Last week the ReTrailer made tea for Coreen Savitski of KSDK’s Show Me St. Louis and we announced our newest trailer treat – sweet balls! Beautiful, organic herbs and toasted sesame seeds smashed together with local honey and raw cacao! Plus, more romantic, floral sweets are in the works – come on and get here already, spring!
Here at the ReTrailer headquarters we have been real busy with a whole bunch of things like inventory, account reconciliation and planning for the New Year. In the midst of filing, data entry and other really important business type stuff, I can’t help but get nostalgic – 2012 was such an amazing year!
The ReTrailer: A Daydream Come True
March – We receive our first ever shipment of turmeric from Hana Hawaii and begin test kitchening and staining every counter top, sink, bowl, and utensil immediately.
April – Daydreaming, I mean, business planning.
May – We buy the farm, errrr, trailer! After a 6-hour drive from Kansas City to St. Louis, the ReTrailer unhitched in the sweetest little city on the Mississippi.
And I go to City Hall a whooole bunch and eventually get a license to ill, or, do business.
Also, this really cool wallpaper mosaic happened.
And the ceiling budded these beautiful flowers.
And the walls got all Charlie Brown.
July – After a week of sleepless nights, The ReTrailer opens its cute little trailer door to the public and introduces its first line of teas: Achy Breaky Heart, Calm yo’ Tummy, Cup of Love, Don’t Chai Know, Drop it Like it’s Hot Hibiscus, Fake Coffee and Mom’s Bedtime Story.
August – The North City Famers Market becomes our home away from home and we start serving up fresh turmeric tea and Fake Coffee every Saturday mornin’ – and people like it!
September – The trailer gets a new pair of shoes, a new sign and caravans across the Mississippi for the first time.
October – We park allll over the Gateway City slinging organic tea and making new friends, including a trailer friend, Parsimonia.
November – Whisk: A Sustainable Bake Shop opens and starts serving ReTrailer teas: Don’t Chai Know, Drop it Like it’s Hot Hibiscus, Earl Grey and Edith Grey teas.
December –The ReTrailer goes through 7 pounds of tulsi (holy basil) and gets Christmas lights!
And I talk about ‘dropping it like it’s hot’ on the local news.
Kitchari is a one-pot meal that utilizes a grain, a legume and traditional Indian spices to make a warming, easy to digest, immune building meal. I made some version of kitchari every week while apprenticing at Seven Centers Yoga Arts, but this particular recipe is my all time fav.
For the legume we use mung beans, which are known to help cleanse the liver, remove built up toxins and restore balance. Basically what I’m saying is – make this awesome, detoxifying, Ayurvedic chili right now and start the new year right!
Dr. Vasant Lad’s Most Awesome Kitchari
Developed by Dr. Lad, a world renowned Ayurvedic practioner, teacher, author.
Soak mung beans in water overnight.
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cardamom
¼ tsp fennel seed, ground
¾ tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
¼ cup white basmati, rinsed well
½ cup mung beans, soaked overnight
3 ½ cups water or vegetable broth
And don’t worry, you can pick up all ingredients at your local health food or international grocery store.
Put it all together:
Cover the bottom of the pot with ghee or oil
Add spices and warm until fragrant
Drain the mung beans and add them with the rice to stock pot
Stir until coated with the spice mixture
Add the water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil
Lower heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes until well cooked
Chai is the very first tea that I learned how to blend while apprenticing under Ayurvedic chef, Mira Murphy, at Seven Centers Yoga. In the pre-dawn hours I’d work alongside other kitchen yogis to carefully measure and grind precious herbs for brewing. Those were pretty special days for this tea lady, which makes our Don’t Chai Know tea one special tea – or, dare I say, our specialTEA…
In many parts of the world the word chai is synonymous with tea, but in the trailer chai is synonymous with cup of awesome.
We use both tulsi (or holy basil) and red rooibos as our chai base. Red rooibos is a sweet-ish tea grown in South Africa and qualifies as what I would call a ‘free radical warrior’ because of its super high levels of anti-oxidants.
Tulsi and red rooibos are blended with freshly ground cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, clove, star anise, ginger and peppercorn – a peppery tea that will make you blush it’s so good.
Don’t Chai Know tea works to:
Build your immune system;
Calm your nerves; and
Warm your body from the inside out.
P.S. Try Don’t Chai Know with a spot of honey and a dash of milk.
In addition to tea, the ReTrailer has developed a small line of spice blends that are intended to introduce the cook to Ayurvedic cuisine. Our blends incorporate some spices that are well known: turmeric, cardamom, coriander, cumin . . . and some spices that are not so well known, such as pippali.
Can you imagine my excitement when I opened up the December Issue of Sauce Magazine (flip to page 27) only to see beautiful photos and a entire page of information about the most widely used ayurvedic spice – pippali (or long pepper).
Pippali has a distinct, peppery hotness to it that is all it’s own. Its heating qualities are commonly used in Ayurveda to help stimulate digestion and clear chest and throat congestion. We use it in our Trikatu Spice blend along with black pepper and ground ginger.
About Trikatu Spice Blend:
At the ReTrailer, we talk about Trikatu as being 2 spice blends in one because of the interaction the ginger and pepper have with water based dishes vs. fat based dishes. For example, steamed vegetables seasoned with Trikatu tend to bind more to the black pepper and pippali notes, whereas, when used to spice a fatty dish, like a rib-eye, the ginger in the Trikatu tends to pop out more.
You can use our Trikatu blend to spice up your food and help to:
Did you know that each ReTrailer tea blend has it’s own story? Our Mom’s Bedtime Story tea is one of our very first signature blends and the story behind it is super sweet.
It goes something like this:
I am a big time believer in the benefits of chamomile. Not only is it one of the cutest little flowers ever, but it works real hard to help you sleep better and soothe an upset tummy. The thing is . . . after testing a few chamomile blends I realized that I don’t much care for the flavor.
That’s when I enlisted the help of the best mom in the whole world, my mom, Donna.
One summer night we hung out in our pajamas and tested a heap of different variations. At the end of the night we were both very sleepy AND we had come up with a beautiful blend that combines chamomile, jasmine, lemongrass, and spearmint – basically a minty, citrus-y, floral tea that is so smooth and clean that you will fall asleep with a big goofy smile on your face.
I sometimes describe the ReTrailer as the food trucks hippy little sister. You know, we sell teas and spices – out of a trailer – and talk about things like balance and love all day long. I imagine this is all pretty eye rolling to those big, tough guys but you know what? Somebody has got to do it. This coming weekend is a big one for the trailer, the biggest yet! Starting Friday with Sauce Magazine’s Food Truck Friday in Tower Grove Park and ending with the Dutchtown Harvest Festival on Sunday (more information here).
To mark this occasion, we are rolling out a new fall tea – Sugar Pumpkin Chai! I have to tell you this is one of our most specialtea-teas yet. I mean, we are roasting those cute little pumpkins every night this week and brewing up the most nourishing fall blend.
In addition to the Sugar Pumpkin Chai, we will be serving up two of our most popular blends yet:
Cup of Sunshine tea – turmeric, ginger, tulsi
Brewed with fresh turmeric, Cup of Sunshine is the ReTrailer’s signature tea. Known for it’s super medicinal benefits, turmeric is a topic of great discussion in the medical world for its natural ability to support the immune system, digestion, and liver function.
We’ll be serving this HOT and think it would be a great cap after a big, meaty food truck meal.
The ReTrailer has opened its cute little doors to the public for the past 2 weekends in row! And, while she does a mighty fine job slinging spices and keeping the good people of St. Louis cool with her one-of-a-kind iced teas, what amazes me most is her ability to make people smile. It is quite the phenomenon if I do say so myself.
This past weekend we caravanned over to Saint Louis’ Old North neighborhood for the adorable North City Farmers Market. What a privilege it was to set up shop and talk tea with the Old North community and be surrounded by such beautiful, local (like, grown 2 blocks away local) produce and artisanal crafts!
We are proud to call the North City Market the ReTrailers home away from home! Please come and check us out every Saturday (unless otherwise noted) starting August 11th!
Holy basil! Over the weekend the trailer traveled a whole .8 miles from er’ home in Cherokee to Mad Art Gallery in Soulard for the Indie Craft Revolution craft show. It was the ReTrailer’s first introduction to the good people of St. Louis and I have to say that it was pretty swell.
We served up some of our favorite things and folks seemed to be really into em’:
Farm Fresh Turmeric Iced Tea – fresh, organic turmeric sourced direct form Hana Holistic Farms in Hawaii, grated and brewed with ginger, black pepper, tulsi and sweetened with local honey.
Tulsi Balls – raw cacao, tulsi, sesame and almond smashed together with local honey. Tulsi Balls are the yummiest mint chocolate treat your inner hippy could ever imagine.
Drop it Like It’s Hot Hibiscus Iced Tea – hibiscus, yerba mate and orange peel. So named for Hibiscus’ known effects in helping control body temperature – particularly in hot weather.
But our most favorite thing of all was meeting y’all!