Posted by: Rachel | December 26, 2017

on a cold winter’s night…

We’ve managed to sidestep winter for a few years now here in central Texas. Finally, though, it is upon us. Temperatures are in the low 40s, there is a damp raw tang in the air, we haven’t seen the sun for a couple of days, and we actually had a snowfall that lasted over 12 hours before completely melting.

OK, you can stop laughing now. I too have seen winter, and for many of us even this nasty damp cold snap doesn’t really qualify. Still, this is as close as I want to get, thank you very much! It gives me a nice excuse to turn on the oven and actually enjoy the idea of heating up the house.

And it gives me an excuse (as if I needed one) to drink more hot tea.

Now understand, I usually consider myself a coffee drinker. Nothing like a nice cup of a good dark French roast to kick-start a day. But in the afternoon I do like a cup of tea.

I often find myself drawn to flavors and combinations that my British grandma would never have considered to be “tea”. I like my tea spicy!

The first time I had chai was many years ago after a yoga class. The instructor had a thermos full of something delicious, hot, savory/sweet and highly restorative, and shared tiny cupfuls with the whole class. I was enchanted.

This was nothing like the orange-clove spiced tea that was the only not-black tea I then knew. Nor was it anything like the dark smoky lapsang souchong I occasionally tried.

It was milky, sweet, invigorating, complex, peppery; I was intrigued and smitten. And I wanted more. I begged the recipe and was astonished at how simple it was.

All it involved was a base of black tea and the addition of cracked spices: ginger, cardamon, black pepper, a tiny bit of clove, and some sugar.

Now, of course, there are a million chai recipes out there. And there are chai products of all descriptions. There are bag teas, powdered teas, concentrates, all sorts of concoctions available, and you can probably find something that you like fairly easily. Still, tweaking a recipe or product to suit your mood or palate is easy and can give you a product that is even more pleasing.

I like ginger. I add it to all sorts of things. I like candied ginger in my oatmeal, pickled ginger in my morning smoothie (yes, really), ginger in a vegetable/chicken/beef stir fry, and, of course, I rely heavily on ginger in my chai.

I have no idea about any possible health benefits. If you have any questions or concerns, check with you doctor before upping the ginger in your diet. All I know is that I love the flavor, the curious bite/sweet peppery zing it adds. And, if it turns out that it is good for me, so much the better!


So there you have it. I think I’m going to wrap this up so I can wrap my hands around a nice warm mug of ginger tea. Nothing to it but a few slices of fresh ginger, same of lemon, some honey, and fresh boiled water. Warms all the way down, the steam is comforting to the sinuses, and oh, it smells lovely!

A happy, healthy, safe, warm New Year to all… see you in January!



  1. I love tea also. So happy you are sounding well. So smart to get the joints replaced while you are young. After a shoulder rebuild and a knee replacement, when I found I was allergic to all pain killers, even Tylenol…I have put off the other knee replacement and hip replacement, hoping against hope that other pain killers have been discovered. If you haven’t lived through a knee replacement with no pain med…you haven’t lived.

    Much love to you and wishing you a speedy recovery. See you in Jan.

  2. I’m a tea drinker and one of the hotels we have stayed at in Austria always has a piece of fresh ginger next to their tea making station. That and a bit of lemon makes for a nice way to start the day.

  3. I love me some chai. One of these days I’ll have to try your home made version.

  4. I was hoping for the chai recipe. . .

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