Cooking with chai spices

I have this tapestry that I bought on my first journey to India, back in 2000. I was nineteen and "home" wasn't even a huge consideration to me, I just wanted to travel. I knew even then that my mind was most clear when I was in motion. But I bought this beautiful red tapestry (red is my favorite color) in Rajasthan, and everywhere I went I spread it on my bed. What we hang on our walls here, people in India use for sheets, so it became the sheet that covered my bed in every guesthouse. I remember the bed that had so many lumps I had to curl around them, in the cracks.

That tapestry now goes everywhere with me. My Superstar Husband and I hung it on the wall in our first home, Cabin A, here at the Land. We hung it on the wall when we lived in Arcata. It hung on the wall in our communal living space in San Francisco. And here it is acting as a curtain in our bedroom.

I think this is kind of what you guys were talking about. These things take on more meaning than they had originally, sitting there in the shop waiting for us. They reek of home, permanence, the thing we all long for, no matter how nomadic we are.


And now here is a little tidbit of cooking advice for you. Our community is kind of building a reputation for its chai, and most of us can make a rip-roaring pot of chai. But somewhere along the way we discovered this chai concentrate, a combination of spices that you can spray into a cup of regular tea to instantly transform it to masala chai (spicy tea).

Yesterday I made oatmeal with raisins and apples and cinnamon and maple syrup, and I sprayed some of the chai concentrate into it.

Best bowl of oatmeal in my life, excluding maybe the oatmeal that we make at Rainbow Gatherings, since eating when you are camping is better than any other kind of eating.