Blogging, Life, Lists

On My Front Porch: Wonderful Veranda Chats Over Chai

So today I decided to use Paul’s suggested topic for the day, about the conversations we would have with our blog readers on our front porch over a cuppa! Since my drink of choice is chai, I would, of course be having chai, and offer my guest a drink of their choice, be it some joe, herbal teas, warm cider, or some really delish hot chocolate. And what would those wonderful veranda chats over chai on my front porch sound like? If you were a fly on the wall there, this is what you would hear…

On My Front Porch

Given the word nerd that I am, I would talk to you about word origins. “Did you know that one of the possible origins of the word veranda is from the Tamil word ‘Veruntharai’? It means a ‘roofed open gallery, and comes from ‘Verum’ meaning ’empty’ and ‘Tharai’ meaning ‘a floor or space.'”

Considering that I grew up using the word in my mother tongue, I lean towards this origin theory; biased, yes, but it makes sense to me too! However, the more widely known origin is slightly different. I have borrowed it from The Online Etymology Dictionary for you here:

also verandah, 1711, Anglo-Indian, from Hindi varanda, which probably is from Portuguese varanda, originally “long balcony or terrace,” of uncertain origin, possibly related to Spanish baranda “railing,” and ultimately from Vulgar Latin *barra “barrier, bar.” French véranda is borrowed from English.

Note: Not my front porch, though I wish it would be! (Photo by Benny Kuriakose)

On My Veranda,

If my veranda visitors are UBCers, we would chat about the UBC; we old-timers might reminiscence about, well, the old times, what else!? Given that we love welcoming new friends into our fold, pretty soon, everyone is joining in on the conversation. And given the simply amazing, talented, smart, friendly, and wonderful people in our group, this is bound to be a fun, invigorating, refreshing, and well, totally awesome-sauce chat over chai.

Of course, my visitors also include other book(ish) bloggers, influential mommies, and so many more. They will all be joining in as well, so we will also end up having impromptu bookish discussions. As well as talk about mommying tips, self-care suggestions, and so much more..

Possible Chai Chats

would include,

Blogging Related

since we are talking about friends in the blogger (whether bookish, mommish, any other niche-blog) world for this post’s purposes:

  • favorite blog post (the one you enjoyed writing the most, or that you are most proud of)
  • the most popular post on your blog (and why do you think it is so)
  • what is a topic you have not yet written about but really want to? If a book blogger, then maybe a book not reviewed?
  • who is the most interesting person you have met in the blogging world?
  • is there anyone in the blogosphere you met in real life (or hope to meet in real life)
  • what is the most fun/frustrating thing about blogging for you?

Our Lives in General

and since we also love to talk about non-bloggy things,

  • let us talk about the weather! Why not? Or rather seasons; which is your favorite season and why?
  • what is your choice of drink for conversations with friends? (most likely, this has already been asked and we are all bonding our favorite drinks already, but just in case)
  • what does your name mean?
  • do you have a nickname? how did you come by it?
  • what is the most interesting trip you have taken in your life?
  • do you play a sport? or an instrument? or both? talk about that
  • what is your first childhood memory?

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I would (or have already) use myself.

My Cup of Chai

Of late, we have switched to oat milk for our cup of chai, and we love it. Here is the recipe.


  • 1 cup oat milk (We use the Kirkland brand from Costco – just plain regular oat milk, unsweetened and unflavored)
  • 2 cups water (if using 2% regular milk, I increase the water to almost 3 cups; if using soy milk, then about 2.5 cups of water – mostly depends on how milky you want your tea though)
  • 4 tsps loose tea leaves (while we have tried and loved many different brands of tea, our current favorite is Tata Tea Gold) (You can reduce it to 3 tsps or increase it a little depending on how strong you want your tea)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 pods cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • You can also choose to add some cinnamon stick (about 1/2 inch) though I normally skip the cinnamon
  • Sweetener of your choice (traditionally, we use regular sugar though I have also used brown sugar, jaggery, and coconut sugar in the past; now we skip the sweetener as well. However, I do feel that the cardamom lends some sweetness to the chai)


  • Roughly pound the ginger, cardamom, and cloves together. (Or you could use a spiced tea option directly and skip this step)
  • Boil the milk, water, and spices together.
  • When this comes to boiling point, reduce the heat to simmer and add the tea leaves.
  • Let it steep at low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Strain and pour into cups and serve with the sweetener of your choice.
  • I love my cup of chai with Parle G biscuits (second and third choices: Marie biscuits and Biscoff!)
a cup of tea with lotus biscoff biscuits next to it.. 
On My Front Porch: Wonderful Veranda Chats Over Chai

Note: While I have linked to Amazon links for some of the items on the ingredient list for your information, do check for these items if you have an Indian grocery store in or near your neighborhood.

One additional advantage to using oat milk over soy or regular milk, the pot in which we boil it all is super easy to clean. It is almost like we never used the pot once we pour the tea out 🙂

Related Reads

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, pick any of those questions from the lists in Possible Chai Chats and share your answer here, on my front porch, well a virtual one. I would love to know more about you. As for me, my earliest memory (a very clear one at that) is of the day my brother was born. I was just 3 years and one week old.

11 thoughts on “On My Front Porch: Wonderful Veranda Chats Over Chai

  1. Is that your veranda in this blog? When friends gather, we often talk politics and how to preserve our democracy: the voting rights act is most important right now. Not to mention environmental concerns such as the Climate. Small talk is fun, too!!

  2. That would be just lovely if we could get together and have a cuppa. I had 2 such long distance get togethers with an email group. Once some of us met in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The 2nd time in Japan. I love your recipe for chai. I might see if I can round up the ingredients.

  3. I live in Arizona, so talk of the weather is sometimes boring as we get a LOT of sunny days. I would like to chat about blogging, as I’m new at it, and don’t have any real life friends or family who blog.

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