Sunday, February 15, 2009
A Spicy Drink
The first chapter of Cook the Books Club concluded successfully and the next selection was The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber. This book is an autobiographical memoir of the author's life, primarily the early years, and describes details of her family in the US and in Jordan. It is peppered throughout with delicious recipes, any one of which would be fun to prepare.
Because of family drama and a few life changes during the months of December and January, I plain ran out of time to finish the book, although I did do a quick skim read through the last half. I was using a library copy, so I had to return it after my renewal limit ran out.
One recipe that really appealed to me was the Shaking Tea Infusion on page 184. I love spicy drinks like chai, and, since the weather has been cold and rainy lately, it sounded like the perfect pick-me-up. I was not disappointed -- it was delicious. I would probably omit the nuts next time, however; they were fine, but didn't really add much to the overall flavor and sank to the bottom of the cup.
It's one way to keep my spice collection fresh, too. I can envision a large spice order in the near future!
On the next cold day, when tea or coffee doesn't sound like the right drink, I would heartily recommend this easily-prepared spicy beverage.
Shaking Tea Infusion
1 cup water
1 small piece of dried ginger (I used a piece of crystallized ginger)
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon anise seeds*
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons chopped almonds or pistachios
Combine all the ingredients except the nuts in a small saucepan. Cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a mug or cup and garnish with the nuts. Serve with sugar or honey.
*The anise seeds are optional, but since I love anise flavor I included them.