Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Dining with the Bloggers - October 19th.
Sorry for the delay - as Cathy was kind enough to explain, the internet connection is back, but the stove was temporarily out of order. But here it is, Dining with the Bloggers!
I hope you're not all thinking that the only time I eat (or in this case, drink) at the moment is when I have to do something for Dining with the Bloggers. But I guess I can understand why you'd think so - as it turns out, my only posts within the last two weeks has been DwB entries. It's sorta like homework, only the good kind of homework (if there is such a thing?) and I like how I can, for a couple of hours (okay, in some cases more like half an hour!) forget about painting walls, washing floors and wiggly doorknobs, an just concentrate on the food.
It's getting more and more chilly outside as the days pass, and I was in the mood for something warm and comforting. And, I just organized all of my spices, so spicy and warm was to be keywords for the entry this week. That's when I remembered: a while ago, Melissa from The Travelers's Lunchbox had a confession-post up. On her spice bowl. Now, I know it, and you know it - we all have one of those. It might be a bowl, or a cupboard, or a drawer, it doesn't matter. There are up til the point of insane amounts of spices in it!! And we love it - we thrive in the colors, the smells, the abundance - don't mess with my spices, and certainly, don't tell me I have to stop buying them. It's just not gonna happen.
Melissa is what I would call an adventurous cook - Moroccan-spiced Poussin, Duck Legs with Orange-Chocolate sauce and a classic turned thrillingly around: Prosciutto e Melone (look at that picture - it's so gorgeous!) A dedicated scientist, Melissa's gone through three different recipes for chocolate gelato, just to find out which one is the best - and like any good scientists, she shares her results with us. If that isn't dedication to the subject, I don't know what is. She writes superbly, and I only wish I will one day have the guts to play around with ingredients like she does. Maybe I should start out with Roasted Sweetpotatoes with Spicy Feta-Olive salad? Or the Dragon's Breath Caesar Salad?
No. I had to start out with the original. With the Spice Bowl (or in my case, spice drawer). With Masala Chai. That would certainly be both warm and spicy - and quick - I like quick at the moment. Means more time for painting and cleaning. Doh!
Melissa's recipe has you boiling the spices and tea WITH the milk. The recipes I've tried before has you doing the blend of spices and tea, then cool this mixture, strain it, add milk and reheat. So I was curious as to whether I'd find this different, texture- and tastewise. I used an Assam tea, and added a little mace to the ingredients stipulated. After I tasted it first, I also added a little honey - so I have a sweet tooth, you should know that by now!
It is richer, both in texture and taste, than what I've made before, but that's okay - it's winter and we all need to get a little more insulation on our bodies!:-) You're not going to drink cup after cup in one sitting, although I did manage one and a half glass first time around. What you are going to do though, is sit, hands cupped around the steaming glass and enjoy the lovely scent of spices and warm milk and tea wafting from the glass. You take a sip, and as the warmth spreads through your body, you'll send Melissa a thankful thought - and thank yourself for actually stocking up on all of those spices so you could whip this up in no-time!
Mind you, the cup of hot chocolate she's just posted about looks like something I'd love to lay my frost-bitten fingers on too...
Cathy's done a little spicy thing too this week...