As mentioned in the last post, I have moved! Once again, the moving bug has bit me in Chicago (that makes for 7 moves in 5.5 years - eeeeep) and I am now in a beautiful neighborhood that has always caught my eye: Ravenswood. Just the name is enough, right?
I am still in the process of shifting my things from my last place to the new one. This turned out to be a grueling process as I opted to forgo movers in lieu of my own strength. Let's just say that I have made a deal with myself: the next time I move will be determined by when I can afford proper movers.
With my stuff divided between apartments, last night I found myself in a predicament: I was craving a hot cup of tea but lacked the energy to venture out for another trip to my old place to procure said tea. This may sound trivial but, man, when you're cold and you're desperate for a drink to warm your core (and it's too late for coffee), only tea will do.
And so, I did what I do during many a desperate time: I turned to my kitchen. It had just so happened that I had moved my spices already. When I spotted the array of warming spices on my shelf, I whipped up a quick recipe for a Winter Spice Tea that would do the trick.
A few quick notes before the recipe:
- Homemade teas are inherently forgiving, so adjust as you go and know that you can always add more water if the flavor gets too strong.
- Ginger note: Because my current access to kitchen tools is minimal, I was unable to peel the ginger. While not necessary, I would recommend it if you are going for a bigger ginger punch. In fact, the smaller slices of ginger you use, the more pronounced the ginger flavor will be.
- Whole spices work best as they leave minimal residue but I did add ground cloves because any form of cloves > no cloves. (Am I right? #clovejunkie). Also, increase the quantity of the spice slightly if using whole as opposed to ground spices.
- I added 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar to the ~1 quart of tea yielded. I did this because adding a little dose of sugar (or salt in savory recipes) goes a long way to amplifying the flavors you want. However, if you'd rather go without (or add more) be my guest! The end result was just what I was looking for: a warming tea with the faintest hint of sweetness.
Warming Winter Spice Tea
Yields ~1 quart of herbal tea
- 1 quart of water
- 4 inches of ginger root
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds or pods
- 1 heaping tsp ground or whole cloves
- 1/4 of a whole nutmeg or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3-4 small cinnamon sticks
- 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste and serve!
What is your favorite way to warm up during the holiday season? Have any go-to homemade recipes? Share in the comments below!