Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tea and garden dreaming

I found this recipe earlier this week. I have been tilting at windmills when it comes to chai. I have tried much and hadn't found anything I liked. The NYT recipe was obscenely simple. So of course I had to complicate it....

I knew the tea I was using (something from India brought to me by one of the residents I work with) wasn't going to produce a strong enough brew in the time given. So I used 5 t. tea to 4 (ish) cups water. I added 3 cardamom pods (crushed/chopped), 4 slices of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, about 4 cloves and a few red pepper flakes and about 1 1/2 T. sugar. I added 3/4 c. milk cuz I like it milky. I actually simmered per the directions. Shocking. It turned out pretty well. I drank it all and now have a total caffeine buzz. The brew wasn't perfect, but definitely on the right track. It wasn't quite as rich as I would like. I think I will try simmering the spices first for a few minutes then adding the tea. I would like to avoid the over brewed tea bitterness but get more from the spices. A bit more milk might help as well.

And because currently, everything relates to the garden, I am thinking of growing some bergamot for my own tea flavoring, which could be a nice little addition. Renee's is also selling seed for hibiscus for tea, which could be great as well (and while you are there, check out some of the spectacular lavender varieties, not to mention some golden beets, a trio of melons, and other fancy stuff). I have many many plans for the coming year. If 30% of them come to fruition, it will be a bloody miracle.

One of them includes selling off my extra seedlings - probably cheap since I just need to pay for my habit.... I LOVE starting seeds and even with our big garden, I can start WAY more than I need in the basement. Shoot me an email if you want to be on the list for leftovers.

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