Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mmmm, chai!

We did a run to Wal-Mart (for Lebanon bologna) and the Commissary today. Kids were pretty well behaved so I can't complain too much. Back home to put groceries away, Will started playing Wii but with lots of crying and whining when I said it was time for lunch. I thought to take the kids to the pool but everyone was acting up while we ate and there was lots of fighting and plenty more tears. Ugh. I passed on the pool idea. I can only handle so much of it. The girls went outside with me to play in the yard...I guess they played out for close to an hour. I gave them my camera and they made funny videos and took silly photos. I read my "Virginia Gardner" magazine for awhile then I started getting sleepy around 2:00 so I came in to try this chai recipe I saw on my Ravelry "Indian Cooking" group. Very yummy. See below and try it for's not difficult. I may have scalded the milk as there is a slightly funny milky taste. Maybe next time I will make the tea and add the milk into my cup only. I'm not a fan of milk as it is.

I finished the All Spun Up roving yesterday afternoon. Didn't ply it yet since I wasn't sure how long the singles had to sit and "rest". I'm hoping to find out Mary's take on it tonight and get it plied up tonight. I thought my spinning class was over last week but I re-enrolled for the "advanced" version and now I'll be going out to Suffolk for another 8 weeks. I really like the women I spin with, I just hate driving after dark!

Hoping to hit the beach tomorrow late afternoon. The plan is to go out for a few hours for the kids to play and for us to use the metal detector a bit. Then dinner somewhere on the boardwalk. Can't wait!

Here's the chai recipe. Courtesy of AlissaHall.

4 cups water

2 cups milk (whole, 2%, or what have you)

15-ish cardamom pods (sometimes more if I want it extra spicy)

2-3 Tsps. freshly shaved ginger (you can use 2 tsps. dried ginger if absolutely necessary, but it isn’t as good)

10 whole cloves

dash of cinnamon

4 tea bags of your favorite black/breakfast tea (6 bags for the caffeine addicted)

Steep to perfection and strain to serve to get the bits and pieces separated. The longer the steeping time the better since it helps the cardamom pods, ginger and clove to really let go of their spicy goodness. I tend to whisk it often to keep the milk from scalding while it steeps on the stovetop. My preference is for rich chai, so I like whole milk and/or will substitute some of the water with additional milk in the recipe.

I believe firmly in taking this tea with sugar or sweetener, but my husband prefers his chai unsweetened. So I did not include the sugar/sweetener to taste in the recipe, but I wouldn’t dream of drinking my chai any other way!

My favorite options that I often add depending on my mood:

-splash of heavy cream to the pot, for dessert-y richness

-honey instead of sugar, for sweetener with extra flavor

-dash of freshly ground black pepper, for the spicy lover in you

-healthy pinch (2 tsps?) of fennel seeds, just because it makes it good

I have heard, but haven’t tried, a star of anise can be added to the pot as well for a licorice spice undertone for your chai.

I just had to take the opportunity to use my Bridgewater teapot and matching beaker for this tea! It is usually only used when I have company but tea-drinking friends have been hard to come by here in VA. Mo and Trish live too far away for afternoon tea like we used to do in Iceland. Bah!!!

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