What’s for tea? Iced chai and blackberry scones!

Dearest readers, many many months ago I detailed how I make scones, which I now make weekly. The above photo will show you how they have evolved as I am now experimenting with using fresh fruit, particularly berries. This morning’s lot I filled with blackberries which I am slowly harvesting from the front yard. This was a wild thing which in the past I’d clipped back, as it’s growing among the nandina, but in light of a shift towards more homegrown foods I thought I’d take advantage of its living amongst us and let it spread, which I’m glad I did.

I’ve plucked at least $15 worth of berries from its thorny stalks in the last ten days, and I know they are organic, lovingly cared for and tenderly picked. So they are included in today’s scone fare and it turns out they are a good choice and lovely besides. Happy result.

The scones are part of an ever growing trend in my home to have certain prepared foods on hand, ready for our busy lives: an Always There list. There are always scones. There is always green tea. There are a few others I’m slowly establishing. This week the one I’m most excited about is iced chai, for hot summer days, of which there have been abundance lately!

Prior, for years, I always have made chai on holidays. Recently it occurred to me to ask why? Why not make it frequently? We love it. It’s right up there with “saving” your favorite dress or shoes or bag (or china) for special occasions. And there’s a place for that, surely. But why relegate chai to only a few times a year when we adore it and it’s so good for us? Added to this expansive line of thinking I decided to try iced chai, which was such a hit I made the leap to add it to the Always There list. This involves a slight inner commitment of time and resources. I have done that and today was my first day. I’m going to share with you how I do that and perhaps you will decide to do same. Over the years I’ve become rather applauded for this recipe so and I’m pleased and honored to share with you today.

This is so easy. First you cut up a big piece of ginger root. You probably are aware that ginger root aids in digestion, stimulates circulation and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. How wonderful I’m increasing this marvelous food used for centuries in this capacity into my diet.

Place the ginger in a stainless steel pan with seven cups of water, two or three sticks of cinnamon, and a small handful of cardamom seeds. (I counted this morning; I used 18.) Cardamom is also good for facilitating digestion. There are also some interesting studies in Scandinavia regarding the combining of cinnamon with honey for arthritis pain. Check that out. Bottom line: chai is good for you and beyond delicious.

Bring to a slow boil, then cover with the lid ajar and let this mixture boil for about a half an hour. The only thing you need to do is to take a wooden spoon and push the cardamom seeds up against side of pan so they open, releasing their goodness and fragrance into the mixture. It will now look like this.

OK, you’ve removed from heat. Now to this mixture you want to add eight to ten English Breakfast tea bags. If they have strings, cut them off without puncturing the bags. They just create a tangle later. Cover this and allow to steep for at least ten minutes. Then remove lid and add two cups of high quality milk. [Note I swear by Strauss Family Dairy whole milk, which I can get in N. CA. I don’t know their distribution range.] Now add honey to taste. And allow to thoroughly cool.

I now remove all the tea bags, but leave the other ingredients for their great goodness only enhances with time. I put into a nice sturdy red Le Creuset pitcher I happen to own and love. This will invariably become The Chai pitcher for the rest of summer, reliably in the front of the frig. Happy us.

And here is how I chose to serve ours today. We prefer iced chai sans ice, ironically. Chilled is enough for us. But traditionally, I am certain, iced chai would be chock full of, well, ice! :)

I do hope you will try the chai. Please let me know how you liked it. And may this nurture your bodies, your homes and your spirits.

Love and kitchen blessings!
Kathryn xoxo
Yummy postscript: Began wondering this hot summer afternoon how vanilla ice cream would fare in iced chai. Let me highly recommend chai floats!!

22 Responses to “What’s for tea? Iced chai and blackberry scones!”

  1. Ohhhh, what lucky, lucky readers you have! It’s Wonderful of you to share both the scone and chai recipes! They are both so very Delicious! :-) Love the point about keeping favourites on the forefront of life, indeed!

    Love you,
    Antonia
    xoxox

  2. Hi, Antonia–Love the way you expressed that! “Keeping favorites on the forefront of life!” Yes, indeedy! So glad you appreciate the foodies! Love, Mommie xoxo

  3. Thank you for the recipe. Susan loves Chai Tea but never having made it and finding that most served out is full of sugar, I am not a drinker. We can make this. Not that hard. I’ll save the recipe.

  4. Hi, Julie, It’s super easy to make. Once you do it you can do it in your sleep! Enjoy! Love, Kathryn xoxo

  5. Hi Kathryn!
    I have had just the best time getting the ingredients for the chai!
    I read your post this morning and I was inspired to make this. I have purchased chai pre-made before, but I have never made it muself. I first had chai in the late 70’s at India Joze at the Santa Cruz Arts center. We had never had anything like it before at the time, and dragon chicken followed by mud pie and chai was a real treat.
    My first thought was where to get the cardamom seeds? Rainbow grocery, the wonderful co-operative came to mind and I found myself a half hour ago in chai laboratory heaven. There were other people gathering ingredients for chai from big glass jars and using the handy tables for labeling. I had a great time talking to others about this while there. So much fun! I purchased some dried orange peel as an added ingredient, and I have visions of other fun uses for this.
    Ok, I am off now to get started!
    :)
    Philip

  6. Oh, hi, Philip! What a fun adventure you’ve set yourself on! Thanks for letting me know! (Glad I was part!) I remember Rainbow Grocery! It must be wonderful! Do let us know how it turns out, will you?? I haven’t tried adding orange peel. Will try. And DO try the chai float! I know it sounds weird but it’s scrumptious!! Enjoy! Kathryn xoxo

  7. I love scones AND chai. I’m so excited to have a REAL chai recipe. To be honest, I’ve never known exactly what went in chai! Love the idea to add orange peel too.

  8. Hi, Jen! Well, to be honest I have no idea who taught me how to make this. It seems I’ve known for a very long time. And I also have no idea how it’s made in India and how this might compare, exactly. But it’s my recipe and it’s yummy. Enjoy! :) Kathryn xoxo

  9. Yummy, I can’t wait to try it! I plan to put some chunks of that ginger in the blackberry scones, too.

  10. Hi, Kathlene! Let me know, will you?? Bet you love it! As for ginger in the scones–you could probably use that ginger in a bag w/ sugar, you know? But I don’t think raw ginger would work in these scones, as they are in the oven for an impossibly short time (one of the things I love about them!). Love, Kathryn xoxo

  11. Awesome!

    You know how I love your Chai. And cool on the blackberry scones, down in Tennessee Valley, Mill Valley, the blackberries are juuussst starting out, about 20% ripe, the rest red to hard.

    My wife told me recently Oprah had some meditator on….and he was going Ommmmmm…..and Oprah was going Yummmmmmmm. Need I say more?

  12. Hi, Bill! Thanks for the nice compliment. Yes, indeedy, you have had my chai! :) I wonder how many people are eyeing those blackberries down in Tennessee Valley?? It’s so fun to have my own stash! Kathryn xoxo

  13. Hi Kathryn!

    Re: follow up after buying ingredients for chai from your recipe:

    The chai was a great success and so easy.
    The best part was the wonderful aroma this filled the house with while making it. The end product is delicious, but the the process of making it was so uplifting!
    Thank you for the inspiration!
    :)
    Philip

  14. Oh, hi, Philip! I’m so glad you enjoyed making it! Thanks for letting us know! Yes, the aroma is so enticing! Next time try drinking it hot on a foggy San Francisco morning! YUM! Kathryn xoxo

  15. You’re a dear for sharing, dear Kathryn . You might have known I smelled your blackberry scones driftling across the miles … and thanks, dear one, for sharing the chai tea recipe … iced … perfect for a hot day. Summer Hugs.

  16. Good morning, Joey! How lovely to find you’ve visited this morning. You know I *always* think of you whenever I post a recipe. You are the Queen. :) Hugs back! Kathryn xoxo

  17. oh happy day….do you know that just yesterday I “tried” to make a base for a chai latte freepo{have no idea on that spelling!} we had at Pete’s Coffee however the only chai
    “mix” we had was just that, a mix…blahch!! :P

    so how happy am I to have wandered onto this today!! I can’t thank you enough and will be trying this next week as I could drink it everyday, it’s so good and good for you too~can’t beat that!!

    thank you much!!

  18. Hi, Linda, I’m SOOOO delighted you are happy! It’s very fun to think of lovely folks getting out their ginger and cinnamon and cardamom and filling the house with this delicious aroma and then enjoying such a great drink all over the country. So FUN! Let me know, OK?? Enjoy! kathryn xoxo

  19. I love chai but usually buy it while I am out. I can just imagine the aromas drifting through your house from your photos. Ahhh!
    Donna

  20. Good morning, Donna, and welcome. :) I hope you will try this at home! I have yet to find anything on the commercial market that compares. It’s so easy, Donna. Enjoy! Kathryn xoxo

  21. Great post, love the photos of your Chai process. Chai has quickly become my morning drink of choice, though I haven’t attempted to make my own recipe yet. I may have to give yours a shot soon. I’ve ordered several versions from a small online shop… Chai is good stuff!

  22. Hi, Chris! Thank you so much for your kind words! DO try it. It is so easy you will wonder why you haven’t done it before! And I love that it’s so economical! Thanks for your comment. Kathryn xoxo

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