Saturday, December 18, 2010
ON MAKING CHAI
Whenever we had company (which was often, believe me), my mother would say, "Chai yapiim." Excusing herself to the kitchen, she would fill her 3 quart stainless steel pot with fresh cold water and place the pot to boil on her new all electric stove. Private smile on her face, she reached for her cinnamon sticks and broke off a piece or two. That done, she carefully opened her bottle of cloves and took out 3 or 4. With a flourish she tossed the cinnamon sticks and cloves into the now boiling water. The kitchen filled with the most wonderful air of spice and mystery; that was her signal to take the pot of water off of the stove and pour the spicy mix into her favorite teapot where a tablespoon of dry black tea leaves awaited. We were about to experience my mom's chai, years before any yuppy knew the word.