Monday, February 21, 2011

Perfect day for a cuppa chai

Beautiful snow today. A sprinkle of dancing, whisper-light flakes, straight out of a fairy tale. After a couple of days of spring-like temperatures, the cold felt like a surprise. It was a perfect day for chai. (For my southern readers who're enjoying almost summery temperatures today, try pouring the chai over ice for iced spiced chai instead.)

Spiced chai
Adapted from a variety of internet sources

2 cups milk
2 cups water
8 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
8 cardamom pods
1 slice fresh ginger root (approximately 1/8") diced
5 black peppercorns
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tea bags (black tea...we used Twinings Irish Breakfast)

Crush cardamom pods to crack them open. Pour milk and water into a small saucepan. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and peppercorns and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat a little, stir in sugar, and boil for 5 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat. Add tea bags, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour through a strainer into a teapot. I like to squeeze the teabags against the side of the pot before I remove them.

The above teapot, by the way, is after we'd already drunk a few cups. We've been brewing up more time- and attention-intensive warm drinks lately. Perhaps it's just an outgrowth of my attempts to live more mindfully. I'm finding that the rewards of homemade chai or slow-poured coffee far outweigh the small amount of extra effort required.

And speaking of living mindfully, I recently realized that it's a sad fact that I don't have time to write two blogs. Not if I want to write them really well. My initial idea was that perhaps through learning to live more mindfully, I can find my most authentic self in the suburbs, amidst the laundry and the extracurriculars. I think I underestimated how much time laundry and extracurriculars require.

The idea of mindful living and exploring its many facets still intrigue me. Perhaps some day I'll have that precious resource of time to devote to it. So while 2011 will still be my year to live mindfully, I've decided to fold my Year of Living Mindfully blog into the Bluebonnet in Beantown blog. All appropriate articles will be labeled as "year of living mindfully" in the Bluebonnet blog.

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