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Sweet Leaf

sweet tea black sabbath butthole surfers
“And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend, would you be sure and tell her – Satan!”

Theme song by Butthole Surfers “Sweet Loaf” from Locust Abortion Technician
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The theme here is my favorite Butthole Surfers song. Yes, it’s a sort of cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” in as much as the Surfers could ever actually do covers. It’s almost closer to parody while somehow actually surpassing the overall “rock god” posturing of the original. I loved putting this on as a pick in my college record store days as the incredibly quiet intro builds to the best first line of any rock song ever (quoted above) and the Surfers launch into 5 minutes of straight-up psychedelic metal insanity. The art-rock-punk-psychedelia of Gibby Haynes & Co. should have been more appreciated in its day, but perhaps the band name stood in the way of greater fame. I’m almost certain that was the plan.

Does anyone really need a  recipe for sweet tea? As the son of a Southern family, and given my experience in the North, my answer is yes. Now, I’m not saying all Yankees can’t make sweet tea, just that most don’t understand the actual concept. Southern sweet tea is not tea with sugar. It’s not some homemade version of that beverage marketed by Arizona. It’s about black tea, traditionally Luzianne but Lipton will work, steeped in slightly sweetened water. Don’t wring those tea bags out or it’ll get bitter. Pour in a pitcher or jar and top off with cold water. It’s a subtle sweetness, just enough to cut the tea tannins, but mostly a crisp clean tea. I happen to be a firmly anti-lemon wedge person, but, hey, you do you. I do, however, recommend a shot of bourbon if you’re looking for a more adult beverage.

Southern-style sweet tea
Makes about 2 quarts

1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
8 tea bags (Luzianne if you can find it – otherwise Lipton)

In a heavy pan, combine water and sugar. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Once water is boiling, remove it from the heat and add tea bags. Steep tea for 1 hour.

Remove tea bags, but do not squeeze them, and pour into a 2-quart pitcher. Top with cold water. 

Brooklyn Variation: Substitute turbinado for the granulated sugar 

Posted in bushwick, comfort food, drink, food, foodmusic, music, musicfood, recipe, tea, vegetarian

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