Best teacher gift ever: Homemade chai concentrate
Who doesn't love chai? NOONE. That's who.
Chai is the humble-but-sublime mixture of strong black tea, milk, sugar and spices. You may have already drunk something approximating chai at your local coffeehouse, but, let me assure you, freshly-made chai is so much better. And don't even get me started on the abomination that is the "chai tea latte." But I digress.
While this recipe isn't exactly authentic, the results are so delicious and the preparation is so quick, it's worth it. Just stir a teaspoon of this lovely mixture into a cup of freshly-brewed black tea and you'll be in heaven. And so will any teacher (or babysitter, or friend) lucky enough to get this as a holiday gift.
Your kids can even make this themselves! Killer spoon-licking.
Grab the ingredients this week while baking supplies are on sale for Thanksgiving. Spices are cheapest when purchased in bulk.
HOMEMADE CHAI CONCENTRATE
(adapted from a recipe I read in The Oregonian)
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 t. ground cardammom
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
(if you like it really sweet, add up to 1 t. sugar)
Mix everything and store in the refrigerator. Pour into a pretty jar for giving -- a small, glass mason jar with a plastic storage cap works perfectly. The mixture will keep, refrigerated, for six months.
To make a cup of chai, brew a cup of strong, black tea (Assam, English Breakfast, or whatever black teabag you've got). Stir in a teaspoon or so of chai concentrate (more to taste). Enjoy.