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posted Jan 5, 2012, 7:41 AM by Web Admin   [ updated Jan 7, 2012, 6:52 AM ]

(Spices & Beans, Delhi, India) 

First things first:

As promised here comes the Chai ( aka Indian spice ice tea) paste recipe for all our friends who asked for it. Chai in the Himalayas, Pakistan, India as well as in Singapore and Malaysia is usually made from sweetened condensed milk, cheap black tea and a mix of up to a dozen spices. We like to add ground ginger to our paste and a spoonful  of canola oil to release some vitamins. We grind the spices, add brown sugar, honey or even Stevia, bring the mix to a boil, transfer the concoction to a sealed container which we store in the fridge. The shelf life is several weeks.To exactly measure the ingredients we converted the ounces to grams:

20 grams  green Cardamom

26 grams  Allspice 

5 grams Cloves

9 grams black  Tellicherry peppers

27 grams Coriander berries

3 grams  Mace

1 gram Star anise

10 grams Cinnamon

25 grams sugar 

4 grams oil

fresh ground ginger to taste

100 grams water

bring to a boil, let sit without heat for ten minutes.  An ounce of the paste should be enough for 14 ounces of boiling water.. 

Back from a ten day trip of hiking the Vermont mountains, sampling food, and camping out we brought back memorable experiences to South Florida. We found that

  1. -getting a bright campfire going is easy with a candle and some paper tightly wrapped around. 

  2. - no matter what after the first night and for the remainder of your entire trip you will smell like a barbecue pit. This experience tends to intensify during long hikes. Do not worry about it, a laundromat will be near you at some point.

  3. -camping in Lean to’s, huts open on one side, are as close to a five star hotel as it gets. Let me not get started on their dry, even surfaces, weather protection and storage room for Sicilian family sized luggage, including kitchen gear that is.

  4. -for the chef on duty, it is helpful to restrict from Anti Griddle, Circulator and Dehydrator for the time being. Do not be afraid to create multi course meals, bring enough burner fluid, a fire extinguisher, in case it doesn’t rain and a fearless companion, possibly a pyromaniac one.

  5. - bring wine, earplugs and enough cushion for your spinal relief.

  6. - meet people, many of them.

  7. -Research whom or what you want to meet before you leave, it will prove helpful.

Apart from nature we also had the privilege to meet great people, and even some we did not see nevertheless left a mark. One of them surely is Gerard Rubaud, a great baker who sticks with the old principles of the trade which makes him a role model for the way food could be processed. Then we had the pleasure to discover the Red Hen Baking Companywhich took this idea to another splendid level. Their open bakery surely is worth being stared at.

The best cheese in the world, at least the one made from raw goat milk, can be found athttp://www.twigfarm.com/about.php

Please call for a visit well in advance.

There were split opinions about the best restaurants in the area. We tasted the greatest apples, radishes, cucumbers and tomatoes during evenings at the campfire, previously bought from farm stands by the side of the road. The difference in taste to many grocery store merchandise is as large as the universe and I predict there will be a single heirloom kohlrabi sold for ten bucks one day.

The difference between the last night of camping at 40 degrees and the return to Palm studded, ever shaded Miami was just as dramatic.

The more time we spend in Miami the more we discover there is tons of great food to be had. At Fairchild’s Festival some great produce could be purchased during the last weekend, partly from the Botanical Garden, partly from others, the most prominent would be Margie from http://www.pikarco.com/farm.htm

Great food awaits us here and whenever I miss my Franconian homeland in the North of Bavaria I will either go take a hike in Vermont or cycle up the Bridge to Key Biscayne and take in the smell of the sea with Miami downtown and the beaches laying to my feet.