Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tomato Juice (p. 37) and Chai (p. 34)

I'm still amazingly behind on posts--I think I have about six of them to go. I always promise myself that I won't get so behind again but then, I do. Keep checking back--I leave for a conference this weekend and I would love the blog to be up to date before I leave.

I decided to whip up some quick Tomato Juice (p. 37). This picture is NOT impressive but the finished product was (believe it or not) rather impressive. It looked like normal tomato juice (maybe out of a can) but was so much more fully flavored.

The recipe was simple--tomato juice, lemon juice, grated celery, grated onion, grated horseradish (I used jarred), salt, sugar, paprika, and a dash of Tabasco.

Obviously it needs to be strained before serving. It would be terrific in a Bloody Mary--especially if you used Absolute Pepper (my favorite!). I recommend making your own tomato juice, it's really easy and it tastes better than straight out of a can. TJOC mentions that you can drink it hot or cold but hot tomato juice grosses Josh out so much I couldn't subject him to the sight of me enjoying it.

Chai (p. 34) always reminds me of my friend Emily. Emily adores chai, while it has always reminded me of drinkable pumpkin pie (and that's not a compliment). I'm not sure why I didn't make this recipe during one of Emily's visits, because then I could have had an expert opinion. I was interested in the concept of making it from scratch, although why I chose to do this in the middle of summer is a real mystery. Chai is a cold weather drink, if you ask me.

First, I needed to crush a few cardamom pods. Easier said than done! This would be much easier in a spice grinder (one of the items I hope I get the most off of my wedding registry), it wasn't particularly easy in a morter and pestle.

The crushed pods were combined with water (way more water than I would have expected), milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, and peppercorns (one of these things is not like the others...one of these things doesn't belong...).

I brought it to a boil and then took it off the heat and let it steep for twenty minutes. Two tablespoons of black tea leaves were then added.

Which of course needed to be strained out:

Which was harder than it sounded:

The chai was good, if you like chai. I can't say it was outstanding and I wish I had been able to strain it better. Has anyone made their own chai from scratch before? Did you like it?

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1 comment:

  1. Jessica--it's your Dad's friend, Karen, from Ames. To strain the Chai--put spices in fine Swiss Gold tea strainer ($10 teavana or Amazon web-site) and steep in milk/water mix. This will avoid the leakage. Another option for straining, use cheesecloth.


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