Give Me Some Sugar, Sugah!

….just a bit for my hot cup of tea..not too much…just a demitasse spoonful….that’s all.

How, as a Southerner, can I not like a little sugar? You other Southerners know what I mean. “Give me some sugah” being said to you as a child most often from some of your favorite Aunts & Grandmothers. Not literally “sugar”, but “sugah” which we all know means a kiss…as in “come over here honey and give Aunt Ruth some sugah”. So it is no wonder that many of us have a bit of a sweet tooth. We like our tea sweet, our cakes & pies a bit over the top and question those who do not.

I take a New Southern approach to “sugah”…a little bit goes a long way and if it is an interesting & somewhat exotic sugar  flavored with vanilla beans, ginger or lemon grass then it must be better for me when I stir a very wee amount into a hot cup of tea. Yes?

“My Very Little Recipes for Aromatic & Flavored Sugars for Beverages & Desserts”

#1. Brown Sugar Cubes Scented with Candied Ginger

Fill a glass jar loosely with brown sugar cubes & toss in a handful of candied ginger pieces. Shake well, add tight-fitting lid. After a week or so your scented sugar is ready for a hot cup of  strong black tea.

#2. Lavender & Lemon White Sugar

Into a glass jar filled with white sugar add a few stems of air-dried lavender & fresh lemon peels. Add tight-fitting lid & shake jar every few days. After a week or so the aromas & flavors will meld into a very delicate lemon sugar with hints of lavender. Very good with an Earl Grey tea or sprinkled over shortbread cookies.

#3. Coconut Palm Sugar with Star Anise & Green Cardamom Pods

Combine 1 tablespoon of slightly crushed cardamom pods & a few star anise  with a generous cup of coconut palm sugar for a wonderfully earthy sugar. Put int0 a jar with tight-fitting lid, shake often for a week or so allowing the sugar to become aromatic. I like this sugar with hot tea as well as cold tea over ice cubes.

#4. Very Vanilla Bean Raw Sugar

Not so unusual but oh-so-perfect with afternoon tea and a good book. Cut vanilla bean carefully down the length, open up to reveal beans and stick into a jar of raw sugar. Shake & leave covered for a couple of weeks before using. When you open the lid for the first time the scent is amazing. The perfect topping for a fruit tart or to make sugar-butter toast.

#5. Caster Sugar Scented with Fresh Lemon Grass

Add a few stalks of fresh lemon grass cut into pieces to this superfine cane sugar for a few days, shaking often to keep sugar from clumping, for a delightful sugar that is great dusted over pancakes or cookies or stirred into  hot lemon-zinger tea.

#6. Swedish Pearl Sugar with Cinnamon & Nutmeg

Readily available at most supermarkets in their international food aisle, I have always loved the way it looks, but really never knew what to do with it. I bought some, added a partially grated whole nutmeg & a couple of cinnamon sticks and was loving the aroma immediately. I think I will use this to decorate some simple cocoa sugar cookies for the holidays.

 This blog was inspired by my  collection of sugars from around the world. I found some of them while traveling, some were given to me as gifts and some I found in local international markets. Palm Sugar from Malaysia & Cambodia, White Pearl Sugar from Sweden, Rock Candy Sugar from China, Basterd Sugar from the The Netherlands, Dark Muscovado from the Mauritius, Panela from El Salvador & Piloncillo Sugar from Mexico, as well as Turbinado, White & Caster.

“Be sweet & make every sip count”