Friday, January 14, 2011

My Favorite Things 4

Long time no blog! It's been over a month since my last blog post, and, honestly, I've been consciously avoiding it...mainly because of the sheer volume of things I have to post about (our 7th anniversary, Griffin's first Christmas, Griffin's first birthday, our travels to Tennessee, Illinois, and Michigan, New Years, to name a few). There are just so, so many pictures, videos, and stories to share! You know the feeling when your house, bedroom, schoolwork, yard, car, life :) gets so out-of-hand that you become somewhat paralyzed from the sheer amount of work to be done? Well, that is how I currently feel as pertains to this blog. Usually, in such scenarios, just doing one small thing to make even the teeniest dent in the project is enough to get one "unstuck;" so I decided to do a quick little "favorite things" post, and hopefully this will get the ball rolling (here's hoping!).

The Dixie Chicks
Yes...The Dixie Chicks.  You can hate me if you want; haters can hate.  You can say I don't have good taste, adequate exposure to other music, or ears if you like.  Now, let's be clear...I don't know anything about them as individual human beings.  I just like their music; it makes me feel happy.  I like singing along, and they're in my vocal range, making singing along easy.  I have lots of other bands that I love more than the Dixie Chicks, but they are a favorite thing because their music makes you feel like you have warm, happy, fond memories of summer on the farm in 1965...but you really don't...but you do....but you don't.  :)

Jane Austen
Oh, Jane...  You are my favorite.  I don't have much more to say on the matter, other than the fact that I am now seriously tempted to forgo the rest of this blog post so I can pick up where I left off in Mansfield Place.  I'm so close to the end that it's becoming quite unbearable to do anything else like cleaning, cooking...moving...

A Fuzzy, Soft Robe & Slippers
Not many things can rival this heartwarming combo...unless to add to them a cup of:

Earl Grey Tea,
(I like Twinings loose leaf)(with cream and sugar)

Dunkin Donuts Coffee
(and I worked for Starbucks for a long time...Dunkin Donuts is better by far)(with

         Coffeemate Peppermint Mocha Creamer, or
         (have you tried this yet?!  simply delightful.)

Homemade Chai.
The boxed stuff has nothin' on homemade.  Nothin'.  While I was in India, I thought chai must be the easiest stuff to whip together in the entire world.  With what little resources many Indians have, chai is ALWAYS readily available, no matter what time of day or in what location.  You feel like a chai in a clay pot at 3:25am on an overnight Indian train?  NO PROBLEM!  Bam!  It's there, hot and ready.  You have a hankerin' for some chai as you visit a burn victim at an Indian hospital when it's a billion degrees at 2pm?  NEVER FEAR!  It is, by FAR, more readily available than drinking water in India.  It really is a wonder.  Well, surprise of surprises...When I got home and was taught how to make chai by a YWAM teacher who spent a large portion of his life as a missionary in Pakistan, I discovered that it does not just appear when you snap your fingers.  Although it isn't difficult, it takes some time, and it can cost a bit, considering the ingredients are a bit pricey if you don't already have them on hand.  Of course, the pricey spices are indigenous to India...hence, not expensive there.  Here is the recipe (I've also seen sweet and condensed milk used instead of brown sugar, half and half used instead of whole milk, and loose leaf tea used instead of bagged):
9 c. water
12 slices of ginger 1/16" thick
2 sticks cinnamon
1 1/2 t. cardemom
20 whole cloves
4 1/2 c. milk (whole is best)
12 T. brown sugar
5 family size tea bags (or the equivalent of any black tea)

-Put water in pot
-Put in slices of ginger and soak until you see little "spikes" coming out of the ginger slices
-Add cinnamon sticks and bring to slow boil
-Add cardemom and cloves
-Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer 15 min.
-Add milk and sugar, and bring to simmer
-Put in tea bags, cover, turn off heat (leave on burner though)
-After 2-5 min. (I usually go with 5 b/c I like a stronger tea flavor), strain, and serve!


  1. i think sometimes we are the same person. i love so many of these things! when i'm not a hot, sickly mess we need to drink chai together in our mukluks. i've been making a much simpler version with cloves, cinamon, milk, sugar, black tea... but yours sounds better and, obviously, more authentic :)

  2. Katie - This is what let's me know that we would be good friends if life ever threw us together, because I love each of those things too! Praying that you guys are doing great!