My month-long holiday in B.C. was much too short. Being back in Vancouver and Abbotsford was a good reminder that my heart remains at home, on the west coast - even if it rained 75% of the time while I was there!
I'm impressed with the decent amount of snow we have here in La Belle Province - remnants of the record-breaking snowfall from a few weeks ago - and yesterday was a good day to practice using my new camera, my first ever SLR! I've been mostly playing around with settings, and I have lots to learn. I've signed up for a photography course, so hopefully over the course of the next few months, you'll see some improvements in my shots :)
This kind of weather (and already a decent pile of readings) calls for a good cup of tea; this weekend, I had chai all over my mind. One of the best cups of chai that I have had is at the Granville Island Tea Company in Vancouver. Its famous chai has some ingredients that make it a superstar: fresh ginger, cayenne, and butter. You heard it, butter!
To make an equally delicious and spicy masala chai (2 servings), here's what you need to do:
Roughly crush 6 cloves, 5 fennel seeds, 5 cardamom pods, 2 star anise, and 5 peppercorns (I use a coffee grinder). Along with a couple slices of fresh ginger and 1 broken cinnamon stick, add the spices to a pot containing 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
The preferred tea to use is Assam, which is a strong black tea. After the spices have simmered, add 1 cup of milk. Bring to a boil, add 2 tbsp tea leaves and turn off the heat. Steep for 5 minutes. Add honey to sweeten, then 1 tsp of butter. Don't skip out on the butter!
Strain the spices and tea leaves. Pour the chai into mugs, then sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne. Enjoy and stay warm!