As I posted previously, I really have an obsession with ginger at the moment.

No, not her, that's weird. Ginger the rhizome. I am fixated on ginger the rhizome.
In my pantry is a bottle of ground ginger, a jar of larger pieces that are dried, sort of like what you would find at the Chinese herbalist, a moderate stockpile of crystallized ginger, and a "hand" of fresh that I picked up at the market last weekend. Too much?

I have a habit of falling hard for a flavor. Then I will use it in all of its forms, in every which way one can imagine, and then just as suddenly the fling will be over and I'll be hard pressed to use whatever it was that I loved for a very long time.

Past flings have included caramel, lemon, lime, pumpkin, and white chocolate. I will find a way to work that flavor into everything I make, sweet, savory, hot, cold, you name it I will put the current flame to work.

Current flame.

This romance with ginger began innocently enough with a cookie. But then again why are we surprised, cookies are a gateway drug.

It was this cookie, Triple Ginger Cookies  from Epicurious that lured me in. Then I found fresh ginger at the market and tried my hand at making my own crystallized ginger.  Then I used fresh ginger in a pumpkin soup, and then some crystallized ginger in a braised pork shoulder. Then. Well, then, I was hooked.

I think this ginger mania, has rubbed off on my oldest daughter. She has been craving Masala tea, that warmly spiced mix of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger. I've been making this mix for her of late and she just can't get enough. Need to google "Can obsession be genetic".

Guru Brew aka Masala Tea Mix
5 cups Water
3 whole Cinnamon sticks
3 inch piece Fresh Ginger peeled and thinly sliced
7 whole Green Cardamom Pods
4 whole Star Anise Pods
13 whole Cloves
¼ teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
10 Tea Bags, black or green tea
½ cup organic cane sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla, optional

Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile in a mortar and pestle bash the ginger, cardamom pods, star anise, and cloves a few times to release their oils. Don’t make a puree just a few good smacks. To a mixing bowl add the cinnamon sticks, the bashed ginger, cardamom, star anise, and cloves, the black pepper, tea bags, and sugar. Add water once it comes to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves and set aside to steep for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture, pressing on the solids to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and pour the liquid into a storage container. I use this one from Ikea.
To serve, mix one part of the concentrate with one part milk. Heat to serve hot or pour over ice.
If you like a stronger tea use two parts of concentrate to one part milk.
I am not sure how long this will last stored in the refrigerator. I haven't been able to keep it around longer than 3 days, 5 days tops.
I hate counting out cardamom pods and cloves. Once you get the hang of how much 13 cloves looks like, live dangerously and just dump in what looks to be the same amount. You'll be just fine.

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