Chai on the Fly

In India, as in Thailand, tea is often flavored with spices and milk. LiveChai is a carton-packaged version of Indian-style chai , made from black tea, milk, honey and spices (thought to have specific health benefits in India). It's shelf-stable, so the cartons need no refrigeration until opened, making the eight-ounce size (which comes with a straw) handy for backpack or briefcase. In the quart size, you can get either regular LiveChai or a dairy-less variety to which you can add your own skim milk or milk substitute.

Anyway, if you like Thai iced tea, LiveChai is very much in the same category (it's also good at room temperature or warmed up in the microwave), though arguably more cosmic. Available in Southern California at health food stores such as Mrs. Gooch's and Erewhon.

To the Core

What to do with a pineapple? If you hack off the tough rind, you still have to deal with the woody core. There are corers that will separate the flesh, but you still have to hack and chop to get everything out of the rind.

The Easy Slicer is much cooler. You cut off the top off the pineapple, screw this plastic gadget down into the fruit (press firmly to get it started), and presto: It slices the flesh into a long spiral, which you can pull right out. A detachable handle releases the fruit. For extra fun, since the rind stays whole, you can use it as a fancy serving bowl or cocktail container, or freeze a dessert in it. Available in Southern California at Williams Sonoma, Bristol Farms and Linens 'n Things stores.

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