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Food for Life

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2012
Posted in All Features

Chai tea syrup

The holiday season is upon us already, and Thanksgiving has come and gone. I have to actually think seriously now about getting Christmas presents for my kids, who tell me daily different things they are hoping for.

Food is a huge focus this time of year, and it is time to indulge now and worry about it later, when January comes and we have nothing else to do.

Not only do we indulge in food over the holidays, but also drinks. It’s easy to not think about the calories, fat, and sugar consumed through all of the wine, cider, beer, hot toddies, soda, hot chocolate, or punch we drink during all of the parties and get-togethers from now through New Year’s Eve.

I will do my share of drinking delicious drinks over the holidays. In fact, I am drinking hot apple cider right now, and it’s really hitting the spot. But I have always loved hot drinks. Every morning starts out with two cups of sweet coffee, and I can’t really start my day without it. It’s not just the caffeine I’m addicted to; the warmth and the taste comfort me.

I love tea as well, and I own a wide variety of kinds; green, black, oolong, and all different flavors, but chai is my favorite. The warm spicy aroma is perfect, especially when made into a chai latte with warm milk. You can buy your own chai syrup in order to make a latte at home, but that can get expensive. This recipe is easy to make, and saves a lot of money. It also makes for a nice gift, in a glass jar, with instructions on how to prepare it.

My daughter, who was upset with me for not putting up Halloween decorations, asked if we could at least decorate for Christmas. “Yes, we can,” I told her. “I promise.”

We have a small tree, stockings, and window clings, and if something that small makes them so happy, I will happily join in. We have already started watching Christmas movies, so I think an afternoon of putting up the tree, decorating the house, and settling down for some good Christmas movies sounds like a nice idea.

And I think I will make a chai latte so we can smell the spices while we work.

Chai Tea Syrup

3 cups water

3 bags black tea

1 tsp cinnamon

Sprinkle of ground cloves

½ tsp ginger

1 bay leaf

3 tbsp vanilla

Honey to taste

Boil the water in a medium saucepan. Toss in the three tea bags and simmer while stirring. After the tea steeps for a few minutes, add the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and the bay leaf. The smell in your home will be amazing, I promise. Stir with a wooden spoon until it gets thick. It might take a while, but keep stirring! It’s worth it. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and add the vanilla. Let it cool, pour into a glass bottle with a top, and store in the refrigerator. Add it to milk of any kind to taste and drink it hot or cold.

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