Southern Hospitality

photo by happy via
We recently had a family in our neighborhood over to our house for dinner for the first time. I think we all had a good time, but I had some pre-party jitters about being a good Southern host. When I socialize with native Southerners, there's a few things I still am uncertain about:

1) Should I introduce family friends as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or "Mr. Bob and Miss Sally?"
2) When exactly should my daughter be trained to say "yes m'am" ? After every yes?
3) How do I make the tea? I mean, how should I fix the tea?

From my experiences drinking tea around South Carolina, it seems like true Southern tea needs to be sweet enough that you can feel your teeth rotting as you drink it. And recently I saw how it's done; a lady in the local deli was mixing a big batch of tea, and I swear to you it was one part sugar to one part tea.

I like my sugar in my diet to come in cookie and candy form, so I usually "sweeten" my tea with Splenda. I arrived on a recipe that involves 8 cups of water and 4 packets of Splenda. Recently, however, I noticed the Splenda box had a recipe for "Southern Sweet Tea". The ratio of water to Splenda was 5 cups of water to 24 packets of Splenda! Note to self: just give up and buy some soda. I mean Coke.