D.I.Y. Kitchen: chai tea
It’s a cold, cloudy day, the kind that allows you to catch your breath in the middle of unbridled spring euphoria. The apricot blossoms have withered away, revealing the secret of tiny green fruits. Plums are up next. Col and I are on the couch flipping through a book on bats.
Rose is twirling around the stage of our living room, a crown of barrettes attached to her head. She belts out the Cat Stevens song, “if you want to sing out, sing out/if you want to be free, be free/there’s a million ways to be/you know that there are” like she’s been nominated spokesperson of the new Facebook group, I had a Hippie Childhood. “Watch me guys!” She twirls on the tile floor. “What should I sing next – Corner Grocery Store or Yellow Submarine?”
Col chooses Yellow Submarine and Rose warbles out, tunelessly, the first few bars, swaying and giggling around the living room like her and Cat Stevens shared a smoke in the park. Then she freezes. “Don’t watch me,” she says, suddenly horrified. And instead of saying, “wait – aren’t you the most enthusiastic member of your own fan club?” Col and I turn back to the bat book.
There’s the greater fruit bat (5 foot wingspan!), the vampire bat (eats blood!), the fisherman bat (eats fish!), and our very own little brown bat (actual proper name: little brown bat) who flaps above our backyard barbecues like a late guest hurrying to arrive.
“There’s so many bats,” Col sighs happily.
“There’s a million ways to be/you know that there are,” Rose pipes in.
Which is how I feel about motherhood, and life, and chai. Whoa. Chai. Did I pull that transition off okay?
And really, there are a million ways to prepare chai. My chai recipe is simple and tastes like sweet and spicy met at the altar of your stove. This recipe has 4 ingredients (not including honey or black tea) and I make it in huge batches so I can have more jars in my fridge and because it lasts for weeks.
Do you drink chai? I’m in love with its bold flavors, its creaminess and its sneaky medicinal value. These herbs, together, are a digestive powerhouse; also circulatory and anti-viral.
the whole gang
(makes 1 1/2 gallons)
cinnamon chips 2 0z
cardamom pods 20z
ginger, chopped 2 oz
black or green tea, 5 tbsp or 8 tea bags
1 cup honey (or more…or less…there’s a million ways to be…)
1 1/2 gallons water
1) Simmer (don’t boil) herbs in 1 1/2 gallons of water for 1 1/2 hours, but not more (the longer you simmer, the more the cloves take their cloveness to the next dimension, which is not necessarily a good thing)
2) At end of simmer, turn off heat, stir in honey and black tea. Steep tea for 5-10 minutes. Strain and bottle in fridge. Lasts for 3 weeks.
3) Important: when warming up chai to drink, mix it with equal parts milk (cow, goat, yak, rice, soy) to creamify, mellow and complement the chai.
tea bags high-fiving
for the love of jars!