Good Morning friends. This month Tuesday falls on the 2nd so I'm bringing an old post up for a second view. Be sure to visit Elizabeth's blog this morning where others will be joining in the kick off to July.
Tuesday and time for Tea. Today I am drinking Marsala Chai. It takes a little more effort to make than my usual pot of tea but occasionally I make that extra effort. Thanks to Elizabeth for hosting T stands for Tuesday, and inspiring me to have a special tea this morning.
Chai is simply the Hindi word for tea and can refer to plain black tea. I know the drink is sometimes referred to as Chai Tea here in the US but that is obviously redundant. Marsala chai literally means mixed spice tea in Urdu. Marsala chai is a flavored tea made by brewing black tea with an assortment of Indian spices.
Here is my method for making Marsala Chai
2 cups water
4 teaspoons black tea leaves
1 chunk ginger, minced
3 cardamom pods, open pod and use seed and pods in mix
1 inch or so stick cinnamon
3 whole cloves
4 whole black peppercorns
Milk (in my case almond milk)
Sugar to taste. I like to use brown sugar
Crush the spices using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle
Put 2 cups of water in pot, bring to a boil. Add the tea and crushed spices, boil for about 15 seconds, let stand for one minute.
Warm the milk in a pot (or in the microwave)
Strain the above tea into cups. Add warm milk and sugar to taste. I like my chai about 2/3 tea to 1/3 milk so you might start with that and see what tea/milk ratio you like best.
Once in awhile I vary the spices and add a whole star anise, some fennel seed or part of a vanilla bean but the list above is my standard.
I don't use much regular milk but substitute almond milk most of the time except in cooking. I think it works well with this tea although standard dairy milk is of course traditional.
Do you like Marsala Chai? Have you tried almond milk?
Now that we have the tea covered, lets talk about dainty little tea party sandwiches. The ones with their crusts cut off.
There seems to be something, especially popular in the Southern States called "Pimento Cheese" sandwiches.
While searching around I came upon this. I remember it (or something like it) from my childhood. It then came in glass jars that were decorative and used as juice jars I think. I didn't much like the cheese spread.
I'm curious. Like so many things, the home made version probably tastes a lot different and a lot better. I'm going to experiment. Here's the recipe I have - handed down through a friend's family
4 oz good cheddar cheese, grated 1/2 (7 oz) jar of pimentos, drained 2 T. mayo (more or less to taste) 1 scallion, diced shake of garlic powder 1/8 tsp sugar
Using a mixer, combine all ingredients until smooth. You can mix by hand too, but it takes about 2 minutes and does not come out quite as smooth. You don't want to use the pre-shredded cheese for this, typically, it does not taste as good. There are a lot of variations on this, adding ketchup and Heinz chili garlic sauce and eliminating sugar makes it sweeter. Some like addition of a spicy ingredient like Tabasco. Some add a vinegar to make it tangy.
Is pimento cheese a staple at your house? Have you even tasted it?Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated.
Meanwhile, lets go to Elizabeth's blog and see who else it at the Tuesday Tea Party today.
On the second of each month Elizabeth suggests we bring an older post back up to the top for a second look. Mine is a bit long this time but I hope you enjoy it. I found it interesting that Elizabeth and I both posted about a book and she was the inspiration for my book in the first place. Please check here to see what other people have offered for a second time.
A couple of months ago Elizabeth posted a recycled journal that intrigued me. You can see it here. Elizabeth is a wonderful and prolific mixed media artist and often an inspiration.
My book was created with recycled greeting cards, some junk mail, some papers I stamped with my hand carved stamps. Nothing was purchased in the making of this journal.
The cover and spine of my book (cardboard and junk mail) being glued to recycled newsprint that I stamped - I posted a picture of that sheet earlier
The outside of the cover when finished. Note the pull tabs that I'll use for the closure.
Recycled cards, all but one have been decorated to cover the original card and also the inside page if there was a message.
Preparing to tie cards to the spine of the cover
Assembling the pages
Here is a little video my GD helped me with. Something else I learned in this process, how to take a video and post it. The quality is poor but I think you can get an idea about the finished book.
This turned out to be much lengthier process than I anticipated but I learned a lot along the way.
. Have a "theme" in mind for the book, easier to coordinate the layout
. Save greeting cards - I didn't have a huge selection and most were thin shiny paper
. Tie the pages in very tight - a couple of mine are a little wobbly.
. Each card basically has 4 sides, that is a whole lot of decorating.
I don't know if I will make another book of this sort. A lot of my desire to create art is about the Process and not the Product. I like leaning "how" better than doing it again.
How about you? Do you work with an idea over and over, improving it along the way? Do you ever just want to try something to see how it is done?