Food is best as a social event.
In such a solitary society, with individual pre-packaged portions and single-serving friends, it’s easy to lose sight of that. Especially when you have no one to cook for or cook with. We go to restaurants to remind ourselves that we are not alone, but ultimately I think that one of the reason for such sever feelings of isolation I often hear expressed and sometimes feel myself, begins in our own homes.
Just take a look in your refrigerator and it will tell you a lot about your life. I try to just look in the vegetable drawer of mine and ignore the rest. My spice cabinet is my only succor.
Ask yourself, does your food look like this?
Do you shop in places like this?
Do you make things like this?
Our food choices are, to some extent, culture bound. But they don’t have to be.
Food is one thing we have control over in our lives. One thing, whether we eat alone or together, that can revive, restore and recreate our worlds. One thing that can simultaneously connect us to our culture or our society and to the natural world. The table is one place where we need not choose between tradition and modernity, simplicity or complexity.
Living alone, I sometimes have to remind myself that cooking is not about Iron Chef, lavish dinners, fancy recipes for your blog. If you are looking for that here, you had best click on. Cooking is a metaphor for your life and all life. Sometimes it’s just about a warm cup of Chai.
PREPARATION METHOD FOR 1-CUP CHAI:
In a clean deep dish container, put 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup milk (Half-and-Half), 1 full teaspoon black tea and spices as follows.
- 1 pod cardomon
- 2 pea size fresh ginger (mulched)
- 1-2 big size whole black pepper
- 1/8 to 1/6 cinnamon stick
On a hard piece of paper, crush all of them together. Immediately put this mix in dish with water and milk. Keep them on heater plate or gas range for about 15 minutes, keep stirring continuously. Let the Chai build up a nice skin on top. Add sugar to your taste. Drain on strainer and serve in a cup.
The idea is to burn water from the tea while mixing the spices into the leftover tea. You may have to experiment with the quantity of water and milk to the final quantity of tea. In my experience, 2:1 ratio works better, i.e. I use 2 cups of (milk + water) for making one cup of chai. 1 cup of water is burned in the process. This provides smooth taste of chai.
Note: I like to use Taj Mahal Black Tea or, sometimes, Lapsang Suchong for a richer flavor.