Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Cup of Spiced Orange Tea

When the weather turns autumnal and cool, I look forward to getting out the winter cookbooks. My everyday cooking is the stuff I can make without consulting a book, but I love reading about all the things I would make if I had the time and space. I adore herbs and spices, so what I'd love to have someday is a whole series of kitchen spice racks where I could line up all sorts of top-quality, organic cinnamon and cloves (powdered and whole), and star anise and loads of saffron for my basmati rice. I'd probably grind my own spices, too, and put them in jars custom-made for my spice racks.

A teacup of an island in the Adirondacks
And I will have a view of water while I am doing all of this - a bay, a lake, the ocean - I don't mind. I just want to look out and see a bit of beach and water. But since it is best to be happy with what you've already got, I do have a nice spice rack and enough cinnamon and cloves for this delicious fall treat. It is adapted from The Spice Cook Book (1964) by Avanelle Day and Lillie Stuckey:

Hot Spiced Orange Tea

Combine 1 quart boiling water, 1/4 cup sugar, 10 whole cloves and 2 cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Mix well and bring to a boil again. Take it off the heat and add 4 tea bags of your choice (black tea is implied, but I guess you could try green or white tea if you like - or even instant coffee, come to think of it). Steep for 4 minutes. Strain it and stir in 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, the rind of a medium orange and a slice of fresh lemon. Place over low heat to keep it warm but don't boil it again. When you're ready to serve it, take the orange rind out. Serve it in cups (I think you could use mugs if that's what you prefer) and add a cinnamon stick in each as a stirrer. You could use honey sticks as stirrers, too.

Whether you have a wall spice rack or something on the counter - as long as you can find the cinnamon and cloves, this one's easy to make. And a few falling red leaves outside the window makes a perfect accompaniment.

1 comment:

Cari Hislop said...

Or you could just fill a china cup with some orange juice, sprinkle it with cinnamon and nuke it for one and a half minutes. Voila! The cup de orange cheer. I'm a lazy wench.

If for health reasons you're supposed to avoid orange juice, milk, caffeine, sugar and numerous other tasty things try this:

Fill three-fourths of a china cup (this is going to be nuked) with oatmilk (shaken not stirred) (sometimes I top up with rice milk sometimes I don't). Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon, stir well then nuke for one minute and a half and voila...a lovely hot drink.