Spice of Life
When I first started this experiment, the one thing I was most afraid of were spices, those mysterious ingredients that caused the discovery of America (Columbus was sailing west to find a better route for the spice trade) and have nursed countless people back to good health over the millennia. I’m not kidding when I said my favorite food
is was white food. That’s not any kind of ethnic statement. I mean I literally love things that are white. I even blogged about it when we were first starting out.
Spices are those things that I would resolve to make friends with, spend a lot of money on, and then throw away unopened every year when they reached their expiry date.
Then Sobha started feeding me a little and I discovered Indian cooking. It’s a good thing the nearest Indian restaurant is forty-five minutes away or I’d really have a weight problem. The only thing on me that would be slimmer would be my wallet.
Now I’ve started cooking with spices and I’m discovering a whole new world. Spices do not need to mean hot (as in burn off the lining of your mouth). I love the smell of a well spiced dish as it is cooking. The entire house seems to come to life just a little bit more.
I’m still a beginner at learning about spices but I have challenged myself to keep them in a recipe and actually try them out.
I went to the library and got some cookbooks. I’m actually going to read them and try some dishes while Sobha is distracted. They just moved into their new house, so she’s getting the family settled, working full time and entertaining her in-laws. I don’t know why she doesn’t have time for us!
The first cookbook I’m working with is going to be is Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express. He presents “404 inspired seasonal dishes you can make in 20 minutes or less”. I thought I’d see if I could build up a collection of nutritious dishes that come together quickly. I have found a lot of good eating that you’ll be seeing here, but the thing that struck me about his recipes was the lack of spicing beyond basic salt and pepper. Hmmm… I’ll have to put on my spice hat and do a little experimenting.
Are you a spicy believer or a salt-and-pepper stalwart? Do your spice bottles serve as more than decoration? What is your favorite spice?