cup sugar. This is my preference. You can go to a cup and a half if you want to grow your eyebrows together. You can go to 3/4 Cup and it can still technically be Sweet Tea. Anything less than that and you're just messin' with perfection.
  • Pour BOILING water to cover the sugar and stir quickly to dissolve.
  • Add 6 orange pekoe teabags. You know, the 99 cents for a box of 100. The cheap stuff.
  • Let steep about 5-10 minutes. REAL Sweet Tea isn't just colored sugar water. You want some kick to it.
  • Fill cold water to the top of the gallon container. Remove teabags. Stir. Refrigerate
  • Chill in refrigerator. You can serve with ice, but it's just going to dilute the flavor. If you HAVE to have ice, make it minimal.

Here's my shortcut to the above. Same great taste...less work.

  • Use a coffee maker dedicated to making tea. Coffee-flavored Sweet Tea is not Sweet Tea.
  • Place six tea bags in the filter basket.
  • Run a full pot of water through TWICE.
  • When the first pot is ready, pour it into the gallon container over the sugar. Stir to dissolve.
  • When the second run is ready, pour that in, too.
  • Fill to the top with cold water. Refrigerate.

I can't believe I just spent so much time on something like Sweet Tea. It speaks of my reverence for the beverage.

Ro-Tel Cheese Dip

I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to find the proper ingredients for this recipe. This, too, is a "southern thang." I'm going to do my best and just substitute if I have to. For now, here's the "authentic" recipe:

  • 1 can (10 oz.?) Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 pound Velveeta

Microwave directions:

  • Cut cheese into cubes.
  • Place cheese and diced Rotel tomatoes and green chilies in glass covered casserole bowl.
  • Microwave 10-12 minutes at 50% power (medium).
  • Stir every 4 to 5 minutes.

Stove-top directions:

  • Cut cheese into cubes.
  • Place cheese and Rotel into pot set on medium.
  • Stir until melted together.

Off to the store to see what I will see.


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