20. Learn to make really good chai.

I believe in being resourceful, and that the solution to many problems in life are within arm’s reach, so I consulted one of my most trusted cookbooks, Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian (even if you aren’t vegetarian, you need this cookbook), for a chai recipe. I figure if anyone is going to know about how to make chai, she would.

The process wasn’t too difficult and I didn’t use any mixes or pre-made powders. I luckily had a tin full of Twining’s Darjeeling loose leaf tea, and it made fantastic chai. I’ve always been a Darjeeling girl, and it’s never let me down. The mortar and pestle came in to grind the peppercorn and the cardamon. Whenever I use it, I feel like I’m really making something serious. One day I’ll develop the endurance to make aioli from scratch (by mashing garlic and oil by hand for 20 minutes continuously to make a creamy, garlicky sauce).

All in all, it was very good, and I’d serve it to anyone I know. In the winter, a little splash of sweetened condensed milk would be super yummy, but in the hot sticky sauna of Alabama in August, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible. The spice level was perfect, although I like mine really spicy. I’m comfortable with the process now, so I may experiment with other combinations of spices.

In summary: Ain’t no party like a Freckles tea party.