Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell


 Icy’s Sweet Southern Tea and Strawberry Pie

Over the generations, we Southerners have learned to love the pleasures of life when they appear.  That’s why we put so much stock in the sweet treat at the end of a meal.  It can be a simple bowl of ice cream or a decorated slice of strawberry pie.

Dessert is like the “happily ever after” that closes out a Disney fairy tale.

Icy’s Sweet Southern Tea

10 original Tetley tea bags (I use 4 of the large bags)

2 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 fresh lemon, cut in slices and squeezed a little

Simmer tea bags for 10 minutes. Put your sugar and lemon in a gallon pitcher. Then pour hot tea over the sugar and lemon. Stir until all of the sugar has melted. Then finish filling the gallon pitcher with water. You can not sweeten COLD tea unless you use a “ton” of sugar.

Andy’s Note:  My grandmother Icy’s sweet Southern tea made its beginning in Piedmont, Ala.many years ago. Everyone talked about Icy’s tea. She made her tea really sweet and she thought that you just had to use Tetley tea. 

Fresh tea was made in her kitchen every morning. It was real cold for lunch and dinner. In the last 25 years, I have made and served enough of this tea to fill my pool.

The teachers at Gaston School loved my tea and I made it for every event. One teacher served this tea from a punch bowl for a bridal shower.  

When we have our 411 yard sale at Mary Virginia’s house, some people have stopped by just for the tea.

Pat Sherrill, the honey man and one of my biggest supporters, sends everyone to try my tea.

Strawberry Pie

1 quart hulled and washed strawberries

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 baked pie shell

Put 1/2 of berries in a cooled pie shell. Mash the other 1/2 berries with a potato masher. Mix crushed berries with cornstarch and water. Add lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Cook until thick. After it has cooled, pour over berries. Top with Cool Whip.

Andy’s Note: This has to be the first strawberry pie that I make when fresh strawberries are in season.

The crushing of half of the strawberries makes this pie so good and a little different. Cindy Johnston made two beautiful strawberry pies. I love the way she did her topping.

She did not cover her pie completely with the topping Cindy left enough room around the edges to see her strawberry filling. I always do this with my cream pies. Not only is it just really pretty; it answers the question, “What kind of pie is this?”

I can just imagine our older generations sitting on porches, drinking cold sweet Southern tea and singing some of the old hymns: Faith of our Fathers, Bringing in the Sheaves, Living with Jesus!

Happy Cooking,

Andy (Andrea) Bedwell

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at Little Faces Doll Shop, Alabama Gift Company, and the Messenger on Broad Street.

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