Monday, March 1

Chai Tea and Astronomy

Mondays are a bit hectic for me. Today I was in class from 8 am to 8 pm. Fortunately I was able to squeeze a small nap into the day, to keep me going!

In my evening class, the editor of Astronomy Magazine was a guest speaker. There were some interesting facts that he presented to us. Did you know that the universe is in a constant state of expansion? And that the rate of expansion is accelerating? Well, its true, and its mind boggling. Also, there will be a meteor shower in April. It is called Lyrids, and will be most visible from the 21st through the 22nd.

I did not prepare any exciting recipes for meal time today, but Jill and I are currently sipping on a mug of my dad's chai recipe. He loves to make it for me (it is kind of our way of bonding... I sit in the kitchen, while he makes me tea. it is most wonderful). And the smell of chai is a great smell to have in your apartment throughout the night.

The recipe itself, was taught to my dad, by my aunt who is from India. When I was in India this winter, I enjoyed about 5 cups of chai DAILY! You might think this would cause a chai-overdose, but for me, it was just what I needed. And my dad's recipe is not far from the recipe they used in India. For this recipe, you can use either cardamom or ginger. In India, ginger is primarily used in the summer months, while cardamom is used in the winter months. The main difference that I noticed was that in India, the tea is mostly milk, with a small amount of water. Here I boil the tea leaves in water, and add a small amount of milk to it. I hope you can find time to enjoy this recipe!

These flowers were on our tea table in India, grown in the garden at the school that we visited. A bright and delightful surprise, to our daily tea time.

Dad's Chai Tea
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon of Red Label tea
1 tablespoon of Green Label tea
4 green cardamom seed pods, crushed

(or) 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
Sugar to taste
A splash of milk or cream or soy milk

1. Pour water into small sauce pan. Spoon Red Label tea, Green Label tea and cardamom or ginger into water.

2. Bring water to a boil. Allow to simmer for about 3-5 minutes (depending on how strong you want it).

3. Strain tea into a mug, about 3/4 of the way full. The left over tea can either be re-boiled (do this the same day) or composted.

4. Add sugar to taste, and milk to fill the mug. Enjoy!

This is a great drink to share with friends, and it is easy, so easy! If you plan on making a lot, you can prepare a 1-part-Red Label, 1-part-Green Label mix, and just scoop that into the water. Also, experimenting with other types of tea flavors is fun. Rooibos is a nice add. Last night, we added a bit of vanilla extract, and it was great.

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