Masala chai and running into the ex-husband


A few weeks ago my friend had a party for his daughter’s second birthday. My ex-husband was there, with his four-year-old but without his wife, which meant we could talk. (Our mutual friend is the one who introduced us and then married us; he still apologizes, at least to me.) We sat in chairs against the wall and compared our gray hairs and reminisced about our failed marriage.

“You threatened me with a knife!” X cried.

I thought for a second.

“I don’t remember that specifically, but it sounds like me,” I said.

“You wrote all over the walls and kicked in the closet door!”

“That I remember.”

We did have a great time for about five years. Then I was standing on the corner of Page and Pierce screaming into my cell phone, “I want a divorce!” We’ve only been able to catch up one other time in nine years, which is expected after one of us managed to remarry and have a kid after five years of drugs, booze, and sluttiness and one of us remained single (and a danger, apparently, to wives).

“I’m sorry it’s awkward for us to talk when your wife is around,” I said.

“She’s from Chernobyl,” he said. “This is nothing.”

This amazing chai recipe is from Joanna Goddard’s blog “A Cup of Joe.” It’s so delicious it nearly makes you forget that if you’d just hung in with the crazy for the last nine years you’d still be married and maybe have a four-year-old kid.

Goddard says:

“You’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tbsp. demerara sugar, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. loose black tea, preferably a malty Assam

“What to do:

“In a small saucepan, bring water, ginger, pepper, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon to a boil. Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil once again.

“Remove pan from heat and add the loose black tea. Cover and let steep for at least 3 minutes (or longer, if you prefer a stronger brew). Strain the mixture into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups—or stainless steel tumblers, as the tea is traditionally served.”



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