...more of a reminder, really, that such simple, tasty things exist. When I was pregnant with my daughter 5 years ago I gave up coffee, wanting to do what I could to make up for the ancient, broken down body the poor child had to grow in. But I never lost my need for something warm to get my day started. Most mornings during that winter and early spring I'd make hot chai-spiced milk sweetened with a touch of honey. I have no idea why tonight it struck me as the perfect follow up to a delicious pizza 'festosa' from Pizzicato but once the little one was asleep and the males of the family headed downstairs to watch a movie, I wanted nothing else to keep me company as I do some writing and catch up on what's going on in the world.
Heat milk (even faux milk works) with a dash each of ground cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger and the tiniset bit of freshly ground black pepper. Add a splash of honey and, if you're feeling extravagant, half a vanilla bean. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or so and squeeze the vanilla seeds from the pod into the milk. Drink slowly from your very favorite cup--mine was appropriated from my husband who bought it at a ceramics sale last December. It's without a handle and has darling little feet. I'd never use it for coffee but it's my vessel of choice for anything warm and milky.