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Early Darkness and Hot Orange Spice Tea and Chili • Family and Farming

Early Darkness and Hot Orange Spice Tea and Chili

It’s dark when you get up in the morning. It’s dark when you come home from work. Winter darkness. It creeps up on you.

January-Early Darkness

Before winter, you had the constant summer brightness, when a child’s eight PM bedtime feels like a mid-afternoon nap. Or an October sky, with a bright cerulean blue color tingeing everything you see.

You must still go outside and do the work. But you have to do it faster as the light is fading away at a quicker pace. Match that pace and don’t give up. You want to complete the task sooner. Standing in the dark and cold isn’t fun.

And now it’s dark. What to do in the darkness? Fluff a pillow. Watch that TV series you didn’t have time for when it was summer. There was too much light streaming through the window. You couldn’t see it properly. Clean out that cabinet. Drink something hot.

Be Blessed!

Hot Orange Spice Tea Mix

Today’s recipe is Hot Orange Spice Tea Mix. Despite the odd combination of ingredients, you’ll find it to be a good drink. This is a recipe from the early 1970’s. Back in those times junior high (that’s middle school now) kids were obsessed with space travel and Tang. Tang was this powdered “orange juice” concoction that astronauts mixed with water and drank during space travel. Tang was something out of my reach, as mom didn’t believe in the nutritional value and dad owned a creamery. (‘Nuff said.)

I remember the first time Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon on July 16, 1969, when I camped out in the back yard in a handmade tent fashioned out of a quilt and clothes pins. I had binoculars and couldn’t see much. But I saw with my imagination. I would race back to the house to watch it on our black and white TV. With Tang in hand, (or in my case, a glass of milk) anything was possible!

Hot Orange Spice Tea Mix

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Storage container- Use a pint canning jar with lid
  • Bowl & mixing spoon – Or shake in a quart canning jar with lid!


  • ¼ C instant tea powder
  • ¾ C sugar
  • 1 C Tang
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cloves

Mix all ingredients together well. Store in a covered container. To serve, stir 2-3 teaspoons mix into 1 cup of boiling water.


Hot Orange Spice Tea Mix

Easy Chili

Because it’s cold and dark, I am also including a main dish recipe. Easy Chili Your Kids Will Eat is based on a recipe I got at a Tupperware party in 1981. I’ve made some changes that chili connoisseurs will complain about. The changes were made to encourage my kids to eat beans, so I use spaghetti sauce with crushed tomatoes to make it a little more palatable. It’s not hot or spicy or trendy. Just good food that no one will fuss about. Be sure to make crackers available. This chili like most other chilis, tastes better the next day.

Easy Chili Your Kids Will Eat

Easy Kid's Chili Recipe

Tools You’ll Need:

  • Crock-Pot (I prefer this over an instant pot, for more complete heating)


  • 1 (15 oz) can chili beans- I prefer Mrs. Grimes
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans
  • 2# hamburger, browned with onion
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (67 oz) jar Prego
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ t chili powder
  • ½ t pepper
  • ½ t cumin
  • Salt to taste

Put it all in the Crock-pot. Stir. Cook on low for 8 hours. This recipe can easily be doubled, but you’ll need another Crock-pot!

Yes, it’s not “real” chili, but your kids will eat it!