Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Spiced Milk Tea (Page 32)

RECIPE #45
  • Date: Saturday, September 29, 2012 -- 7pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Dave and Karen H
  • Recipe Rating: A-

We made this beverage as part of our Indian feast when my in-laws came to visit last fall. I made a spice mixture by grinding together cardamom, cinnamon stick, white peppercorns, and fennel seeds. These spices were added to simmering whole milk, along with brown sugar, salt, and ground ginger. I cooked some orange pekoe tea in water, then strained it into the milk mixture and served. I enjoyed this spiced milk tea quite a lot. The spice blend was lovely, and the sugar gave it just the right amount of sweetness. I also found the balance of milk to tea to be spot on. This was a lovely warm beverage that I would certainly serve again!

The recipe is here.

45 recipes down, 1061 to go!

My apologies for the long blog silence. A lot has happened around here lately. When I lasted posted, on Wednesday, May 22nd, we had found out that there was a lot of protein in my urine, which is a sign of preeclampsia. A 24 hour urine test result above 300 is one of the two diagnostic criteria for preeclampsia. My result was 533. The other diagnostic criterion for preeclampsia is blood pressure over 140/90. My blood pressure was reading quite high for me, but hadn't reached the 140/90 level, so the doctors told me to keep watching my blood pressure at home, and call in if it started to rise. The night of the 22nd, my head starting hurting, which is not a good sign, but I hoped that it was just stress related and tried to ignore it. The headache persisted throughout the next day, and by Thursday evening my blood pressure was reading over 140/90 on our home machine. By Friday morning my head was really hurting badly and my blood pressure was still high, so around noon I called to make an appointment at the OBGYN. I figured that they would see me, check that the babies looked ok, and send me home. As it turned out, that wasn't what happened...

My appointment was at 4:15pm that Friday. We brought all of our hospital stuff with us, on the off chance that they decided I needed to be admitted to the hospital for observation. At the appointment they took my blood pressure, did a non-stress test on the babies, and then announced that this pregnancy should now be over. I had clearly developed preeclampsia, and the presence of a persistent headache which didn't respond to pain medication was a very bad sign for my own safety and for the safety of the babies. So the babies needed to be delivered. Immediately.

Unfortunately, my body was so not ready to have the babies that inducing me for a vaginal delivery would have taken several days. Given my condition, waiting several days was not a safe option, so I needed a c-section. This conversation took place in the doctor's office around 5:30pm. By 8pm I was in surgery at the hospital.

I had certainly not been expecting to have the babies that day, so I was surprised and frightened and generally upset about the whole thing. Luckily my doctor, who is amazing and was not on call that night, agreed to come in and do my c-section anyway. It was a huge relief as I trust him completely, and having him do the surgery made me feel so much better about what was happening.

The girls were born at 8:45 and 8:47pm, Emmy Terese weighing 5 pounds 7 ounces, and Eloise Karen weighing 5 pounds 8.5 ounces. Because the girls were about a month early (I was 35 weeks 3 days), there were two NICU teams in the operating room to greet them. The girls were quickly evaluated, then we got to see them for a brief moment before they were whisked up to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to be treated for respiratory issues. Here's a picture of the four of us together during surgery, before the girls were taken away:


The surgery went smoothly, but unfortunately I couldn't go see my girls afterward because I had to be on magnesium to prevent seizures from the preeclampsia. The nurses and doctors had warned me in advance about the extremely unpleasant side effects of magnesium. I was very fortunate to have a relatively mild reaction to it, but the 15 or so hours I spent on magnesium were still unpleasant. And I wasn't allowed to get out of bed until the magnesium had cleared my system, which meant that I didn't get to see my girls until Saturday afternoon. Luckily my special gentleman was able to go up to the NICU and visit them Friday night and he took pictures for me so I could see them. 

I'll post more pictures and more about the girls' stay in the NICU soon, but I will say that now, almost three weeks after their birth, both girls have been discharged from the hospital and are home with us! After a long struggle with infertility and a challenging twin pregnancy, we are beyond delighted to have our sweet, healthy, beautiful girls at home! Their entrance into the world didn't go exactly as I had hoped it would, but I said from the start that all that was really important to me was that everyone ended up safe and healthy, and that is indeed what happened.