Baby it’s cold outside

Down here in the South we’re experiencing that thing that happens around Thanksgiving, which is that our nighttime lows can drop into the 20’s & 30’s and then it’ll get up to 80 the next day, then the following few nights are in the 60s and then it rains and then the temps drop again and then everybody gets sick. Because we never learn.

These amounts are rough estimates, because in reality, I never measure when I’m cooking (baking is another story).

Traditional Chai tea:
put 2 qts (8 cups) of water in a pot and set to boiling.

Add 15-20 whole cloves and boil for about 1 minute

Add 20 black peppercorns, 20 split cardamom pods, 6 sticks of cinnamon, and about a dozen 1/4-inch slices of fresh ginger root. Simmer for about 2-3 hours. Alternately, you can do all of this in a large crock-pot on high for 4-5 hours. The crock-pot option minimizes evaporation too.

OPTIONAL: Remove from heat (or turn off crock pot) and add 1/2 teaspoon of black tea (roughly the same as one tea bag) and let steep for 10 minutes. I say this is optional because it is very easy to bitter your entire batch if it’s not good quality tea and/or it’s allowed to steep for too long. The Chai tastes wonderful even without the tea added.

Then strain out all the solid bits. Serve warm with honey and milk (or soymilk). You can put the remainder in the refrigerator for up to a week or even freeze it if you make a much bigger batch, and just reheat when you want it. It has detoxing qualities, and also boosts immune system function which is especially important now that we’re in cold & flu season in the northern hemisphere. It’s spicy and peppery and I can attest that it clears out your sinuses too! Smilie: :)

Category(s): cooking & baking

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