How did mother-in-laws get such a bad rap? Perhaps my mother-in-law isn’t like most mother-in-laws, but I love my mother-in-law. She’s been present and helpful in raising our two boys; sometimes takes my side in discussions instead of her son’s; and she taught me how to make real iced tea.


Before I met my mother-in-law I would drink iced tea in restaurants or I would buy the instant stuff and mix up a glass at a time. I still drink iced tea in restaurants but am usually dissatisfied with the taste. My children wonder why I even bother ordering the stuff any more because I so rarely like it. The powdery stuff I can no longer drink. My mother-in-law has spoiled me.


I was very happy when my mother-in-law taught me how to make real iced tea. The same tea her mother always made. They lived in Southern Indiana so the tea I learned to make is sweet tea. Although not nearly as sweet as the sweet tea I had in North Carolina last summer. And I have to admit that I use less sugar than my mother-in-law. But I did learn a few tricks: Adding the sugar into the boiling water before the tea bags are added, stirring until the water is completely clear, then adding the tea bags and letting it sit for hours, until it cools to room temperature. The only other tricks are using good filtered water, without that chlorine taste and lots of ice. Yum!


I really look forward to a good glass of iced tea on a hot summer day and most days of the summer you will now see a pitcher of iced tea cooling on my counter. And every time I make a pitcher of iced tea, I think of my mother-in-law and how lucky I am to have gotten one so wonderful.



Iced Tea Recipe:


7 cups near boiling filtered water

1/3 cup granulated sugar (more or less to taste)

8 black tea bags- such as Lipton


Bring water to almost boiling in a teapot or saucepan. Temper your pitcher by filling it with hot tap water until ready to use. When water is near boiling, add to pitcher along with the sugar and stir until water is completely clear. Twist teabags together and place in pitcher dunking a few times to get teabags wet. Let seep for several hours or until room temperature. Add to glasses of ice and enjoy.


I never really thought I cooked by instinct but I think the addition of my new spice rack has brought out my “creative cooking instincts.” Apparently I get this from my dad’s side of the family. I love cooking a variety of ethnic foods so I have a somewhat large assortment of spices which I had in my two spice racks, the cupboard, the drawer and where ever else I could find room. I really wanted something a bit more convenient and user friendly.

I saw what I wanted in an upscale cooking store but after looking into the cost I decided to find an alternative. It took a bit of research and time to find what I needed but I am ecstatic at the results. I found the metal backing board at IKEA. It’s called Imperativ and at the time came in three different sizes. We had to cut ours to fit our space, which I don’t necessarily recommend because it was a pain. The spice tins took a bit of research also because I wanted square ones and the ones at the store were round and were also a bit expensive for the number of tins I needed. I found what I was looking for at and could hardly wait for my shipment to arrive.

It didn’t take me long to fill the 37 tins that I purchased. And although I still have some spice blends in the drawer and the cupboard, most of what I need it quite handy to get to. I now find myself creating my own concoctions based on what I have on hand and what spices appeal to me at the time. Often I will open a spice tin and smell it and see if it “smells” like it would be a good fit for what’s in the pan so far. Sometimes I start with a combination I already know works well from recipes I’ve tried before.

The only problem that this has created is sometimes I make something I absolutely love and there is no way I can replicate it because I didn’t keep track of what and how much I put into it. I suppose there are worse things. Maybe one day I will learn to keep track of this information – just in case.

Hello and welcome! I never thought I’d start a food blog. People have asked me if I would and I always answered with an “I don’t think so.” This response is coming from a couple of places. There are already numerous wonderful food blogs out there and I never really thought I had much to add. It also seemed like it might be more than I was ready to handle technologically. Mind you, I do know how to work a computer, fairly well I like to think, but computer speak is a bit intimidating to me.

But today is the day. For some reason I felt compelled to start one today with little thought other than to figure out which hosting service to use. It began with a story. A short story that I will share with you later in the week. I was looking for a place to submit this short story about food and family and couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I decided to start this blog.

My hope is to make this a sort of community blog. I encourage others to send their stories, thoughts and recipes about their experiences with Food, Friends and Family. These are things I have come to enjoy more and more and I think everyone has a story to tell.

So please bear with me while I learn. I welcome any and all feedback. Blog submissions can be sent to Thanks for visiting. I look forward to hearing from you.