Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sweet Tea, Super Dr. Pepper and Patti Rhea

Yep boys and girls, that’s our lesson today. We lived in Seattle, Washington for 15 years. Contrary to what the natives there tell you, yes, it does rain a lot and it is cloudy a lot more. This is the birthplace of Starbucks coffee and for good reason; it’s the only way to stay awake on days in the middle of winter, when the sun doesn’t actually rise due to the clouds. Not only are we addicted to $5 cups of coffee, but also to fine drive-through and sit down coffee establishments where you get to know everyone in the hood. The coffee culture hasn’t hit the South as hard as it has hit much of the country. I think there are several reasons for this;

  1. Insane amounts of sunshine (to my eyes at least).
  2. A slower pace of life. It’s hard to chat while your teeth are chattering from a coffee high. (Or from cold for that matter.)
  3. Sweet Tea.
  4. Super powered Dr. Pepper.
Let’s start with sweet tea. Most folks in the North who have never ventured into ‘The South’ have not had the absolute pleasure of Sweet tea. Florida doesn’t count. I had no idea what I was missing. This is not your ‘stir- into-water jar of instant sweetened iced tea, this is brewed tea with a sugar syrup. Anyone making sweet tea worth his or her salt does NOT use instant tea. And it is SWEET! It’s also really good. You do have an option in restaurants, you can ask for ½ sweet tea, which could still knock a few cavities into your mouth. There are few things I’ve tried that are more refreshing on a hot day.

Number 2 has been dealt with earlier (see: Ordering Breakfast in the South)
Number 4, super caffeinated soft drinks, are really popular down there. This hasn’t caught on in the north so much because of copious amounts of coffee and a very slight (very slight) more care with sugary soft drinks. Also the power drinks, (those are the ones with caffeine, vitamins and amino acids that cause the whole body to go into overdrive), are a little more prevalent in the north, again I think due to the weather and pace of life in general.

Which brings us to Patti Rhea our real estate broker from Crye-Leike Realty. Patti loves purple and corgies. She has introduced us to several wonders of Chattanooga including Libby Lou’s, the best Bar-B-Que in town and super-charged Dr. Pepper.

Patti is a true child of the South. She ordered sweet tea full strength and then, as we watched in horror and amazement, she added sugar! Patti is our source for local custom questions and a paragon of
Southern Manners. She has been a wall of patience and good humor while we’ve stumbled our way around our first large house purchase and move across the country. Our children think Miss Patti is an extra aunt that we’ve only just met and she lets my youngest nest in her hair.

Every once in a while Patti comes out with a Southernism that we have to stick in our ‘Future Use’ dictionary, here’s today’s;

“There were so many people you couldn’t stir ‘em with a stick”

Hi Patti! And thank you from all of us!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a great blog, great writing.
Just came back from Miss, NC and TN, I loved every second.
thank you from Israel!