Shhhhh! Can you hear that? It's the first day of spring, quietly leaving to make way for the first moon of spring.
It's the sound of a collective exhalation, a sigh of relief. Spring!
The signs have been there... the lambs, the insane car-bombing magpies, the blossoms- oh, the blossoms! And today, the most perfect ice free dawn to herald in the most hopeful season of the year- I even saw a rainbow this morning. Not even kidding.
So why on earth am I talking about a health tonic of a winter tea, an immune booster that would be more at home in the depths of a grey winter than a balmy spring day, on the eve of this balmy spring day? (Just putting that question aside a moment, I can totally understand why English people get so pissy about their horrendous weather when we complain about six weeks of slight chills and call it winter...) I am talking about this tea because my body is stuck in a wintery limbo. I managed to escape sickness over winter, but only barely and I can feel it on my heels, ready to pounce when it gets it's chance. And I feel I am not the only one? This last week has been full of lethargic vibes, exhausted looking friends, family and classmates all trying to dodge winter's last desperate clutches.
This tea will help, my friends! It will help you leap into spring because that, I think, is the best way to welcome this joyful time of year. It will also help you use up some of the enormous pile of fresh turmeric you enthusiastically purchased from the fruit shop, that is now quietly growing old on your kitchen bench. Because really, how much fresh turmeric can a person use? Probably quite a bit I suppose. Especially if you make this tea!
This tea is like the adventurous cousin of the old hot lemon and honey. It is bright yellow, gingery and peppery. A lemon boat and a drizzle of honey turns the whole thing into a steamy cup of spicy-sour-sweet. Leave out the lemon and add a cinnamon stick to the pan to replace sour with aromatically woody. Use milk (cow, nut, rice) instead of water for a richer cup of spicy goodness.
I actually have no idea of the magical healing powers of this tea. I admit it. But I know turmeric is pretty good for you, ginger and lemon are good for you, pepper is good for you and honey is good for you. All of those things are also good for your tastebuds. And when they party in a teapot, they make a pretty damn good cup of tea.
turmeric ginger pepper tea
There is not really a recipe for this tea. So here is a general outline...
4-5 slices of ginger
4-5 slices of turmeric
a pinch of freshly ground black pepper (or more- the first time I made this I think I may have put about a teaspoon of pepper in... It was incredibly peppery- almost sneezy- but also surprisingly good)
a wedge of lemon/ a cinnamon stick
a drizzle (or more, or none) of honey
Put all of these things in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes. Pour into some cute teacups and ditch your winter lethargy almost immediately.
Alternatively you can just pop all these ingredients into a teapot, pour over some boiling water and leave it for five minutes or so.
P.S. That cake up yonder is banana, tahini and halva. It is extremely delicious and I will talk more about it soon.