Cold cocoa, Thai Iced Tea & British Weather

It has been a most favonian week.

I won’t bore you with the usual British comments on the topic of  hot, sunny weather. Let us skip past the awe and irritation towards the fact of the weather and instead land squarely on the pertinent facts, the effect of the weather. More specifically, the effect of the weather on me. That is to say, I am hot, sticky,  uncomfortable, and therefore even more unbearable and given to self-centred  complaining, waffling, bloviating, generally running on like cow’s spittle, etc.

Cold sweet things usually shut me up and cool me down. Mr Pear and I just had some cold coco, something which I drank several gallons of in my past trips to Thailand. We made it with Cadbury’s drinking chocolate dissolved in barely warm milk poured over ice. 3 ridiculously heaped teaspoons of chocolate to about half a glass of milk. I added a few drops of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of condensed milk to make it syrupy-strong – cold kills the taste and ice dilutes, you see.

And then, of course, there’s Thai iced tea with milk (cha yen, ชาเย็น). I wrote a recipe for exactly that at Mouth London this week, but I do feel slightly guilty about calling it a recipe. Really it’s just directions for how to assemble the drink: make tea, add milk from tins, pour over ice. It’s one of those things you never really think you need a recipe for, which partially explains why several years ago, directions were a bit sparse on the internet. I googled, gargled, and excavated. Finally, I asked my mother. It was very simple. Of course! Sigh.

You can vary the tea how you like to your taste. My mother said that she often saw old people drinking this hot for breakfast in Thailand, accompanied by some crisp patongo (ปาท่องโก๋; youtiao). I like it hot, too; you may want to cut back on the condensed milk. You can also make it black, sweetened with sugar and scented with lime – the perfect sherberty tang to complement the tea.

Even though I very much like the stuff, and I’m glad that you get a nice big rustling packet of it for a couple of quid, I still feel like I’m a little too rich in tea. There’s only so much liquid one can consume, after all. I’d love to try some Thai tea fudge, though…

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