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Weekly Cooking Thread ~ April 16, 2011
FreeRepublicCooks | April 16, 2011 | libertarian27

Posted on 04/16/2011 8:07:04 AM PDT by libertarian27

Welcome to the 19th installment of the FR Weekly Cooking Thread.

Looking for something new to make or made something new that came out great? Please share a 'tried-and-true' recipe or two - or all of them:)! for fellow FReepers to add to their 'go-to' recipe stack of Family favorites?

Here's the place to share and explore your next favorite recipe.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Food; Hobbies; Reference
KEYWORDS: cooking; food; recipes; weeklycookingthread
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To: Netizen

I am sure that is cheaper than what I found for it when I looked around a few months ago. I will have to find out if they carry it at the restaurant supply store in my area, because I know I wouldn’t pay the price I saw for it a few months ago. Over $1 per ounce is enough for me to start experimenting and making my own blends.


51 posted on 04/18/2011 11:43:59 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

I wish now that I hadn’t thrown out the old containers as I probably could have come close to theirs just by looking at their list of ingredients and rummaging around in my spice cabinet to make my own similar blend.


52 posted on 04/18/2011 11:47:47 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

Another place to look for spices is your local health food stores. I have one store I go to for certain spies and other stores for others. lol I usually look around for the best price, especially on seasonings that I use a lot of.

I have a few that I make my own of to eliminate the salt and or sugars, like taco, cajun, burrito and rubs.


53 posted on 04/18/2011 11:57:07 AM PDT by Netizen
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To: Netizen

Maybe you can post some of your blends on this thread if you kept the recipes. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to do that when I mixed some up a few months ago, but I will do that the next time around.

I will send you a list of what I have been paying for various spices. I don’t know how to format it to be easily read here on the thread.


54 posted on 04/18/2011 12:58:16 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady; Netizen
Both of you are more knowledgable than I on spices, but if I may throw in my 2 cents, I stock up on my spices when I visit an Amish store. They sell in larger sizes, and can actually sell in any amount that you may want. The prices really beat the grocery stores by a mile. But, they are not likely to have all those Asian spices, Mexican, or other specialty items.

Amish stores are surprizingly more common than you may first think, many are in areas that contain no Amish community. And some have webpages where you can shop from home, of course shipping and handling come into play here. Some Amish stores are actually Menenite or neither, as in the case of the first one that I visited, they are just connected to Amish/Menenite producers.

Just my take on buying herbs and spices.

55 posted on 04/18/2011 1:11:03 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: rightly_dividing

Thanks for that idea. I am not aware of any Amish/Menenite stores around here, but our Saturday Market should be starting up soon and we often get Menenite farmers there, so I will ask them about a store. They do frequently have both fresh and dried herbs there, but they are usually limited to things like basil, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, parsley and others that grow well here in Oregon. I haven’t noticed that their prices were much different than that of the other farmers at the market, but I wasn’t really paying that close attention either. Herbs that can be grown locally are usually pretty cheap to buy here in the summer months.


56 posted on 04/18/2011 2:54:02 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

These are two places that I have bought stuff from. I couldn’t remember the names when I posted earlier, fortunatly I had them in favorites, I just had to find them. I have not viewed either site in a while, so I dont know just what is there presently.

My wife has bought a lot of spices from weavers when we were in the area. And everytime that I ever went to Yoders, I spent mega $$$ on spices, pickeled veggies of all sorts (like pickeled brussle sprouts) cheeses, various mixes. Just all kinds of goodies. Yoders is not Amish or Menenite. He bought the store from Yoder, an Amish gentleman, and continues selling Amish goods. Current owner is a conservative Christian homeschooler of 8 kids, retired military, Marines I think, Just fine people.

http://www.yodersmart.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index

http://www.weaverscountrymarket.com/1.html


57 posted on 04/18/2011 5:15:45 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: rightly_dividing

Thanks for posting the links. I glanced just briefly at both of them and they are far cheaper than the prices in my regular grocery stores. They were higher than what I actually paid for them here in Oregon at the Asian, Indian, Mexican, and Bulk grocery stores in my area. The Dollar Store here also sometimes has some pretty good deals on spices. Almost all of the spices, herbs, and seasonings I have purchased recently were under $1.00 per ounce, but I haven’t had to buy any more expensive ones lately.

I will need to get some saffron threads again in the next few months as we make a special arroz con pollo about once a month and that recipe absolutely has to have saffron in it or it doesn’t taste right. For that I will have to stop in at the Indian grocery store in my area, since they are the only place I have been able to find that really cheap when compared to other stores.

The saffron I buy there is actually grown in Spain. I don’t remember exactly what I paid for it the last time but I was able to buy a 1 oz.(28.35 gram)box filled with what must have easily been more than a cup worth of saffron threads. I know it was less than $20 for it since I didn’t realize that they didn’t take debit cards and I only had a $20 bill with me that day. Still I was able to buy the saffron, a couple of jars of mango pickle, and some other spices for less than $20, so it must have been a little less than $15 for the saffron I think.

That was probably a couple of years ago, as I had to make a lot of arroz con pollo to use up that much saffron, even after I gave half of it to my sister for her use. I was just thinking that I had better go get some soon, before inflation causes their prices to go up so much that I can’t afford to buy it even there. Next time I am out near there I will swing by and pick some up if the price is still reasonable and affordable.

The saffron at Yoders was $9.95 for .05 grams and I couldn’t readily find it listed on Weavers’ website.


58 posted on 04/18/2011 9:30:17 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady
Wow, $9.95 for .05 gr is some expensive stuff. I have never bought any, and I guess that I won't at them prices.

Being from the south originally, We cook mostly southern favorites, we don't have any recipes for asian or indian, or european, but we do some simple mexican stuff since moving to Texas last year. My family and my wife's have been in America so long(since colonial days) that neither of us have any any ethnic recipes brought from the "old country" Some of the dishes posted here we have never heard or and some have ingrediants that we have never heard of. Like the 3 grain rice pilaf, we looked all through the grocery to find pearl barley and bulger wheat to try that recipe. After about 20 minutes of searching every possible isle, we gave it up. We had to search online just to find out what they were.

We are are always looking to try new things, but sometimes get tripped up on what to try or where to get things. Life is an adventure.

59 posted on 04/19/2011 5:22:11 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: rightly_dividing

Barley should be near the split peas or lentils or bags of beans/legumes. Bulghur, I get mine at the health food store, its cheaper than the grocery store but that should be in the baking aisle. Look for Bob’s Red Mill. Little bags, usually by the fancy flours like spelt, potato starch, potato flour, gluten etc.


60 posted on 04/19/2011 8:29:56 AM PDT by Netizen
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To: rightly_dividing

We all definitely are influenced by our family background. I too have family roots that go all the way back to the early days of this country. One ancestor even came to the U.S. in the 1500’s. I guess that is why most of the cooking I grew up with was pretty much every day American style cooking just like you, only mine had a Northern influence instead of a Southern influence. I didn’t have any ethnic or “old country” recipes I learned to make either.

Pearl Barley and Bulgar Wheat are not really new to the American diet. I have found barley mentioned in historical records I have run across in my genealogy research during the covered wagon days, so it clearly isn’t new to the American scene. It may be something that was eaten more in the Northern States since it lends itself to cold weather dishes like stews and soups. I think people just moved away from many grains, since so many families don’t cook much from scratch any more and canned soups you buy at the store became the norm. Many of these grains are not even available in quick cooking preparations now like they were when I was growing up.

I remember eating Campbell’s beef barley soup every once in a while in my youth, and my mother also made home made beef barley soup from scratch. It is one of those soups that you don’t see very often any more, but it is hearty and delicious, especially the homemade kind.

There was also a product that was popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s called “Ala Pilaf” that came in a box and was readily found mixed in with the rice mixes. I think they advertized it on TV a lot then too. My mother of course tried it and my father loved it, so we started having it fairly often. That is the earliest I remember eating Bulgar Wheat, but I suspect that Bulgar is another one of those grains that just lost popularity for a while.

My mother of course preferred cooking from scratch, so she read the list of ingredients on the box and found out it was made with bulgar wheat. She then found out where to buy it cheaper without the fancy box and came up with her own version of the “Ala Pilaf” my dad loved.

Both grains should be available on the same aisle of your grocery store as the rice products, or in the bulk foods aisle. If you can’t find it in your area in regular grocery stores, try bulk food stores or health food stores. Both these types of stores have carried both of these items through out my life, even when it wasn’t readily available (or at least noticable) on the regular grocery store shelves. Both are becoming much more readily available again now because so many people are now turning to a vegan diet and they are higher in protein than many other grains.

My husband was born in Missouri, so he is a Southerner like you and we are really just beginning to trace his ancestry, but his family has been around the U.S. at least back to the 1800’s and I am almost certain even further, since we are fairly certain we just uncovered some Cherokee Indian ancestry, we just can’t quite document it all yet.

He was used to eating things like pinto beans, black eyed peas and grits. I think my first experience with pinto beans was stopping in at a Taco Bell for the first time in the 1960’s and I had never even tried black eye’d peas or grits until the mid 1990’s after I married my husband. I taught myself how to cook them.

The closest to ethnic cooking I came to as a child was learning how to cook spaghetti and I have no idea why, since I have absolutely no Italian blood in me whatsoever. I guess it was just something that rose to popularity during my childhood. My cooking in my adult life has been influenced a lot by my family’s travel experiences as well as the influx of immigrants and subsequent increase in ethnic restaurants in the United States.

Life certainly is an adventure. I am pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods and if I like something enough I will learn how to make it myself. Through the years I have either taught myself how to make ethnic dishes I liked or gotten recipes from people I have encountered in my life. While I have a limited repetoire, I have learned to cook stir frys quite well, a lot of Mexican, Latin American, Spanish and Italian dishes, and even some Indian and Thai dishes. Lately I have even tried learning to make some Korean dishes.


61 posted on 04/19/2011 9:15:59 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady
Here we go. Most of these have been collected from the internet over the years, some may have come from cookbooks. Sometimes I went looking for something and sometimes I came across them by accident.

As always adjust to personal preferences. I'm not a fan of Rosemary so I tend to really cut back on that one when recipes call for it. Rosemary, Thyme and Basil, IIRC are from the same family with Rosemary being the strongest and Basil being the mildest. I found that I didn't care for the white pepper to be too overwhelming.

Cajun Seasoning
1 tablespoon onion powder 
1 tablespoon white pepper 
1 tablespoon garlic powder 
1 tablespoon ground mustard 1 tablespoon paprika 
1-1/2 teaspoons celery seed 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 4 to 6 months.
Yield: 1/3 cup.  Serving size: 1 teaspoon
Per serving: Calories: 10, Fat: 0, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1mg, Carbohydrates: 1g,
Dietary Fiber: 0g, Protein: 0g 
Diabetic Exchange: Free Food.

Salt Free Cajun Seasoning

2 teaspoons white pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 4 to 6 months. 
Diabetic Exchange: Free Food.

Salt Free Cajun Seasoning II
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons white pepper      
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can use more)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 4 to 6 months.  
1/2 cup (approx) 
Diabetic Exchange: Free Food.

Salt Free Cajun Seasoning III
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 4 to 6 months.  
1/3 cup (approx) 
Diabetic Exchange: Free Food.

Salt Free Chili Powder
2 tsp.  ground red chili powder 
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 T hot or med. hot paprika
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp. dried oregano

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container in a dark dry place.  Makes 1/4 cup.

Salt Free Chili Powder II
2 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. oregano
1 1/4  tsp. cumin
1 1/4  tsp. garlic powder
3/4  tsp. red pepper (cayenne)
3/4  tsp. onion powder

Mix all ingredients together. Store in airtight con tainer. Use as desired.  Makes 4 tablespoons.

Creole Seasoning
3 tbs granulated onion
3 tbs granulated garlic
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbs black pepper
2 tbs thyme
2 tbs basil
2 tbs oregano
1 tsp cayenne
1 tbs paprika
Pinch dry mustard

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for 4 to 6 months. 
Diabetic Exchange: Free Food.

Salt Free Taco Seasoning
6 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Put all ingredients in a labeled (Salt-free-taco) sandwich size zip lock plastic bag.   Seal and shake, or use an old seasoning container. 2T + 1 1/2 tsp. equals one 1.25 oz packet of store bought taco seaasoning.

Burrito Seasoning (Salt Free)
2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano, preferably mexican organo
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp onion flakes or onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt (optional)

Mix all spices together, store in airtight container will keep for 6 months to a year.  7 tsp of this spice mix is the equivalent of one 1.25 oz packet of store bought burrito seasoning. This recipe makes the equivalent of 4 spice packets.  To make burritos or tacos - mix 7 tsp to 1 lb ground meat that has been browned and drained of fat. Add 3/4 cup water and stir to blend. Cook til water has evaporated.

Salt Substitute
1 tablespoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon each dried parsley flakes, basil, marjoram and thyme 
1 teaspoon rubbed sage 
1 teaspoon pepper 
1 teaspoon onion powder 
1/2 teaspoon ground mace 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Use to season pork, chicken or fish. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 1/4 cup. Serving size: 1/4 teaspoon 
Per serving: Calories: 1, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 0mg, Carbohydrates: 0g,
Dietary Fiber: 0g, Protein: 0g 
Diabetic Exchange: Free.

Curry Blend
3 tablespoons ground coriander 
2 teaspoons ground turmeric 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom 
Dash cayenne pepper 

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.
Yield: about 1/4 cup.  Serving size: 3/4 teaspoon 
Per serving: Calories: 7, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1mg, Carbohydrates: 1g,
Dietary Fiber: 1g, Protein: 0g 


Dry Rub
1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) paprika 
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) lemon pepper seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) crushed dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon (.06 ml) ground ginger 

Herbal Salt Substitute
1 tablespoon dried basil 
1 tablespoon dried thyme 
1 tablespoon ground coriander 
2 teaspoons onion powder 
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes 
2 teaspoons ground cumin 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon ground mustard 
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 teaspoon paprika 

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.
Yield: 1/2 cup.  Serving size: 1 teaspoon 
Per serving: Calories: 5, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 1mg, Carbohydrates: 1g,
Dietary Fiber: 0g, Protein: 0g 

Seasoning Blend
5 teaspoons onion powder 
2-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 
2-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard 
2-1/2 teaspoons paprika 
3/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed 
1/2 teaspoon white pepper 
1/4 teaspoon celery seed 

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Yield:
about 1/3 cup.  Serving size: (1 teaspoon) 
Per serving: Calories: 8, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 43mg, Carbohydrates: 2g,
Dietary Fiber: 0g, Protein: 0g 


I also have this one called Magic Dust, but it has salt and sugar.  I'll post the original, then my reduced salt and sugar.

Magic Dust (original - 1/2 recipe)
1/4 cup paprika
1/8 cup kosher salt, finely ground
1/8 cup sugar
1 tablespoons mustard powder
1/8 cup chili powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoons ground black pepper
1/8 cup granulated garlic
1 tablespoons cayenne 

Mix all ingredients and store in a tightly covered container.  Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
To make it a little more hot and spicy, increase the mustard powder and black pepper.

Magic Dust (reduced sugar/salt)
1/8 cup paprika
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, finely ground
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/16 cup chili powder
1/16 cup ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/16 cup granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne

Mix all ingredients and store in a tightly covered container.  Makes about 1/2 cup.
To make it a little more hot and spicy, increase the mustard powder and black pepper.

62 posted on 04/19/2011 9:39:54 AM PDT by Netizen
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To: Netizen

Wow, Thanks for posting all of these different spice blends. Now I just have to find the time to mix them up and try them all! LOL!


63 posted on 04/19/2011 10:12:03 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

LOL Make just a small batch til you know which ones you like or need to adjust. When I do the taco one I make like 4 batches at once as I really like it and use it a lot. Or just gather all the spices you need and sit down and make a batch of each and put into sandwich bags, label and then you can leave comments on your bags so you know which one you prefer.


64 posted on 04/19/2011 10:23:25 AM PDT by Netizen
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To: Netizen

I will do that! I will probably wait to try some of them since I still have a lot of some commercially produced low salt spice blends in my spice cupboard. I cook a lot for a family of 5, so I tend to buy them in larger containers or in bulk. I think I still have about a cup of Cajun Seasoning left and 2-4 cups left of Fajita and Taco Seasoning at the moment, but I go through them all fairly fast, expecially with the nice weather coming soon when we will be cooking more on the BBQ.


65 posted on 04/19/2011 10:41:08 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Netizen
Thank you so much for those spice mixes! What a great post. When I prepare a spice mixture, I do a big batch and keep it vacuum sealed in a mason jar. Experience has revealed that I will prepare certain recipes much more often if I don't have to do a lot of measuring to get it done.

I order bulk spices from Penzey's about once a year, as I have found their quality to be of the highest. In my area a regular jar of McCormick pickling spices is around $4, but I can order enough from Penzey's to fill a 1/2 gallon mason jar for around $10. I pickle many things and use quite a bit of those spices.

66 posted on 04/19/2011 10:53:19 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: Flamenco Lady

I began preparing some Thai dishes recently and really have come to love anything with curry and coconut milk. My husband, not so much on the coconut milk but he is really liking the curried dishes.


67 posted on 04/19/2011 10:56:14 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I sent in an order to Penzey’s last week! lol

They used to be about 2 miles from where I live then they moved to the other side of town and you need to take the highway, so now I just order. I compared them with Bulk Foods and what with the shipping Penzey was the better deal, plus Penzey I think used bags instead of jars so you aren’t paying for the jar.


68 posted on 04/19/2011 11:04:42 AM PDT by Netizen
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

You should really try Netizen’s Three Grain Pilaf Recipe that I referenced earlier in this thread that she posted a couple of weeks ago on the cooking thread. It was really good without the curry powder (since I have a picky family and had to substitute with other spices) but I am sure it would be even better with the curry powder as was used in her original recipe.

If you find some good Thai Recipes please post them to the thread. I love curry so I cook it when my hubby goes out of town. My husband does like coconut milk, so sometimes I can substitute other seasonings instead of the curry powder and get away with a modified Thai dish.

I have forgotten how I used to make a lot of my Indian and Thai dishes, since I didn’t even try to modify them for many years and never bothered to make them for many years after I married him. Unfortunately, I didn’t have them all written down, so I am having to sort of cook them by instinct and looking at recipes I find online.


69 posted on 04/19/2011 11:32:02 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; Netizen

After seeing you both mention Penzy’s I remembered that someone mentioned them a while back and I had forgotten to bookmark their site so I could compare their prices to what I can find here locally.

I also found out that there is a Penzy’s store in downtown Portland so if I have to head into town, I will have to swing by and check it out while I am there. Most of the time now, I stay in the suburbs away from the really heavy traffic, since I have pretty much everything we need in stores that are in closer proximity, but if I have to go to town I like to make the most of those trips.


70 posted on 04/19/2011 11:42:39 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady
Pensy's [Westport] is a wonderful sensory aroma experience . You'l1 love it. I came home with 3 different kinds of cinnamon. Who knew? Fortunately we have an exceptionally good retail outlet for spices nearby.

CT Freepers/cooks should know about the Spice Mill in Manchester, CT.

They are mostly commercial purveyors to bakeries/restaurants in bulk. They have a small retail storefront...the owner is fun to talk with...he'll have you captivated for hours with his stories of herbs and spices. His prices are very reasonable...approx. $3.00/jar. The products are very fresh, not like supermarket stuff that could have been there for *years* under those fluorescent lights.

71 posted on 04/19/2011 12:10:04 PM PDT by Daffynition ("Don't just live your life, but witness it also.")
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To: Daffynition

I always wonder about the freshness of spices in the regular grocery store too. Most never have “best if used by” dates on them either, so there is no way to know just how old they are. Chefs always tell you to buy your spices fresh for the best flavor, so you would think they would have a “best if used by” date on them.

About the only dry herbs and spices I ever buy at a regular grocery store are salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Mrs. Dash since I figure those have such a high turnover rate that they are relatively fresh, but even those I don’t buy there very often. I rarely see anyone buying a jar of dry herbs or spices while I wait in the check out line.

I buy almost everything else I pick up at a warehouse style store called Cash & Carry (I think they may be a nationwide chain), in bulk, or at my ethnic grocery stores. There are few smells that are better than walking into a store that sells herbs and spices in bulk or in bags.

A lot of cooks I have talked with from India and Thailand insist that you should only buy the whole seed spices and the curry leaves and roast them and grind them yourself every time you cook a curry. Tumeric is the only spice they all seemed to use that was already in a powder form. Several of them used a mortar and pestle to grind them up too.

When I was cooking curries all the time I compromized a little and bought the seeds and curry leaves and roasted them myself about once a month and then would grind them up in a coffee grinder I use just for spices.

When I was young and single and had lots of time to play in the kitchen I used to often give gift baskets to friends and family for their birthdays filled with home made goodies including my home made curry powder blend, as well as chutney’s, pickles, and sweets. In those days baskets were harder to find than they are today, so I would scrounge around garage sales for them.


72 posted on 04/19/2011 1:25:36 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Netizen; Flamenco Lady
Yes, most of the bulk spices at Penzey's come in special nylon bags that prevent oxygen exchange. Since I keep mine in vacuum sealed jars, I cut the labels from the bags and tape them to my jars. It is crude, but effective. :)

Photobucket

Flamenco Lady, you will never be disappointed with Penzey's spices. I have been ordering from them for 15 years. They are not always the best price, but the quality of the spices would be hard to beat. They used to be a small family business and some of them traveled the world buying the herbs and spices directly from the growers/gatherers. They now have stores all over the country and a HUGE mail/internet order business. They always throw in a free surprise with your order and offer good coupon deals for free spices and/or free shipping.

I get their catalog through the mail, but I always order online. Last time I used it, the website is not nearly as easy to browse as the catalog.

BTW, they offer arrowroot starch, which is a superior thickening agent to corn starch.

73 posted on 04/19/2011 1:54:57 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: Flamenco Lady
"A lot of cooks I have talked with from India and Thailand insist that you should only buy the whole seed spices and the curry leaves and roast them and grind them yourself every time you cook a curry."

I have been using curry pastes that I order from a Thai grocery store in New York. So much easier than powders and a mighty good taste. Kept in the fridge, they stay fresh a long time.

74 posted on 04/19/2011 1:58:14 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: Flamenco Lady
In far away places, I've been to spice markets...they are astounding...things you've seen before or heard of; if you do not know the native language, the seller isn't going to be of much help either. Talk about adventure! By the gram, scooped up and put into a handy newspaper cone, like most of the take-away.

Every good kitchen in Europe/ME has a spice mill.

>>I rarely see anyone buying a jar of dry herbs or spices while I wait in the check out line.<<

My theory is that no one cooks anymore, and that's why you don't see people buying spices. LOL

75 posted on 04/19/2011 2:48:26 PM PDT by Daffynition ("Don't just live your life, but witness it also.")
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To: Netizen

We found some variety of barley but it was not the pearl barley specified in the recipe. If the flour is a health food store item, that explains why I have never heard of it. I have never been in a health food store.


76 posted on 04/19/2011 3:44:39 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: Daffynition

I’ve been to some spice markets myself too in foreign countries, though none in the Middle East or India where I suspect they would be the best. They do smell wonderful and they are great fun!

Here is what I learned to do when traveling or living abroad since I always wanted to find the best authentic food and get to know the culture of a country. This was even more important when I didn’t speak the language.

I would make friends with one or more of the the locals (usually someone who was part of the family at the pension or hotel where I was staying) who spoke the local language as well as English or Spanish (the language I took in high school and college)and ask them if they could reccomend places to go to find authentic food and atmosphere including the open markets, food stalls, etc.

Most of the time they would not only give me their recommendations, but they would also offer to take me and my fellow travelers around their city including the markets, etc. Most people love showing off their own country or city, especially their open air markets and the places frequented by the locals.

Your picture of the spice mill reminded me, that I still need to find a really good quality spice mill to use for my allspice, which we tend to use like pepper in my family. I actually would like to find two small ones, so I could keep one on our family room table where we normally eat our every day meals and one in my kitchen so it would be handy to just grind some straight into the pot while cooking like I do with pepper.

I have tried all kinds of pepper grinders and spice mills for alspice, but none of the ones you can buy here at culinary stores seem to work well for the larger allspice pods. The larger pods just get stuck and I have to dig them out which isn’t to convienent to do when you are in the middle of cooking.

I didn’t even think to look at the Indian market here for one until I saw the picture of the one you posted. I bet they can tell me where I can find one, even if they don’t have one there in the store. Thanks for the idea!


77 posted on 04/19/2011 3:50:35 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

The brass ones are from the ME...They are made so poorly...there are metal shavings and grease on the inside. Be careful, not exactly something I’d want to put on my food.

Have you tried the chef ‘n products? They are well made and the *trap door* might accommodate your allspice.

http://www.amazon.com/Chefn-PB-300-Pepper-Ball-Clear/dp/B00006431F


78 posted on 04/19/2011 4:16:04 PM PDT by Daffynition ("Don't just live your life, but witness it also.")
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To: rightly_dividing

Regular barley should work fine in the recipe, but it takes a little longer to cook so you might need a little more liquid. Regular barley still has the outer and harder husk on it. Pearl Barley is polished to remove the outer husk. Pearl Barley is actually less nutricious, and less flavorful than regular barley, but it cooks faster and looks prettier. My package of pearl parley says it needs 3 cups of liquid to one cup of the pearl barley. Cooking time is listed as 60-75 minutes depending on the desired tenderness. You should be able to use that as a comparison so you can figure out if you need more broth or how much more time you would need to cook it with the regular barley.

Bulgur wheat has only recently become a health food item popular with vegans and vegetarians. It is a very old grain, and used to be available in many stores on the aisle with the rice, but it sort of disappeared from the regular grocery stores for a while. I know I can find it in my regular Safeway store here in their bulk foods aisle. They also have many of the Bob’s Red Mill products on the same aisle with the flour. I do remember seeing it there as well, when I went looking to see what their price was on Spelt flour. They had lots of products from Bob’s Red Mill on the flour aisle, including split peas and some other things that have nothing to do with baking.

I usually buy my pearl barley and bulgar wheat at a Winco store (I think they may be a national chain as well). They have a quite large section of bulk foods there. The last time I bought Bulgur Wheat was in August it cost $1.21 per pound there. I have no idea on the current price of pearl barley since my mother in law gave this bag of it to me, since she decided she didn’t want it because it too long to cook it.


79 posted on 04/19/2011 4:28:31 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: rightly_dividing

The Bob’s Red Mill products will definitely be more expensive but they are very good quality products. They are actually located right here in Oregon in the county adjacent to my own. They have a restaurant and a lovely store at their mill. It is a fun place to go if you like to cook! Here is their website http://www.bobsredmill.com/


80 posted on 04/19/2011 4:35:44 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady; rightly_dividing

I buy my barley at the restaurant supply store. I don’t know if its cheaper but it is definitely larger grains.

I keep my bulgur in the freezer. Same with flax meal. They have lots of natural oils so they can go bad quicker if you leave them out. The flaxmeal is cheaper at the health food store and the bulgur is, too. Bob’s Red Mill can be kind of pricey.

Oh, sometimes you might find certain grains in the cereal aisle. Oat bran, wheat germ etc.


81 posted on 04/19/2011 4:38:22 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: Flamenco Lady

I wonder if Bob’s Red Mill store would have the type of grinder you are looking for.


82 posted on 04/19/2011 4:39:26 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: Netizen

Keeping bulgar wheat and other things with high oil content like brown rice and nuts do keep best in the freezer. I usually take out what I need for a recipe and keep the rest in the freezer. Sometimes I don’t bother with the bulgur wheat because I use it up so fast.


83 posted on 04/19/2011 4:49:06 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Netizen

They didn’t the last time I went there.

I have tried so many different grinders but the ones today are so cheap that often when the pods get stuck going into the grinder part, they break the grinding mechanism. I have one that sort of works that I am using now, that has all metal insides, but the pods still get stuck and I have to dig them out all the time.

I just prefer it freshly ground and don’t like having to get out my coffee grinder that I use for spices every time I want some allspice.

Maybe I need to find a small hand held manually operated coffee grinder!


84 posted on 04/19/2011 4:56:57 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady
Thanks for all the info on the several different posts. I will try some different stores and see what I find.

Anything that goes well with rice is my friend.

85 posted on 04/20/2011 7:16:30 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde; Flamenco Lady; Netizen

Well, after reading the glowing reports on Penzy’s, I searched it and they have a store in Houston. We live in one of the ‘burbs about 40mi. north ot there. I have not ventured into the heart of Houston yet, just some places near the various freeways on the skirts. We may have to visit there and load up, particlarly on pickeling supplies.


86 posted on 04/20/2011 7:40:19 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: rightly_dividing

I really like The Spice House. Small family run, they grind their own spices. Huge selection. Related to Penzy family, but really have a far superior product.

http://www.thespicehouse.com/?gclid=CL2Gj6q0q6gCFQQbKgodIRyeIA


87 posted on 04/20/2011 8:37:09 AM PDT by bfree (The revolution is coming - OBAMI IS THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM)
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To: bfree

Wow, thanks for posting that link. Some of their prices on the things I looked at briefly are better than the other places I have found on line.


88 posted on 04/20/2011 9:44:48 AM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: bfree

Thanks for the link. I checked out the site and have it added to my favorite cooking sites folder.


89 posted on 04/20/2011 9:53:01 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: bfree

Thanks for that link. They even have recipes at the bottom for the spice you are looking at. :)


90 posted on 04/20/2011 9:55:00 AM PDT by Netizen
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To: rightly_dividing
The Penzey's Houston store is in The Heights and easy to get to from the loop. Please, please, please ... let me know how divine it smells in there after you go visit. I've been ordering Penzey's since I lived in Houston, but I left in 1999. Wish they had that store back then.

Their pickling spice is excellent.

91 posted on 04/20/2011 3:26:03 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
I can imagine the aroma; when entering Yoder’s country store that I linked to earlier, the aroma was impressive.

On pickeling spice, I have used individual spices when pickling, should I be using a ready made pickle spice? I am new to pickles and have made them for a few years by a recipe for B&B pickles from my wife's BFF and a recipe for dills from somewhere online. I just apply the same recipe to other veggies; cauliflower, asparagus, onion, garlic, baby brussel sprouts.

I am always open to suggestions from you; my wife's favorite recipe came from your desk. :)

92 posted on 04/20/2011 5:05:30 PM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: rightly_dividing

I try to compare prices and the ingredients in the spice blend to determine which is the cheapest option. I also sometimes compare the flavors by making a batch of something with my own spices and another with a store bought blend. A last consideration I make is with regard to health issues. Some spice blends have a really high salt content, and salt intake can make your blood pressure go up. Obviously with pickles some salt is needed, but comparing the salt content in your recipe and the salt content in the prepared spice blend may also be something you want to take into consideration.


93 posted on 04/20/2011 5:25:56 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

I got my Penzey order today. They tossed in a free sample of their BBQ300 or whatever. SALTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will have to dilute it down a ton to be able to use it. Plus there is something else in there that I am not a fan of. Its either too much ginger, nutmeg or allspice. Not sure which one, but hopefully the dilution takes care of that.


94 posted on 04/20/2011 7:12:39 PM PDT by Netizen
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To: Netizen

Ginger and nutmeg can both be really overpowering to me if they use too much, but I can never get enough allspice. I love it. A Cuban friend of mine got me started using it and I probably use as much allspice on my food as I do pepper. I don’t ever want to add extra salt to anything on my plate as long as I have pepper and allspice! LOL!

I usually don’t use much ginger in dishes because my husband doesn’t like ginger except in ginger snap cookies or ginger ale. Of course by now I have learned that what he doesn’t know doesn’t hurt him and there are a few things I can sneak things into so he doesn’t even know they are there.


95 posted on 04/20/2011 8:32:05 PM PDT by Flamenco Lady
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To: Flamenco Lady

Update: My wife picked up the pearl barley and bulgar wheat at another grocery store this morning on her way to work.


96 posted on 04/21/2011 6:03:36 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: rightly_dividing
For my B&B pickles I do use individual spices because the old family recipe calls for only mustard seed, celery seed, and turmeric, IIRC. I added black peppercorns to the recipe on my own.

For sweet pickles and just about all of the other vegetables I pickle, I use the Penzey's pickling spice mix, varying the time that I soak the spice bag in the syrup. You can produce a really spicy, flavorful syrup with a long soak.

Penzey's premium pickling spice contains: yellow and brown mustard seeds, allspice, cracked cassia, bay leaves, dill seed, cloves, ginger, telicherry peppercorns, star anise, coriander, juniper berries, mace, cardamom and sanaam red peppers. I sometimes just put 1/2 cup of this stuff in a bowl on the kitchen counter as potpourri. Heavenly.

97 posted on 04/21/2011 7:16:23 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde
Thanks, I can see a trip into Houston in the very near future.

My wife likes B&B but not sweet pickles. I think that I will try some sweet pickles next time and see if what she thinks of homemade ones.

Last time I made dills, I threw some red pepper in several of the jars to see if that was good. I got a jar out a while back after they were a year old or so. They were GREAT!

98 posted on 04/21/2011 8:08:57 AM PDT by rightly_dividing (1 Cor. 15: 1-4)
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To: Flamenco Lady

I’m the same way about ginger. Right now I’m thinking that is what is overpowering the mixture, besides having 10 times more salt than needed. The only thing that should have salt as the first ingredient IS SALT.


99 posted on 04/21/2011 9:44:02 AM PDT by Netizen
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I leave the spices in my jars.


100 posted on 04/21/2011 10:05:29 AM PDT by Netizen
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