Spice Count ?

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  #1  
Old 06-03-2020, 01:35 PM
Chatbrat Chatbrat is offline
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Default Spice Count ?

Since Covid, we have not eaten out once--Looking @ our spice collection, today's count was 48, not counting oils, flavorings, honey, &vinegars--is this normal--because as I believe most Villagers have never turned their ovens on
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:57 PM
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we have eaten prior to covid, maybe I should change my sign on name to- 2 MB's
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Old 06-03-2020, 01:58 PM
davem4616 davem4616 is offline
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perfectly normal to us...we generally prepare our meals from scratch...we rarely dined out, and haven't since covid-19, nor have we done any take out. We dined out a lot for business...it gets old...and we both worked in restaurants while going to school...we know what goes on in the kitchen

we love to cook...gives you complete control over the ingredients, is a lot less costly and we're each on a first name basis with the chef / sous-chef

we also make our own sausage, grind our own cheese and breadcrumbs, make our own pasta, grind our own hamburger blend of pork and chuck, we make all our own soups....this Saturday we're cooking escargot and chateaubriand just for the heck of it

cooking together became a hobby for us back in the early nineties....we both worked, whoever came home cooked, the other did the dishes

we've been cooking up a storm of late and got back into 'canning' in preparation for hurricane season....

over the years we've taken quite a few cooking classes at Johnson & Wales and with private chefs in Savannah, Miami and Ft Lauderdale...once you understand how to cook and you have the right tools to do it...it's not a big deal (but if you have 48 spices, you already know that)

our kids refer to as 'foodies'...but they thoroughly loved the 175 page 'family cookbook' that we gave them one Christmas...one of the kids tried to 'cook through it

you are correct about a lot of folks in TV not cooking
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Old 06-03-2020, 02:46 PM
Stu from NYC Stu from NYC is offline
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Before we moved here in Feb could have probably given you a run for the money but in packing realized how many different ones we had that had not been used in many years so tossed lots of them
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Old 06-03-2020, 02:56 PM
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For those who love to cook and already have a lot of knowledge of the subject — and a lot of spices — may I recommend a book that I think you might really get into:

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide To Culinary Creativity, Based On The Wisdom Of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.

This is not exactly a cookbook. It does not have many pictures or recipes. But I think highly experienced cooks, or those who aspire to be, would find The Flavor Bible fascinating.

If you are not familiar with this book, and if it sounds at all interesting to you, Amazon will have a detailed description, along with reviews.

These two authors also wrote What To Drink With What You Eat which won a “Cookbook of the Year” award.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:46 AM
charlieo1126@gmail.com charlieo1126@gmail.com is offline
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Last time I turned a stove on was just before they started making coffee makers with pods . During the isolating period I managed to keep that streak going .
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:00 AM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatbrat View Post
Since Covid, we have not eaten out once--Looking @ our spice collection, today's count was 48, not counting oils, flavorings, honey, &vinegars--is this normal--because as I believe most Villagers have never turned their ovens on
I once read in a cookbook, that if you have spices that are more than a year old, you should throw them out. I never followed that advice and wonder if anyone else does.
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
I once read in a cookbook, that if you have spices that are more than a year old, you should throw them out. I never followed that advice and wonder if anyone else does.
If in a sealed container do not think it will lose its flavor that quickly.

Now the 20 years or so we had some that we finally tossed is probably another story
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
I once read in a cookbook, that if you have spices that are more than a year old, you should throw them out. I never followed that advice and wonder if anyone else does.



Some (not all) dried herbs and spices will a lot of their potency after being open for a year and they should be tossed (or try using 1 1/4 times the amount called for). I think that some herbs/spices like 'bay leaves' left over from WWII would still be okay LOL, as would other spices like dried mustard powder and poppy seeds for example

I try to purchase the smallest container possible if it's a dried herb or spice that we don't use a lot

A tip we picked up along the way is that dried spices and herbs should be stored as far away from the stove as possible in the dark, never on the back of the stove above the dials (like I used to because it was handy) ...the heat from the stove will greatly reduce their potency in a matter of weeks

we grow and use a lot of fresh herbs whenever possible...(I use the electric hedge clipper on our rosemary bush)...chives do well outdoors in TV (but need a lot of water)...sage does well, oregano thrives, as does basil. Parsley seems to attract too many leaf eating bugs in TV, so we've given up on that and for some reason thyme seems to always be just too leggy, so we buy those fresh at the market. We use a lot of fennel / fennel seeds...we've had some success growing the wild fennel, but not like we did up north
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:36 PM
Bjeanj Bjeanj is offline
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Chatbrat, I had to go and count my spices. I’ve got 26, so it sounds like you are a much more active cook than I am. We’ve always cooked, but in the past three months, we’ve become more adventurous. One of us will find a recipe that sounds good, and sometimes we don’t have the spices necessary, so have to get them. This has turned into a bit of a joint venture, and I have to say, it’s more fun when both of us prepare the dish.

We finally found some active dry yeast, and plan on making some simple cinnamon rolls. Worked out the approximate cost to make our own bread. While the smell from baking it is wonderful, it costs less just to buy a loaf. We also found an article on how to make our own butter. However, same story as making bread. Much easier, less expensive just to buy.
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:46 PM
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I can tell you that powdered ginger is nasty after 5 years sitting in the container. Toss it and buy a new one, or grow some and use it fresh.

Also, chili powder is profoundly unremarkable after 5 years sitting in the container. Another one worth ditching and replacing every year or so.

Cardamom pods seem to maintain a good flavor, but the powder gets lost after awhile. Best is to buy the pods, and crush the seed within the pod when/as needed. Same with allspice.

Cinnamon sticks can effectively be good forever. Grind as needed, or "score" a piece of the bark with a knife to release the oils that are trapped in it, as needed.

Garlic powder is weird. Never use the stuff. I grow my own oregano, lemon thyme, and rosemary, so I can harvest a year's worth after a week's growth, here in Florida, if I wanted to. Mostly I just let the thyme and oregano flower because they're pretty and attract honeybees.
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:46 PM
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I have 46 spices, but I grow about 20, so I just cut or freeze. Then there are the flavored balsamic about 12, in small bottles.

Salt is at least 20 along with 3 salt blocks. We cook almost every meal. If I can make it better why go out
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Old 06-04-2020, 02:06 PM
davem4616 davem4616 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asianthree View Post
I have 46 spices, but I grow about 20, so I just cut or freeze. Then there are the flavored balsamic about 12, in small bottles.

Salt is at least 20 along with 3 salt blocks. We cook almost every meal. If I can make it better why go out


please, say more about the salt...I'm not understanding what you are doing with the salt
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Old 06-04-2020, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by davem4616 View Post
please, say more about the salt...I'm not understanding what you are doing with the salt
Salt blocks (Himalaya pink) can be used cold as serving platter. Items will pick up faint Salt. Can be used in oven to bake on, or on grill. Depending on the food, Seafood, chicken, beef, pork, will greatly enhance flavor.

Salts can be brining, think turkey. Finishing salt comes from all over the world. Each unique. only sprinkled After cooking hence finishing salt. If you google cooking with salt, you will find hundreds of recipes
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
I once read in a cookbook, that if you have spices that are more than a year old, you should throw them out. I never followed that advice and wonder if anyone else does.
I've also read that, and also that you shouldn't keep them near the stove.


I just ignore that. We have 24 spices hanging on the side of the refrigerator in magnetic containers, not far from the stove. Probably another 12 in the cabinet next to the stove. We cook many different cuisines, so there have never been a "staple 5." I can tell with a sniff when they need to be replaced.
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