Friday, September 28, 2012

make your own chai mix and change your life

There will come a day when I will stop inundating you with posts about fall.  That day is not today.  

We love chai around here.  It is the number one hot drink that Aaron will partake of.  You know me, hot drinks are my love language.  They might even be my spiritual gift.  (Kidding.)  So anytime he'll drink something warm with me, it's a deal.  Done.  

The powdered chai mix at the store is expensive.  Last fall I googled how to make your own mix.  I clicked on the first page that came up and gave it a try.  It was good!  We made jars and jars of it.  We gave some away.  We kept a lot.  Our lives were changed.  We sat on the couch all day and had deep conversations whilst cupping hot mugs in our little paws.  Everything had that vintage Instagram tint to it, and Aaron even got a man cardigan.  Okay, so maybe that last half is a fat lie, but still...this mix is good.

Also, it's cheaper than buying the store mix.  Good, cheap = win, win.  

With the advent of fall yesterday, I clearly could not wait a day longer to change our lives this year.  Would you like to change your life too?  Here's the recipe.

Throw all the ingredients together.  I love the way the spices look.  It's a beautiful little thing.

(I have a cardamom problem.  Cardamom, hands down, wins the award for being the spice that most reminds me of India.  It's the prominent smell of their chai.  Also, they have these tasty cardamom biscuits (code word for COOKIES!) that cost something like 10 cents.  I buy cardamom at bulk stores to get it cheaper, but obviously, I forget what I already have.  Can someone remind me in 12 months that I already have plenty of cardamom?)

You grind everything up in a food processor or blender.  

Add three tablespoons to a cup of hot water.  Or you could use milk if you want double creaminess. 

Bam.  It's like liquid happiness. 

Now if you will excuse me, I think we have a long-overdue date with the couch...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Keeping it real, fall style

(I decided to just go with the pictures.  You'll get the idea, right?) 

You know fall is really here when you have the urge to make soup.  I made soup today.  The best kind comes when you mix the refrigerator's longest tenants with some frozen broth and add extra pepper flakes for the husband who usually says, "it could have a little more kick."

Once the soup was made, I knew it was time to bring out the fall decorations.  Of which I have approximately five, four of which are candles.  My philosophy on fall decorating is to go for the real or not at all.  For the love of nature everywhere, please do not feel like you have to buy those plastic pumpkins from Hobby Lobby.  Hobby Lobby is great.  They play hymns over the intercom that have the tempo sped up a few notches and they are closed on Sundays.  Great business.  But the plastic pumpkins?  You will regret them.

My friend Crystal said on her blog that she hates having the windows closed.  She needs to feel as near to the world as she can.  Walls and closed windows, they impede that.   I like that idea.

So go get yourself a few real pumpkins.  Get the knobby green one that sort of reminds you of the color of baby poop.  Get it because God makes such intensely creative and unusual things, and you need as much reminding of that as you can get.  Get the rusty orange squash-thing that isn't quite a pumpkin.  It will make you wonder every time you walk by it.  Plump those babies down on your table.

Pour some beans in a mason jar and add a candle someone gave you for free at a garage sale.  (Sometimes it does pay to go to garage sales later in the day.)  At the park, get down on your hands and knees like a weird lady.  Find those acorns with the caps still on and scatter them across your coffee table.

Unearth the shadow box that a sweet friend gave you with aspen leaves inside of it.  Put it in a place of honor, because aspens are some of your favorite trees, and they remind you of the mountains.

And then leave your windows open.  Simmer the soup.  Smell the rain and watch the squirrels hide walnuts between your stone edging.

It's fall, and you've got the real deal.

"The beauty of the world is Christ's tender smile for us coming through matter."  -Simone Weil

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Serendipitous pumpkins and why I've been absent

I have so much to tell you.

Words overflowing, stories spilling, little pictures of light.

Fall is wonderful.  Are you saying "amen" where ever you are?  The change, it works a change in our souls, and we've got new eyes.  Plus we're not sweating anymore, and that helps any situation.  Amen?

Just when I get my blogging ball rolling, I can't get my pictures to upload anymore.  It has brought me to a complete halt.  Has anyone had this problem?  Actually, they upload, but with lines and distortions.  Help?

But I must tell you, picture or not, we have a volunteer pumpkin vine in our garden, and it brings me so much joy!  Aaron was its champion in August, when I wanted to pull the sucker up.  Every afternoon when the sun beat down, it would wither and look pitiful.  "I'm pullin' it up," I'd announce.  The man loved it though, had faith that the scrawny green leaves would turn out to be something real after all.  Last week, we found a baby pumpkin under the yellow blossoms that I thought were just decoys.  And then another and another.  We have baby pumpkins! 

Happy fall, friends.