Perfect Day for Chai
Oh, it’s a rare snow day here in Albuquerque, yipee! And nothing can diminish the splendor of a novel snow day, not even waking to the sound of the dog vomiting at 6 a.m. (poor Velma)! No school! No work! I’m sitting at my computer (still in my pajamas, how decadent is that?) getting ready to make a nice cup of chai because this is the perfect weather for it. If you’ve never indulged in the spicy tea that originated somewhere in India or parts nearby, it’s worth a try. The “warming spices” (ginger, black pepper, cinnamon) actually incite a glow in the belly and help with circulation, and the health benefits of fennel are too varied to list here; very comforting in a chilly studio with only an iPod and space heater to keep me company. I prefer homemade chai because it’s more flavorful than commercial brands and I can control the sweetness. I’ve posted my favorite recipe below.
Today isn’t all snow and tea, though. I’ve also just listed a few new items in my Etsy store (including the chai-perfect cup above), and will also continue working on a “turtle family” that was recently commissioned. I’ll post pictures of those creatures later this week. Here is a peek at the new listings. Have a great February first.
Boil 5 minutes, then steep 10 minutes:
1 Tbs fennel or anise seed+
6 green cardamom pods+
1 cinnamon stick
1/4″ ginger root, sliced thin
1/4 tsp black pepper corns+
2 bay leaves
7 cups water
+lightly grind together in spice or coffee grinder
Add, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes:
2 Tbs Darjeeling tea
6 Tbs honey or brown sugar
1 cup milk
*Note: I adjust the spices, sugar, and milk to my tastes. Also, I make the spiced tea, strain, and store in the refrigerator, then add milk and sugar per cup because it keeps longer that way. And I sometimes substitute vanilla soy milk (I like the Silk brand) to eliminate dairy… super yum.