Sat, Dec 8th - 9:20AM
Electric Blanket Hunkering & Holiday Traditions
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Winter has truly descended, shivvvvver. Actually I'm exaggerating, though it does get a bit cool on a boat if it stays very cold for any length of time (no insulation). Ah but the views. Our neighbor decorates our boat every year. One year we didn't decorate and she decided to stop that from becoming a habit. She made decorating our boat her present to us. Cool, huh? How many of you have neighbors who volunteer to decorate your house? Boat dock dwelling is unique, at times. The tiny lights and artificial greens are festive. Just about each night we see decorated boats out for local boat parades. It's quite an anticipated event in Seattle. There is a very large parade every year called the Special People's Cruise. Mentally challenged children and adults are treated to holiday parties and a cruise on hundreds of private boats. It's been a tradition for a very long time in Seattle.
Abby loves to hunker down on top of the electric blanket where my husband is languishing. Oh, he just got up and she's claiming it as her own! It's the weekend so I'm hunkering down with an Irish Coffee as I think about breakfast. I was given a large bunch of fresh spinach which, later, I need to cook down with chopped onion to make filling for my Spanikopita (recipe in previous blog entry). There are three friends who especially love them so I am giving cool plastic containers of frozen homemade Spanikopita as a gift. They are so great to pop into the oven for 15 minutes for a yummy breakfast or to have on hand for quick hors d oeuvres. My holiday cards this year contain the ingredients for homemade Chai Tea. It's a recipe I was given from my friend Sam from Pakistan. The inside of the card contains the recipe which I'll post below. The message on the front is:
At holiday time
we often introspect about our lives
and the lives of those we’ve loved.
I had an opportunity to
make a new friend this year.
As we chatted about our lives,
we shared special food traditions.
As a way of sharing with friends and family this holiday,
I decided to bring to you this special family tradition
from my friend Sam’s life.
We are not extremely political
or heavily into world affairs,
but it seemed fitting that a tradition loved by a family
in faraway, politically-challenged Pakistan
may help us all remember
that amidst the strife of any country,
there are families, like ours, who shop
and cook and love each other
and look forward to sharing traditions.
Chai Tea Recipe
Sam is from Pakistan. He works in Seattle for the Christian missionary organization, Youth With A Mission.
This is his family’s Chai Tea recipe.
Makes 5 cups
3 cups water
2 cups milk
5 rounded teaspoons black tea (one per cup or
1 tea bag per cup)
5 whole cloves (for ten cups he used 15,
traditionally it’s two cloves per cup)
5 - ½ inch cinnamon sticks (one per cup)
5 teaspoons brown sugar (one per cup) or to taste
5 - 1/4 inch slices of 1” round fresh ginger,
unpeeled (one per cup)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder (just 1/2 teaspoon
for the entire batch.)
Bring water to a boil. Add black tea, cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves, & ginger. Boil for 2 minutes then add milk & cardamom. (It expands in pot, watch it.) Bring back to boil, take off heat for 15 seconds return it to heat & boil. Do this twice more. Strain off the spices & tea. Serve. (This can be made with equal parts water & milk or all milk.)
Have a great time preparing for and enjoying holiday traditions,