Tolkien Cooking: “Beorn’s Comforting Chai” by Astrid Tuttle Winegar
I believe Beorn would also be inclined to use cream instead of milk in this recipe. He probably metabolizes cream better than you or I can since he changes into a bear—I imagine that kind of metamorphosis takes an enormous amount of energy. There is no such thing as cholesterol in Middle-earth.
“Beorn’s Comforting Chai”
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 pieces
2 star anise
6 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
20 whole peppercorns
1″ piece of fresh ginger, washed, unpeeled, cut into ¼” slices
3 cups water
3 regular-sized tea bags (use a fruity variety, such as Constant Comment or Orange Zinger)
3-4 tablespoons honey, or more to taste
1 cup 1% milk
Use a 4-cup glass measure for this recipe. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer over a medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let it steep for 5 minutes. Put a small, fine-mesh strainer over the 4-cup glass measure. Pour the liquid into this and squeeze out the liquid from the tea bags. Discard all solids. You’ll have about 2½-2¾ cups left. Pour this back into the saucepan. Add the honey and milk. Stir over low heat just until the honey dissolves. Carefully pour into 2-3 mugs, or pour this back into the glass measure so you can pour it more carefully. Serves 2-3, depending on how much comfort you need.
This is known simply as Comforting Chai in my cookbook.
Astrid Tuttle Winegar
Astrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings and Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is currently available in e-book form on the Amazon Kindle, but will soon be released by Oloris Publishing! Stay tuned for details. For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. She blogs occasionally at http://halflingsandmonsters.wordpress.com/. You can check out (and like!) her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/halflingsandmonsters or visit her Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/astridwinegar. Staff Reporter.