April Showers Bring Tea and Flowers April 15 2024

southern sweet tea cheese straws and spritz cookies outside on vintage tablecloth with chicken

Mother’s Day Tea Inspiration

By Elizabeth Ritchie Sherrill

As we find ourselves in the middle of April already, it’s easy to get carried away in the approaching whimsy of summer. If winter is a time for rest and reflection, summer is easily the time for fun and action, and spring is the slow ramping up of the latter. In the true Southern way, we recommend a slowdown. Set aside the calendar for a weekend, and let spring be soothing and still as much as you can.

Just in time for Mother’s Day planning, we are offering the ultimate slowdown. Why not sip on sweet tea in the sunshine with some light appetizers that anyone can throw together? It's the perfect time to be together and plan for all the exciting days ahead.

Grab a vintage tablecloth, your favorite sweet tea, add some Heath’s Cheese Straws and Britt’s Spritz Cookies for the perfect salty and sweet snack, and try one or two of these for the perfect picnic for mom, or any spring occasion:

Chad’s Chicken Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 6-8 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 stick butter
  • Garlic salt
  • 3 cups chopped celery
  • 3 Tbsp celery salt
  • 2 Tbsp celery seed
  • 2 Tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2-3 cups mayonnaise


  1. Sprinkle chicken breast with garlic salt and place in large pot, add butter and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 45-60 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool COMPLETELY (overnight is good).
  2. Remove chicken from broth (you can save and use broth later).
  3. Shred the chicken in large bowl.
  4. Add celery, celery salt, celery seed and poultry seasoning and mix well (your hands work best!).
  5. Add mayonnaise and mix well.
  6. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate 6-8 hours before serving.
  7. Adding green or red grapes before serving is good!!

Heath's Pimento Cheese

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 small jar of diced pimentos
  • 6-oz cream cheese
  • 12-oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • Duke's mayonnaise


  1. Mix together black pepper, celery salt, paprika, pimentos and cream cheese in a good-size bowl.
  2. Add grated sharp cheddar cheese and mix.
  3. Add Duke's mayonnaise a tablespoon at a time until it will spread to your liking.
  4. Adjust spices to taste.

Heath says, "Feta is a delicious addition. An ounce of bourbon can make it fancier, or add a spoonful of Durkee’s Special Sauce, because that's what Mom would have done."

Southern Sweet Tea

The secret to Southern Sweet Tea is in the baking soda! It eliminates any bitterness from the tea.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 pinch of baking soda
  • 6 tea bags
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 6 cups of cool water


  1. Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into 2 cups of boiling water.
  2. Add tea bags, cover and steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags, stir in sugar until dissolved, and add 6 cups of cool water.