What happened last night? Did winter arrive? For the last several weeks, I've been getting up in the morning and checking the little thermometer in our window and it's been 50°, almost every day. This morning it was 40°. That means it's time to start drinking more tea. Right now I'm having a little homemade chai as I work - the cardamom and ginger, especially, are very warming. It's a great way to start the day, giving your system a gentle wash of warmth that you can actually feel spreading throughout your body. It also makes even the most rare home-chef feel like they're cooking up something nourishing for themselves. And you know that I encourage more cooking at home. So go ahead, brew up a batch, and warm up. Here's the recipe: Chai Makes 2 servings 1 cup water, 2 cups milk or soy milk 4-6 cardamom pods, broken open 3 thin slices fresh ginger 2 tea bags (regular or decaf black tea like Celestial Seasonings Caffeine Free Tea, or even mint works well) honey, to taste In a small saucepan, bring water and/or milk, cardamom pods and ginger to a simmer, add tea bags and adjust heat so that it does not boil over. Simmer for a few minutes, until the tea bags infuse the liquid. Add honey if you want a little sweetness.
If you want to try this and don't have cardamom pods handy in their pantry, I WILL SEND YOU SOME. That's right, all Apartment Therapy and SK Cooks readers who want to try making their own chai but don't have any cardamom pods, we'll send you some in the mail to get you started. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address. New Yorkers can buy cardamom pods (and great teas) at Kalustyan's at 123 Lexington (28th) or for better prices, next door at Sinha Trading Company (121 Lexington). Be warm, and enjoy! (Photo: Steve Miller, Pic: Cassat) skgr