Sweet Temptations

In her post titled ‘Trails‘, Wildsherkin, a blogger from Cork, Ireland reminisced about the ‘bread and butter puddings in a cup’ from her childhood. This culinary tradition is something Irish and English immigrants made sure to bring with them to America.

Bread pudding, as it is called here in the Southeast, enjoys great popularity in our region. The basic recipe has not changed one bit with the exception of the sauce perhaps. (Here is a typical recipe I found online at My Recipes: Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce)

I was at Duke’s BBQ in Ridgeville, SC this evening. (You may wonder what this vegetarian was doing at a BBQ joint? Well, BBQ restaurants typically have a wide array of vegetable dishes as well. Those are the ones I enjoy while others have the BBQ pork and fried chicken.) And they had scrumptious bread pudding!

Normally, I avoid such a rich treats, because I try to stay away from too much cholesterol. But this evening I had to think of Wildsherkin’s post and her fond childhood memories. So I had TWO pieces of bread pudding (one for her and one for me, of course), and it was soooo good!

I asked the owner of Duke’s if I may take a phone camera photo of it and she said is was alright. The quality of the photo is not the best, but you get the idea.

Hot Masala Tea (Indian Chai)

This is what I wake up to every morning…

Chai_1Before getting started on my daily activities, I look forward to easing into the day with a cup of hot masala tea (also known as Indian chai), an entry into my journal, and watching the birds on the feeder for a little while.

Today, I’d like to share this little pleasure with you with the recipe for my favorite tea.  I hope that you will come to enjoy it as much as I do!

Hot Masala Tea (Indian Chai)
(serves 2)
2 pinches dry fennel seeds
3-5 green cardamom pods, crushed
Approx. 1/4 – 1/3 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
2 tsp. loose tea (the best are Indian red or yellow label teas)
1-2 level tsp. sugar
1 1/3 cup water
2/3 cup skim milk

Spices_2

Place the water and the first three ingredients (the spices) in a pot and bring to a boil on high heat.
As soon as the water boils, add the tea. Let it cook for about 1 minute while stirring, and then add the milk.
With the temperature still on high, bring the tea and the milk back to another boil.  Stir frequently, and be careful not to let it boil over.
As soon as the first bubbles form, remove the tea from the burner and add the sugar.  Fill the tea into the cups through a strainer.
Notes:
  • If you are not used to cardamom, you may prefer to start off with only 3 crushed pods.
  • I used to take 2 tsp. of sugar in this recipe, but now I have cut it down to only one.  It still tastes fine.  It is just a matter of preference.
  • I like skim milk in my tea.  A friend of mine used 2% and whole milk in hers before and complained that it did not taste as good as mine; that it tasted too ‘milky’ and ‘fatty’.  You have to try it out for yourself to see what you like best.
  • To make the tea stronger, let it steep for another minute or two after you added the sugar.
Enjoy !