By Chef Judi Gallagher –
It is time to refresh your spices and seasonings. With Labor Day over, the white pants and white sandals are packed away and seasonal clothes come out. Now, it is time to do the same with your spice cabinet.
Throw any spices out that are over one-year old. They have long lost their optimum flavor profile. If you have a few cloves, cinnamon sticks and allspice that need to go, you can certainly steep them in some orange tea and pour over ice. But, fresh is best so check those expiration dates and that especially includes baking powder and baking soda.
Assemble your favorite fall recipes. Make a list of things like nutmeg, ground ginger, cardamom, (lovely with gingerbread) and pumpkin spice that you will use most often. Place them on a separate shelf. I keep those spices on the baking shelves in my cupboard for easy access.
You don’t always have to buy commercial spice blends. You can make your own. Here are a few popular ones.
All-Spice: mix equal parts of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
Apple Pie Spice: 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg,1 teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, dash cardamom.
Hot Mulled Cider: 2 cinnamon sticks, whole allspice berries, 2 cloves
On the savory side it is time to think poultry seasoning, sage, bay leaves rosemary and turmeric.
Cinnamon Chai Tea
1 green or black tea bag
4 whole cloves
Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
Sprinkle of ground cardamom
Place tea bags and cloves into hot water and let steep for 3 minutes. Remove the tea bags and cloves. Add cinnamon and cardamom and mix well. Add nonfat milk or soy milk if you like. Serves one.
Homemade poultry seasoning blend:
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, combine 3/4 teaspoon rubbed sage and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or marjoram, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 teaspoon paprika.