Friday, March 8, 2013

Homemade Chai & Faith

Continually finding new ways to save money and live in luxury has become a way of life in our Northern California community. Everyone I know is finding more and more creative ways to make what we have last longer & go farther. At times this can seem meager and endlessly challenging, but when I open my perception and truly take a look around, what I see is very encouraging.

I see people outside and on the Woodsy trails more and more (despite snow, rain, or hail). I see families spending more time together as long work hours cease and jobs become scarce. I see everyday as an opportunity to be grateful for the gifts of neighbors and friends. I see people passing on what they no longer need and giving it to those who do. I see more compassion from government officials. I see less food waste (I've salvaged wilted greens and brown bananas and made the most wonderful smoothies).

Never having had a mainstream reality to apply myself to, getting by on what becomes available has become easier for me than perhaps a person who is used to the perfectly red, waxed & polished apples at the refrigerated Grocery. But when you spend some years living on the go, without refrigeration, you begin to learn what is truly necessary and what is unconscious expectation.

And when you spend 11 months living in a house with walls painted pink 40 years prior ( I haven't gotten to the pea green carpets yet), you might just get a bit antsy. I did. That is why I went to the local paint store and inquired about their 'seconds'. There were only two colors available and I didn't question it for a moment. What I said was, "I'll take it! Any color is better than pink!"

Now, only $11 later, I have a bright, cheery, orange and yellow living area! I could not have picked more perfect colors myself (though I may have gone bonkers trying to decide over all those paint samples I walked right past).

It is these small (and large) feats of following my heart and acting on faith, which prove to myself I can relax, close my eyes and let the Universe be my guide.

One of my favorite rituals to help me savor the day and feel fully present and faithful in the power of the Universe is a nice, hot milk tea. I have come to believe that there is nothing more tasty than a homemade Chai. However, when I looked at the price for Chai mix at our local CoOp health-food store, I noted it was a bundle to purchase, and nearly made up my mind to do without. This lasted one grumpy afternoon before I came to my senses and realized I was playing a martyr. I make my own bread, nut milks, tortillas, enchilada sauce, ranch dip, cacao treats, hot cocao mix, kale chips, fruit rolls, chicken stock, re-fried beans...the list goes on and on. Why not make my own Chai?

Wikipedia, offering of the Gods which it is, gave me the insider information on the ingredients and history that I needed to make a delicious Chai Masala.

After trying and testing my methods of creating the perfect Chai this past few months, I have a recipe which I am decidedly happy to share. Please read on, if you are curious, or if you are a Chai loving, milk tea devote with limited finances, on a sustainable lifestyle kick, like me.


Mix the following spices 1;4 with honey (So, 1 cup of honey would be infused 1/4 cup of spices).

You can grow your own seeds like I do, and then grind them in a clean coffee grinder, or buy them powdered at the market.

Mix well
1/2 c. cardomon pods,
4 cinnamon sticks
4 tblsp dried ginger
1/2 of a vanilla bean
red pepper/cayenne to taste
1/4 c. white & black peppercorns
1/8 c. coriander (parsley seeds)
1/4 tsp clove
1 tblsp nutmeg
1 tblsp cumin seed

Add raw honey.

Allow raw honey to mix with the following spices for 3 days at room temperature (roughly 70-76 degrees F).

Then simmer 2 cups of milk (nutmilk or coconut milk are great too, I didn't drink milk for 9 years and now I can't drink enough!) until steamed, stir in Chai mix and add some well steeped black, green or (my personal preference) Mate' with nettles.



  1. Sounds delish! I'll have to try it out sometime soon.

  2. mmm...I love chai. I learned how to make it long ago from natives of India. I wish I had written that recipe down! so mudh better than any box stuff. Your recipe sounds most interesting!

  3. What a lovely post! I love chai and am going to try your recipe.


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