Normally that particular hashtag annoys me. Perhaps because something that is considered trendy translates to a short shelf life, disposable even. Toys, fashion, gadgets, topics, even culinary trends. (Yawn.) Mass media feeds us so much, so quickly and so often, we're chewing on the latest information and digesting it without really paying attention or savoring the content. I'm super guilty of this.
A few months ago I was on the subway and there was a German family and the 12 yr old boy of the group had this crazy looking little whoseewhatsit spinning around between his fingers. I thought it was a ninja star and was worried he was going to cut his fingers or slash someone accidentally. I didn't think too much of it as I watched them clutch their subway maps and dart off the train.
A few weeks ago I saw these toys at the checkout of Target. Aha! Fidget Spinners. And now they're everywhere. Every kid has one, I've even seen adults playing with them, and media is obsessed with these things too.
I was in the train the other day and this sweet little boy had one that looked like a golden Snitch from Harry Potter. He was mesmerized. I was mesmerized. (My subway neighbors were mesmerized by my picture taking.) And his mother was reading her book, undisturbed. The little spinner was standing in as babysitter. Cool. Weird. (I've since learned it is a calming mechanism for those diagnosed with ADHD as well.)
Cut to - I'm on the subway a few days ago and two gentlemen get on. One was a teacher, and the other a reporter (I'm not psychic; I learned this from their conversation. Personal space is hardly a thing in New York City.) The teacher was being interviewed about Fidget Spinners! How random? Or maybe not since these things are everywhere. Basically, the two gentlemen concluded these Fidget Spinners are just trendy little blips in society's attention span that will soon be gone. They predicted the Spinners have about 30 days left in the trend cycle. Who comes up with gadgets like these?! And who thinks about the span of a trend cycle?!
You know what is also #ontrend? Turmeric! This little guy is an ancient rhizome, related to ginger. It's used as an Ayervedic medicine, a natural dye, a cooking spice, and it's used in many religious ceremonies throughout the world. Turmeric is sometimes known as the 'poor man's saffron' because it's infinitely less expensive than saffron threads but can achieve similar results in color.
I've been taking turmeric supplements for years now to help with joint and nerve pain. The key component in turmeric is curcumin which is widely praised for its anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and antioxidant qualities. In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric has been used as an attempted treatment for a variety of internal disorders, such as indigestion, throat infections, common colds, or liver ailments, as well as topically, to cleanse wounds or treat skin sores. And creepily enough, my computer knew I was writing about turmeric and as I opened up Yahoo News I was greeted with a teeth whitening hack in my news feed - turmeric and coconut oil! (You better believe I'm trying this.)
It seems every food publication, cooking blog, and health/wellness coach is staying #ontrend by making some golden elixir using turmeric these days. Turmeric milk, turmeric latte, turmeric tea, turmeric bulletproof coffee... Why not an All Good Things cup of sunshine?
I've blogged about my beloved Indian Chai before, so here is my turmeric masala chai.
Turmeric Masala Chai
- 2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger root (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger powder)
- 5 cardamom pods, cracked
- 5 cloves
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried lemongrass
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh turmeric root (or 2 teaspoons ground turmeric powder)
- 4 cups soymilk
- 3 teaspoons coconut oil (or butter)
- 6 tablespoons black Assam tea
In a medium sized sauce pan, bring the water, condensed milk, roots, and spices to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, add the milk and coconut oil. Increasing the heat, bring to a low boil (be careful it doesn't boil over!) Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the tea. Simmer for 3 more minutes. Strain the solids immediately - I find the tea gets bitter if not drained quickly. Pour into mugs and serve with a dusting of cinnamon if you'd like.