Friday, December 3, 2010

homemade chai

I have the most vivid memory from first grade, when my mom picked me up from school, and we headed up to Rolling Acres mall for the night.  It was a few weeks before Christmas, and we did some shopping.  I can’t recall where we ate or what we bought.  But I remember sitting in the front seat of that brown station wagon, feeling so special and the drive home in the dark like it was yesterday.  Well, one of my most favorite things as a parent is to plan such memories for our kids.  So, today we’ll pick up Miles from school, and head over to Fort Wayne.  We’ll take in the lights along the way, belt out Christmas carols in the car, sit in a coffee shop, drink our hot beverages of choice, make memories. 

Memories don’t need to cost money or be elaborate.  But they ought to be intentional.  It can be as simple as traditions like Friday night pizza or Saturday morning pancakes or Sunday night popcorn or New Year’s Eve fondue.  And, they don’t have to be about food either (although, lots of ours are :)  Evenings gathered around for a Bible story and songs.  Scratching backs at bedtime, letting them ask any little question on their mind.  Morning prayers.  Books read on a lap.  Drives around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.  People gathered, welcoming, serving, caring. 

Wishing you all a memorable weekend!  
Ours will be spent unplugged :)  
Until then, here are some sweet memories from the week past…
Jude getting to hold his "teeny tiny baby"
After-dinner puppet shows with friends for the grown-ups

Decking the halls!

Chai for two during Ju Ju’s afternoon nap 

Homemade Chai
For 2 cups of chai:
Measure out 2 mug-fulls of milk, pour in pan.  Add 2 heaping soup spoon-fulls of loose-leaf black tea (I use Taj Mahal black tea from the Indian grocery store in Ft. Wayne).  Add 2 spoon-fulls of sucanat (or honey or sugar).  Heat over medium-high, stirring.  Add 2 generous pinches of Tea Masala (a chai spice mix from the Indian grocery, that includes cardamom, cinnamon, ginger - I've also just used cardamom and cinnamon before).  Heat and stir until the caramel color you will see below.  Strain and enjoy :)  

Another way, for larger groups:
Serves 6
Combine 6 cups of water and 6 tea bags, bring to boil, then let steep for 5 minutes.  Take out teabags and add:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup honey
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom seeds, crushed (or 1/2 teaspoon of powdered cardamom)
Heat on low (do not let milk boil) for 20 minutes.  Strain and serve.
Source: Ms. Friedbaharaj

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