Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

The Spiceman Cometh (because fall is here I guess)

Some people are upset with Starbucks over their Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Apparently the “pumpkin mix” incudes condensed milk. The “some people” would be vegans. You can see how this would present a bit of a problem. Now, I’m not sure why anyone would actually want to be a vegan, but what I’m really confused over is why anyone wants their coffee infected with pumpkinyness.

I actually like pumpkin stuff – as long as it’s pie or muffins or cookies with cream cheese frosting. OK, Jack-o-Lanterns are fine too, but that’s it. I really don’t understand the all-things-pumpkin craze anymore than I understand the all-things-zucchini obsession.

Really though, it’s the whole “spice” combo that worries me. I’m sort of weird about spices and I harbor suspicions about the actual contents of the pumpkin-pie-spice mix. Mostly I suspect (and fear) that it contains nutmeg. Now, as far as I’m concerned (and have expressed on more than one occasion), nutmeg is what you are fed if you go to hell (which is, in my book, a perfectly good reason to do whatever is necessary to make sure you don’t end up there). I know people ruin all kinds of wonderful food (like spinach and eggnog) with the stuff, but coffee? I just find the whole concept of spiced coffee (nutmeg notwithstanding) to be kind of nauseating.

But that’s not the worst thing that’s happening.  Behold:

Pumpkin-M-Ms

Does this look like a happy candy to you?  No, I don’t think so either.  And it’s probably because of nutmeg (which has no business being anywhere near chocolate)!

(Some day I’m going to investigate the actual contents of “pumpkin pie spice”.  I don’t expect anything good to come of it.)

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Another Chai Post

This has me so intrigued – From Will Cook For Friends… Milk with Chai Iced Tea Cubes.  I’m definitely making these tonight.  And then I’ll post a picture.

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Chai Update

No, I haven’t  made my own.  I have a ton of excuses and none of them are any valid.  However, I did purchase this at the store….

A little milk, a little turbinado sugar.  Absolute bliss.

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Pondering Chai

masala chai

masala chai (Photo credit: Premshree Pillai)

The other day I was having a discussion with a blog acquaintance (I think that’s so cool) and a couple other commenters on his site that started off about sweetening his coffee and then meandered around to chai.  Initially he was having some fun pointing out his Truvia sweetener – others chimed in to try honey; he brought up splenda; I mentioned that I didn’t like Truvia due to it’s licorice-ish flavor and smell (blech!).  So then we got to talking about tea and the lovely things you can use to sweeten tea (this is where I shamelessly plug the Savannah Bee Company and their amazing Tea Honey and Winter White Honey).  Did I mention that I can (do) eat this stuff by the spoonful? No?  Well then we can just move along.

Anyhoo, eventually we got around to the discussion to Chai.  Now I’m kind of funny about Chai because I’m kind of funny about certain spices (anise, nutmeg, allspice).  OK, I’m not actually funny about them – I HATE THEM.  Mere whiffs make me want to cry – especially the nutmeg.  But I digress.  So, my blog friend points out that he had wildly diverging reactions to the Chai – from excellent to basically worm-fodder.  I maintained that it probably had something to do with both the spices used and the ratios of the spices used and that he might try making some himself.

And this got me thinking that maybe I could try making some using the stuff I like and eliminating the stuff I don’t.  So this evening I was wandering around the ‘net looking for some basic info – are there certain MUST HAVE spices (or it’s not Chai), or is more fluid? Imagine my delight to realize that NONE of the SPICES OF DARKNESS are actually authentic to Chai according to Chai-tea.org (you can see for yourself if you don’t believe me).  I think I’m definitely going to try some of the recipes and maybe use a little Turbinado sugar for extra depth of flavor. I can’t wait to share.

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