By Madeleine Ignon | July 4, 2011

Photo: Madeleine Ignon

I recently came across a book that combine my two loves of food and art.

The book is The Artist’s Palate by Nadine Haim and translated from the French by Robert Erich Wolf. It is a collection of recipes by artists that at one or time or another were involved with the author’s brother’s gallery in Paris, Galerie Claude Bernard. On one page is the artist’s recipe, accompanied by an explanation or anecdote, and on the other is a color photograph of a work of theirs-a drawing or painting of the dish.

Photo: Madeleine Ignon

Flipping through, a hazy, moody pencil and charcoal drawing by French artist Pierre Édouard caught my eye. As I learned from the text next to the drawing, his studio becomes unbearably hot in the summer and unbearably cold in the winter. To try to keep himself comfortable, he drinks this tea, hot or iced according to the climate. This is also perfect for schizophrenic San Francisco summers. It is spicy and creamy, much like Chai, and can be made as sweet as you like.

Photo: Madeleine Ignon

Adapted from The Artist’s Palate

  • 1 tsp Kisthi or Ceylon tea
  • 1 cup water, hot or cold
  • 1 cardamon seed
  • 1 large pinch grated ginger
  • 1/4 stick cinnamon or 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tsp superfine sugar, to taste
  • 1 cup milk, hot or cold


Put the tea in a teapot, pour the cup of water over it, and steep. Empty the liquid into a glass. Tie the cardamon seed, ginger, and cinnamon in some cheesecloth and steep the spice bag in the glass. Add the sugar and pour in the milk. Let steep for 15 minutes if you are drinking it hot, 25 minutes if cold.

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