Kids Club Vol. 49: Hot Drinks
Welcome to the latest issue of our ChopChop Kids Club newsletter!
Here in Massachusetts, the weather’s getting colder, so this month we’re thinking about hot drinks! The kind that warm you up from the inside out, that enhance your festive holiday mood, or that soothe a case of the sniffles if you’re feeling under the weather. (What can’t a hot mug do?) Plus, we’ve got some related activities, fun facts, and recommendations to put you in the mood for sipping. Happy winter!
And happy holidays, whatever you celebrate, from all of us here at ChopChop.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- 2 glasses
- Large spoon
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Ground nutmeg, for topping
- Put half of the milk, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla in each glass and stir to combine.
- Top each glass with a sprinkle of nutmeg and serve right away.
Try This Now: Chai
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife (adult needed)
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cup
- Medium Pot
- Wooden spoon
- Fine-mesh strainer
- Heatproof container
- 2 mugs
- 1 (1½-inch) piece fresh ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 3 whole cardamom pods, broken open
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 decaffeinated black tea bags (or 2 tablespoon loose decaffeinated black tea)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 2 cups milk
- Cut the ginger into 2 or 3 pieces, then put the pieces on a cutting board and bash them with the bottom of the pot to crush them. Set aside.
- Pile the peppercorns, cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon stick on the board, put the pot on top of them and press down hard, rocking the pot back and forth a little bit, to lightly crush them. Clean off the bottom of the pot.
- Add the crushed spices to the pot and put it on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-low and warm the spices until they are fragrant (you'll be able to smell them if you put your nose over the pot), about 1½ minutes. Add the tea (if you're using tea bags, tear them open and empty out the tea), ginger, sugar, and water.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil, about 2 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the milk, stir, and bring just to a boil, about 4 minutes (watch carefully and move the pot off the heat if it looks like it might boil over). Immediately adjust the heat to very low and simmer to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes.
- Set the strainer over the heatproof container, pour the chai through the strainer, and compost or throw away the solids in the strainer. Ladle the chai into the mugs and serve right away.
After plain water, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world, and the four biggest tea-producing countries are China, India, Kenya, and Sri Lanka, which together grow 75% of the world’s tea.
Give the Gift of Cooking
We’ve been busy creating more learn-to-cook resources for kids! They’re fun and gorgeous, and they make great holiday gifts.
I Made This: Snacks
The perfect first cookbook to show even the littlest chefs how to make their own good-for-you snacks and learn healthy eating and cooking habits in the process. Includes 10 recipes (with photos) that use only 2 or 3 ingredients. Buy it at your local bookstore or click here.
Kitchen activity cards for kids ages 2+ offer a portable, accessible way to engage and educate kids, promote early nutrition awareness, introduce language, math, and food literacy, and teach valuable life skills. Buy it here.
Our award-winning quarterly kids and family magazine is filled with nutritious, great-tasting, diverse, and inexpensive recipes. It also includes fun food facts, educational STEAM/STEM activities, interactive games and puzzles, and more. Subscribe here.
Taste Test: Holiday Spices
Spices are made from the dried seeds, roots, flowers, or bark of fragrant plants. They are often ground to a powder so that we can use them in cooking to give food flavor. In this taste test, we’re focusing on “sweet” spices—spices that aren’t sweet on their own, but that we use often in baking and desserts, especially around the holidays. (They’re also used in savory—meaning, not sweet—dishes, and you might recall some of these as you taste them!)
Start in your kitchen by gathering as many ground sweet spices as you can! These might include:
• Vanilla (this is usually a liquid extract, but we’re including it here)
• Mixed spices, such as “pumpkin pie” or “apple pie” spice
Spoon or sprinkle a bit of each in a small bowl or around a dinner plate, including a few drops of vanilla extract, and put some small cut-up apple chunks in the middle of the plate. Now dip an apple chunk in one of the spices and taste it.
What does it taste like? Is it warm or cool? Mild or strong? Do you like it?
Now pay attention to the associations you have with the smell and flavor—that is, what does it make you think of? Does it remind you of anything you’ve ever eaten or cooked? What?
Try all the spices, and then peek at our list of common uses. We don’t want to spoil your experience by telling them to you first.
- Allspice: apple pie, spice cake
- Cardamom: chai, Indian sweets
- Cinnamon: apple pie, oatmeal cookies, cinnamon toast, mulled cider, applesauce, rice pudding, coffee cake
- Cloves: gingerbread, gingersnaps, ketchup, pumpkin pie
- Ginger: gingerbread, gingersnaps, carrot cake, pumpkin pie
- Mace: apple pie, spice cake
- Nutmeg: eggnog, pumpkin pie
- Vanilla: ice cream, white or yellow cake, cookies, marshmallows, cola