Friday, December 6, 2013

Spice Day

Snowing, 6:30 am
The snow flies today after lurking in the dark and bruised sky of yesterday. All day we heard horror stories and cancelations fell like boulders in a rock slide. However, we sat in a pocket free from the ice and storms, waiting our turn. It is 16 degrees this morning, just right for wrapping up in a flannel robe, hugging a warm tea mug, and cradling a good book!

The cold weather also invites using the oven. The day is perfect for making nuts that will be gifts or snacks this month. I made numerous batches, including a new Mexican Walnut. Now the house smells of garlic and Worchester sauce, cinnamon and sugar, chili powder and cumin; the house feels warm and homey.

DH’s mom did not use much spice in her cooking. Salt was the big taste and some cinnamon. At my house, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom were winter smells. Black pepper was used as liberally as salt. Black pepper sat on the table for shaking over cottage cheese and anything that did not have enough kick. Mom’s soups and chili meant cumin, chili powder, paprika. I do not remember any saffron or curry being used, however.

DH does not like spice. Over the years I have lead him to some new tastes, but put too much herb or real taste to a dish and I hear: This is too spicy! Now when we were dating, my dad always kept a huge jar of HOT Polish sausages on the counter top. DH loved those. Dad would razz me every morning when he got up and saw how many sausages were missing after Dad had gone to bed early the night before. “For someone who does not like spice, that boy sure can put away Polish sausage!”

The warm kitchen and the pages of Adriana Trigianai’s  newest book, THE SUPREME MACRONIC COMPANY, reminds me of the frozen raviolis I still have from October’s visit to The Hill in St. Louis. Yum…I feel an Italian lunch coming on!




Sioux said...

I love nutmeg in creamed spinach. I love fresh basil in lots of things. Cinnamon in hot chocolate is delicious.

I'm like you, Claudia. I like things with flavor, with some spice.

Thanks. Your post brought back some memories...

Susan said...

Oh,Claudia, I'm a spice girl. The hotter the better for me.

Love Mexican food and cuisine from India, Thailand and Vietnam, too!

These days our house smells like gingerbread houses. Have made four so far, pieces for two more and dough for the last two is in the refridge.

Love curry, too.

Storming out. Happy to be blessedly home. Susan

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

We're big with spices here. Sea salt and a pepper mill stay on the table, and I add spices to a lot of things. Scrambled eggs get seasoned with Italian seasons or curry powder; I add cinnamon to chicken and turkey soup (yum!). Sounds like you had a very busy time of it in your kitchen, Claudia, scenting up your house with those yummy spices.