Tea Party Tuesday: Zoborodo

If you’ve poked around this blog at all, you have probably picked up on the fact that I hate to waste pretty much anything. I’m one of those people who puts water into the soap dispenser to get more liquid out (what? it works!), and I save all my vegetable peels so I can make stock. I’m like your grandma who lived through the Great Depression, only I have WiFi.  To me, wastefulness is lazy and uncreative, two things no one should want to be.

Right, so, pineapples were on special at Publix, and I love a sale, so obviously I bought several. I peeled them and chopped them and ate them, but then I had all these spiny skins littering my kitchen and I was loathe to throw them away. What the Sam Hill do you do with a couple pounds of pineapple peel? I googled around and came across zoborodo, a Nigerian tisane that put them to good use.

Yep, blood red tea.
Yep, blood red tea.

As we’ve covered in previous blogs, tisanes (or herbal teas) aren’t really teas at all. They’re waters infused with herbs, spices, fruits, and flowers. They’re hydrating, almost calorie-free, and have tons of benefits for you, but they aren’t tea. This one can lower blood pressure and decrease pain, plus it’s got a little vitamin C to boot.  Here’s an easy recipe for zoborodo that I adapted from a few I found online. The only odd thing in this recipe is hibiscus flowers, which you can buy at Whole Foods or a health food store.

Acquire the following:

Peel of a pineapple

A generous handful of hibiscus flowers

Two tablespoons (ish) of diced raw ginger

Juice of 2 limes (pro tip: check the “priced for quick sale” shelf at your supermarket. Limes are expensive right now, bout they’re usually there. They’re fine for juice, but just kind of ugly. I got a dozen for a dollar this week.)

Put all these in a big pot and cover with water (I did about 2 liters of water). Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes, then remove from heat and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Strain out all the things you put in and serve. You can drink this hot, but I loved it iced! It’s still 90 degrees here in Charleston, so the mere idea of drinking a warm beverage is a horror. It’s a little bit sour, so add some agave or honey if you want something sweeter. Enjoy!

So what do y’all think of my pineapple reuse? Any other tips for me?

Tea Party Tuesday: DIChai (I’m so sorry)

If you’re still with me after that unforgivable (but very funny) pun, I want to share with you my recipe for homemade chai in honor of this, a midsummer tea party. Chai is one of those things I didn’t realize you could make yourself until I thought about it and was like, “well, obviously it gets made at some point.” If you were wondering, that’s the provenance of about 90% of my DIY projects. Behold, Oprah-free chai:


Bonus: A picture of the Nashville Food Trucks book that I just finished editing!
Bonus: A picture of the Nashville Food Trucks book that I just finished editing!


I know it’s pretty hot to be thinking about drinking chai, but who doesn’t love an iced bev this time of year? I tried this out a couple different ways (details after the jump), and it was good hot, cold, room temp, and as an ice cube.

Continue reading “Tea Party Tuesday: DIChai (I’m so sorry)”

Midweek Craft: Rose Cinnamon Milk Bath

A couple years ago, my friend told me that when you wake up suddenly after a night of drinking, it’s because your blood sugar dropped as a result of your body metabolizing the alcohol, and so all you have to do is drink some juice and you’ll be able to go back to sleep immediately. This happened to me this morning around 4:30, but I was out of juice, so instead I went to the Piggly Wiggly to grab some powdered milk and make a craft.

I know, I’m extremely glamorous.

The result is a really easy milk bath/bath salts hybrid that was inspired by a milk jam I recently ate that was rose and cinnamon and lemon flavored. I know that sounds like a weird combination, but it was right tasty. I have been dreaming of taking a milk bath of late, so I messed around with some bath salt recipes until I got one I liked for a milk salts (TM! TM! TM! Don’t even THINK about taking that from me). Here’s the result:

Behold: A really nice gift that takes under one minute to make.
Behold: A really nice gift that takes under one minute to make.

Pretty, right? I can’t wait to loll about in the tub with a heaping spoonful of this bad boy. After the jump, I am going to BLOW YOUR MIND. Continue reading “Midweek Craft: Rose Cinnamon Milk Bath”

You Should Know How to Do This: Be Clean

Everyone who knows me, with the notable exception of my mother, agrees that I am a Clean Person. Staci’s house is kept at all times at hospital-grade sterility and Pottery Barn catalog levels of lovely, and she considers the Dairy Queen to be the absolute height of filth, so in recent years I decided her opinion is not one I can take into account. Sorry, Mommy! Everyone else, though– they all agree I keep a real clean house. There’s pretty much nothing worse in the whole world than staying the night with a friend, or being invited to your cousin’s for dinner and finding that everything is covered in a sticky film, or that there’s cat pee staining the rug. I’m not saying you’re that cousin, but if you are, I want to show you how to dig yourself out with a minimum of cussing and sweating.

It was not always this way. To paraphrase 1  Corinthians, when I was a college student, I swept as a college student, I laundered as a college student, I Windexed as a college student. When I became a grownup, I put the ways of college behind me. I first got my own space about four years ago. Initially, I was so pumped because any mess I made was my mess, and I was the only person I had to clean up for. I had a washer and dryer at my place for the first time ever and I had a dishwasher. After four years in dorms and keeping it as clean as I could in the wake of seven suitemates, I was in tall cotton, and I let it get filthy. I embraced dimmer switches and lived out of a series of piles.

No, of course this is not mine. That coverlet is ugly.

That worked for me for about 3 months and by September or so, I hated everything. I had always dreaded cleaning as a kid– and to be honest, it’s not like I love it now– and I didn’t want to devote my whole Saturday to Windexing baseboards and polishing silverware. I was also living on $12,000 a year, and couldn’t afford stuff like Pledge wipes, which were suddenly a luxury item. So I decided to change.

Continue reading “You Should Know How to Do This: Be Clean”

Midweek Craft: DIY Mirror Glass

You know what’s super annoying? When every damned thing on a blog is something that would take your whole weekend/all your vacation days/the rest of your life and a degree in fiber arts to complete. Chronderlust is not about that. Chronderlust is about coming home from the gym and deciding to make something kinda pretty on Wednesday before you reheat curry and watch The Sopranos (actual description of today). Behold: Mercury glass, the ultimate stupidly easy craft that also looks awesome.

Oh, look, both of these are pretty, but only one is expensive.
Oh, look, both of these are pretty, but only one is expensive.

You have three of the four things you need for this in your house right now. After the jump, I’ll show you how to do this, and then you, too, will have a bunch of nice hostess gifts in your present closet that you can stuff full of Publix flowers if you get invited to a dinner party last second. Stop looking at me like that; that is a totally normal thing to stock for and I resent the accusation that it isn’t.

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You Should Know How to Do This: Chocolate Syrup

photo 3
I would take a bath in it, I would.

Syrup is a many-splendored thing. A two-to-one ratio of water to sugar can turn into virtually whatever sweet concoction you can imagine. When I was working in fine dining, we had ginger syrups and jalapeno syrups and hibiscus syrups and I don’t even remember what else for our highly fancy cocktails. A dash of simple makes making sweet tea much, much simpler, whatever weird syrups you care to concoct make your Sodastream a thing worth the counter space, and of course the omnipresent bottle of Hersey’s will trick small children (okay, and also me) into drinking their milk. I see pre-made syrups hanging out at the grocery store, and it makes me ultra-crazy because it takes under a minute to make and the sky’s the limit. I’m going to show you how to make chocolate syrup today, but I’ll make some notes after the jump for how to customize it. The method’s the same no matter what.

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Tortilla, But Not What You’re Thinking

When I lived in Spain, I spent a sort of stupid amount of time trying to explain to the people I lived with that I didn’t eat meat (what kinds of meat? All kinds. Not chicken? No. Not fishes? No. Not pork? No. Well, surely you eat ham. Ham is a vegetable.). This really put a crimp in several of my relationships.

As it turns out, the Andalusian diet is not particularly vegetarian-friendly, so about three weeks in I reverted to my omnivorous state to avoid starving to death. In that time, however, I got a pretty great tour of the six-to-eight meat-free dishes in the  cuisine, some of which remain my favorites. Today, I bring you tortilla española.

This is actually not an omelet.
This is actually not an omelet.

No, it’s not beautiful, but you know, neither was Eleanor Roosevelt and we’re still able to come up with dozens of nice things to say about her. The same holds true for tortilla. It’s good hot, cold, and room temperature, keeps for a couple days, costs less than 50 cents a serving, and makes a great sandwich. If that isn’t the Eleanor Roosevelt of weeknight dinners, I don’t know what is.

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Snacks on Snacks on Snacks: Homemade Tortilla Chips

Let’s talk about tortilla chips. I can and will eat them all.  When the dude comes around at the Mexican restaurant with the fresh bowl of them, I have been known to lunge wildly toward him.

All these chips are belong to me.
All these chips are belong to me.

So toasty. So crispy. So good for shoveling tasty dips into my mouth. Want to make them yourself? Oh, you can. You can and you should.

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Introducing Miss Jennie Benedict (and other delicacies)

Hometown hero.

For the humans watching at home, the Derby is a marathon, not a sprint (not for the horses. For the horses, it’s over almost as soon as it starts). You need to have sustenance throughout the long day of standing around wearing a big hat and frittering away money on games of chance, so don’t be foolish: plan ahead and make some tasty treats for yourself. One of the snacks I’m sharing with you today is a Southern delicacy, and the other is a Louisville original. Pimento cheese and Benedictine are both great snack spreads that are good on crackers/white bread and are just two or three bites max. You’re going to be very, very busy, as I said, daydrinking and gambling, so you don’t want your hands to be occupied with something as silly as foodstuffs. Hands are for juleps. Continue reading “Introducing Miss Jennie Benedict (and other delicacies)”