Wednesday, September 1, 2010

jet lag and jet fuel

One of the major downsides to living abroad is the inevitable jet lag you have at least once a year when you go home. For those of you who are not world travelers (I myself was not one until I embarked on this crazy adventure!) it goes like this; traveling west, you just go to bed early and wake up early. Traveling east, you can try to go to bed at a normal/late-ish time, but you wake up at like 2 or 3 or 4am (notice the time on this post) and then you want to sleep and nap all day. Super. Now, that is all well and NOT good. But when you have an infant who is also jet lagged, it's pretty much the worst. I wouldn't be surprised if wars, divorces, and famines happened because of this very thing. So Ramona has been taking normal naps, going to bed at her normal time (maybe a little early) and then waking up ready to play at like 1am. I have been so tired and grouchy this week! I wish I had some advice, but I'm still working it out in my head. Time zone math, and all other math, is not my strong suit. It's like "if a train is traveling at 60 miles an hour..." kind of stuff and I can't do it. However, I will say, that it seems like keeping her up as late as possible is the way to go. And not letting her sleep too late during her afternoon nap, but that's kind of a no brainer. Tonight was pretty good, she went down around 8:30 and slept til midnight, was awake for maybe a half hour (big improvement over 2 or 3 hours) and then went back down. She's fussed a few times since then, but it seems that she's doing better. So how am I getting through the days on not enough sleep? Well. Let me tell you about a tragedy first. Right before we left, I broke the french press. My only link to good coffee, shattered on the kitchen floor. I brought back some yummy pumpkin spice and snickerdoodle, but alas, unless I want to eat it out of the bag (and I've thought about it) I have to wait until I have the energy to go shopping for a new one. So, I've been drinking this amazing tea instead. I love tea, but normally it doesn't give me the jolt I need. It's more of a relaxing, end of the night kind of thing for me. But Chai usually works. So, I've tried lots of different things, brewing it in the milk, brewing it water and adding milk, but it never has that, please forgive me, Starbucks kind of taste. It's never thick enough or something. I had read about this "chai concentrate" on a few different blogs last spring and I thought it sounded interesting, but I didn't have access to some of the spices so I bookmarked it for another time. Well, before I left the U.S. I wisely looked up some recipes I had been wanting to try and gathered the ingredients I needed. So the stuff works like this, you make a batch of the concentrate, throw it in the fridge, and then it's good for 6 months. And it's enough for 28 cups! I had bought some cinnamon tea at One Good Woman and it seemed like the perfect match. Oh yes. It was. This is what has been getting me through the week people.

Chai Concentrate

Makes about 1 1/2 cups (enough for 28 cups of chai)

Ingredients

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Empty condensed milk into a jar or plastic container with tight-fitting lid. Stir in the sugar*, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Store in refrigerator.

To use: Brew a cup of strong black tea, then add two heaping teaspoons of concentrate or more to taste. Stir well until concentrate has fully melted.

To give: Pour into small jars with lids and tie with an attractive bow, or wrap the jar first. Attach a tag with instructions to keep the mix refrigerated and how to use it.

To keep: Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.

*I thought it was pretty sweet and I think I'll leave out the sugar next time...

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Sorry you're up all night, but this chai stuff sounds good and I'm going to try it! miss you