Saturday, September 29, 2012

Homebrewed Chai Latte

Oh yes I did. And the aroma wafting through the house is nothing short of divine.

I have prepared my first batch of homemade chai in my new Little White Kitchen.

Remember back in July of 2011 when I posted my original chai recipe to Dance While You Cook?

Do you also remember how I gave you general directions for making this homemade chai and told you to experiment around to find the perfect blend to suite your taste?

Now that I'm all moved-in to my new home out in the country, I wish to share with you my favorite blend for this homemade Masala Chai. I have been making this recipe for years and the mix of spices I'm about to describe make for a cup of perfection each and every time.

Judith's Masala Chai Concentrate


cinnamon sticks, the 4-inch sticks, crushed into chips
3 TBS whole cardamom pods, crushed
2 TBS whole cloves
2 TBS fennel, crushed
   or 4 whole star anise
   or both
2 TBS whole black peppercorns
3 TBS chopped ginger, crystallized
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or less if spicy drinks aren't your thang
5 heaping TBS loose-leaf Assam black tea, caffeinated or decaf—whatever your preference
16 cups water

The Preparation Method:

First and foremost, have everything measured out and ready to go.

Then, in a large stock pot, dry-roast the first five ingredients over high heat: 8 crushed sticks cinnamon, 3 TBS cardamom, 2 TBS cloves, 2 TBS fennel, and 2 TBS peppercorns.

Roast only until fragrant. Do not smoke the spices. They should not change color. Usually two or three minutes max.

Immediately pour water into the hot pot with spices. Keep heat on high. Add chopped ginger.

Boil with vigor until the water has reduced to half. For me this is usually about 30 minutes or so. I have an easy method for determining when you've reached the halfway mark. Either it's too late, or I'm just plan lazy, so I'm not going to tell you about that here. Refer to my original chai post in July 2011 to learn more about this technique my Dad taught me when learning to make Lithuanian Krupnikas. But I digress. Krupnikas is for another day, another time.

Back to the chai. Once the water level reduces to the halfway point it is time to remove the pot from the heat source, add 5 heaping TBS loose-leaf Assam black tea and 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper. Mix well and let steep for five minutes. Don't let it steep a second longer. The tea will become bitter and that will ruin the whole effort.

Immediately strain the spices and tea contents from the chai concentrate. Combine the hot chai liquid to the 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir well. Cap tightly. Refrigerate. The concentrate keeps for one week (give or take) in the refrigerator.

To serve: Use one part chai concentrate to one part milk or milk alternative. I'm crazy for Almond Milk in this chai latte. Heat on the stovetop. Do not allow to boil. And done.

I sure hope you enjoy these fall mornings with a warm cup of home brewed chai as much as I do.

Instead of a song tonight, I thought I'd attach photos of a few scenes from my new location.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Music for You Kjersti

Hey Everybody.

I know it's been awhile since my last post.

Lots happening over here in The Little White Kitchen. In fact, I have a new little white kitchen. Hence the lack of posting over the last many seasons.

Moving takes it out of ya', I tell you. Still lots happening, no time for posting just yet. More to come soon. Or later. Or not. Not sure yet.

But for now, I promised Kjersti that I'd share great music whenever I find it. Somehow I've never been exposed to this artist before last weekend when I saw him preform at a festival and I stumbled upon this song on Spotify and have now listened to it 15 times over and keep hitting repeat. That makes this song Kjersti worthy.

Girl, from across that great big ocean, this one's for you...

Amos Lee - Supply and Demand

YouTube link: Amos Lee - Supply and Demand

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