All posts filed under: Ingredients

On the road to Persia – with Raw Spice Bar©

To be all legit & legal  – We were offered a free sample of the Rawspicebar.com March Spice Blend to try out. Any insights, opinions, and general impressions are all our own. You all know I don’t dance for just any company out there. I have standards… and rules. So, for some company to approach me (even after reading my disclosure) and ask me to review their product… well, it’s a big thing in my book. Rawspicebar.com is a limited, small batch production spice outfit. For a nominal fee, they will ship a monthly selection of three to four unique spices and blends from a geographic area on the map. The monthly selections aren’t pre-listed on their site so it is always a mystery until the pack arrives.   Some months ago, I received a message to check out their website and get back to them if I would like a free sample of their spice blends. After some serious reviewing, I agreed  – and received their March Shipment which consisted of:  Saffron Threads Mast – O – Khiar Herbs …

The Mayo Clinic

While theoretically a sauce, mayonnaise has become the mother of all condiments in the  States. A tomato sandwich just isn’t a sandwich without mayo, and a banana sammich – if you ain’t got the mayonnaise, just forget about it. It is the basis for thousands of sandwich spreads, it is the glue – the lubrication – and the binder for any well appointed thing between 2 slices of bread…. and I’m of the camp that “more is better.” Although, one of Jane’s first babysitters for us kids used to make ham sandwiches that squooched mayo out the sides when you tried to bite into it. I think there’s a happy place somewheres just short of that mark. Here’s the thing, I used to giggle when people said they made their own condiments. Making something that you can pick up off the shelf never really made all that much sense…. until 2 years ago. As you know, we’re currently living in prepared food hell, so anything that used to be a no-brainer now has dire consequences. …

Old Buttermilk Sky

Buttermilk Skies – In my mind’s eye, I can see my Dad looking up at those clabbered clouds. And, in that weird lilting falsetto singing voice he reserved for commercial jingles and pre-1960’s radio songs, belting out the first line of that old Hoagy Carmicheal classic. Never any more than that… just the first line. It’s kind of like the way he’d sing the old, old OLD jingle for Lay’s Potato Chips… “I crackle ’cause I’m crisp. I taste better because I’m fresh. I’m a treat. I’m full of zip – I’m a Lay’s Potato Chip” … every single time a fresh bag of chips got opened up for lunch. Or – his retelling of “The night Before Christmas” where he never got more than the  very beginning  out before Jane went into panic mode. “T’was the night before Christmas…” “Charles!“ “… and all through the…” “CHARLES!  I mean it!“ Apparently… Dad’s version was terribly vulgar. I’ll never know, I never heard it. * * * … but I can’t look up at the skies …

Locally Grown – Sorghum Syrup

Generally speaking, it’s a Southern thing. Although over the years it’s been produced across the country as far north as Minnesota. Sorghum syrup is to the South like baked beans are to Boston. And let me be clear, this isn’t anything like maple syrup. Sorghum originally came to the South  in the pockets and packs of the slave trade, and quickly became a favored feed stock because of the drought resistant qualities of the canes. Unlike sugar cane which does best  in moist, rich soils, sorghum thrived in the oppressive heat and humidity of the deep south. Sorghum syrup is made from the pressed canes of the sweet sorghum plant. It is similar to sugar cane in sweetness but far more complex in flavor. By the mid 1800’s sorghum syrup production totaled close to 62 million gallons a year. It was the primary sweetener in the southern states. However, syrup production was hard work. The canes had to be cut and stripped by hand, the presses were either livestock or man powered, the canes had to be continually fed into the …