Perfect Chai

Perfect Chai Tea

“You’re really pushing your edge.”

That’s what my friend Deanna said to me last Saturday afternoon at the close of one of four book appearances scheduled inside of a week. She should know; we’ve been friends since the 7th grade and that’s just the sort of thing you see in someone you’ve been connected to for that long.

“You’re right,” I nodded.

Pushing my edge.

I’m a writer. A mother. A cook. I do these things at home, usually with just the company of myself and a cup of tea. Late in the day I’m joined by my children, then my husband, and sometimes friends. With the kids at school, my work space is quiet, save for the whirr of the blender or the sound of keys tapping on a keyboard. My connection to the outside is through the written word on a page or in a recipe or through email. Sometimes, I have phone conversations. Occasionally, I meet in person…with an editor, a colleague, an intern, a friend.

That’s all changed, though. Since my book came out in mid-July, I’ve taken on a new role. As promoter. Of my book. Of myself. I’ve had the tables turned as a writer. Now I’m the interviewee, not the interviewer. I’m booked on radio shows, on TV. I stand up in front of small crowds in bookstores and farmers’ markets and private homes to talk about my book, demonstrate recipes, and do my best to sound smart and to entertain. I am a little bit uncomfortable a lot of time.

Over the course of writing my book people told me it would be just like having a fourth child. For me though, it’s the book promoting, not the writing, that reminds me of birth, of that moment every woman who has delivered a baby knows…when the newborn’s head is “right there” and it hits you, a truth that couldn’t be truer: there is no going back, you must push this being out into the world and only you can do it.

Not nearly as dramatic, but similar in feeling, is getting this book out into the world. I knew this time would come, but only now does it sink in that it’s up to me to make it happen.

It’s like in yoga, when some lithe yogini circling the room says, “find your edge.” Translation: get yourself so deep into a pose that it’s a place of discomfort. Then stay there for a little while, see what you are made of. As one yoga teacher advised several years ago, “notice that it’s hard, and do it anyway.”

I’ve had days when I’ve wanted to climb under the covers, to lay on the floor, to cry uncle, to just not show up, to retreat. It’s been hard, but I’ve been doing it anyway.

Tonight is the last of my four appearances. Then, I have a break for a few weeks before the schedule ramps up again. I’ll be heading home, to my place of comfort, where I’ll brew a pot of tea and rest up for the next time I have to push my edge.

Perfect Chai

It makes sense that this recipe comes from a resort up in the wine country called Solage, since sitting with a cup of this tea feels like a mini spa treatment. It's supremely comforting, warming, and delicious, the perfect elixir now that we are on the edge of fall.
Course Drink
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 to 4 servings
Author katiemorford

Ingredients

  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons loose black tea such as Assam Harmony or English Breakfast
  • 2 cups milk

Instructions

  1. Put the ginger, sugar, honey, vanilla bean, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and honey. Simmer for 5 minutes, stir in the tea, and remove from heat.
  2. Let steep for 10 minutes then strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheese cloth-lined strainer.
  3. Pour tea back into saucepan and add the milk. Gently heat until warm. Serve in tea cups.

Adapted from a recipe by Brandon Sharp of SolBar. Reprinted with permission.

Comments

09.16.2013 at 5:59 AM #

Anne Mullen

As hard as the promotion has been, you’ve done it, are doing it, and will do it. Be very proud of yourself, as well as tired and ready for solitude. Congratulations, Katie.

09.16.2013 at 5:59 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks for the words of encouragement Anne.

09.16.2013 at 6:47 AM #

meg hart

Sweet and poignant words. Inspiring to be sure. You’re even starting to make it look easy.

09.16.2013 at 7:33 AM #

Kate Purdie

I didn’t think I would be able to buy your book here in London, but I just did! I have learned a lot from your blog and I am thrilled to see it blossoming into something more. Thank you, and congratulations from across the pond!

09.16.2013 at 7:33 AM #

katiemorford

I’m delighted to hear you can get the book in London…hope you enjoy it!

09.16.2013 at 8:40 AM #

erin @ yummy supper

Katie,

You hit the nail on the head with this one. As introverts used to the quiet of working at home, putting ourselves out there is a big stretch.

But watching how graciously you have taken on the task is totally inspiring. You look like a natural.

xoxo
E

09.16.2013 at 8:40 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Erin…before long it will be your turn!

09.16.2013 at 8:42 AM #

Sally Kuzemchak

I’m so happy for you that your book has been such a big success–so well deserved! But I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been “pushed to your edge”. It’s hard feeling overwhelmed but knowing that you just have to soldier through. I’m glad there’s a rest ahead for you!

09.16.2013 at 8:42 AM #

katiemorford

Thanks Sally…the good news is that every new experience makes the next one a little easier.

09.16.2013 at 8:43 AM #

Sally Arnold

Katie – Just wanted to share with you that your chocolate cup cake recipe was a great hit as part of my daughters senior project. Kiana created a cooking class where she guided foster youth to make healthy versions of unhealthy food. The mystery ingredient, zucchini, was tucked inside those cupcakes and everyone loved them. Sometimes we don’t get to hear about how our work ripples into the lives of others. One more way your recipes have made the world a happier & healthier place! Xo. Sally

09.16.2013 at 8:43 AM #

katiemorford

Good for you daughter for doing such important work…and glad that my little recipe could be a part of it. Thank you indeed for sharing.

09.16.2013 at 9:51 AM #

Christina

Rock on to you for being honest about your feelings!!

I love your cookbook and your blog. I’ve been trying new recipes for my daughter’s lunch (the tuna pasta salad was a huge hit last week) and am really enjoying it!

I’m hoping to make it to one of your events. I’d love to meet you. I live in Pleasanton.

09.16.2013 at 9:51 AM #

katiemorford

Hi Christina…I’d love to meet you and hope you can come to one of the signings.

09.16.2013 at 10:47 AM #

Leslie

Great post.

09.16.2013 at 10:57 AM #

Spring

Sitting working in my quiet house…..with your amazing chai! Thank you for another fantastic recipe! (I even have the same teacup!) It’s delicious and my house smells like the holidays!

09.16.2013 at 10:57 AM #

katiemorford

Only you would have a cup brewing with such ease and speed. Glad you like it.

09.16.2013 at 11:04 AM #

suzanne

Having seen you in action – at your edge – please know that we saw you as graceful, brilliant, thoughtful and inspiring! Enjoy your tea, rest up and feel GREAT about your edge 🙂

09.16.2013 at 11:04 AM #

katiemorford

What would I do without all you lovelies?

09.16.2013 at 10:01 PM #

Antonia Allegra

The radiance from you and your family and friends slips over to the books. I was glad to choose copies for my sons’ families last Saturday, Katie. They love the ideas. The book is terrific. Take time to rest before the next round of promoting. Remember: You are a mom, a nutritionist and a WRITER! Toni

09.16.2013 at 10:01 PM #

katiemorford

Appreciate your feedback and support, Toni!

09.18.2013 at 11:28 AM #

Mel

Katie – I know how much this is taking you out of your comfort zone and wanted to send my applause for your courage. So many of us want to make a difference but sadly too few of us are able to turn good intentions into action. Enjoy your well deserved moment of bliss and know that we are all cheering you on! Would love to get you to Park City sometime to share with our community of active moms. In the meantime, Miles and Ava are enjoying the tasty nibbles from your book. xoxo

09.18.2013 at 11:28 AM #

katiemorford

Perhaps we will plan a ski/book tour trip!

09.19.2013 at 10:06 AM #

Pamela

Katie, you are doing a fabulous job with your book. You are a wonder!!

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