Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

Home Production and Gardening–December 2013

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Make Your Own Spice Blends

mortar-and-pestleThe first time I made my own spice blend was when I came across a recipe I wanted to try that called for Old Bay Seasoning.  I scoured the grocery stores and couldn’t find it anywhere and got only blank stares from the store clerks.  I was about ready to give up when the thought occurred to me that there might just be a recipe for it online.  There was, and the recipe turned out great!  It turns out, very few spice blends are secret, and even when they are, people have come up with and posted some pretty convincing knock-offs.  You can often save money, especially if you buy the individual spices in bulk*, and you can adapt them to your family’s tastes—warm it up, tone it down, add less pepper or more garlic, and come up with your own house blend that you all love.  Spice blends should be thoroughly mixed and stored in an airtight container.  Here are just a few to get started with:

Seasoned Salt (based on Lawry’s), makes about 1 ½ cups

1 cup salt
¼ c + 1 Tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons corn starch

Pumpkin Pie Spice, enough for 6 pies (2 teaspoons per pie)

2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
¾ teaspoon ground cloves

Mild Curry Powder, makes ½ cup

¼ cup ground cumin
¼ cup ground coriander
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Taco Seasoning, makes about ¾ cup

¼ cup chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons paprika
2 Tablespoons cumin
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pepper

Old Bay Seasoning: http://www.food.com/recipe/old-bay-seasoning-11791

Garam Masala: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Garam-Masala/

Ranch Mix: http://www.food.com/recipe/dry-ranch-dressing-mix-27560

*Costco and Whole Foods carry some bulk herbs and spices, but if you want the full range, I really like Monterey Bay Spice Company’s selection, quality and prices.  The shipping can be a little high if you only want one quarter pound of something, but if you are a big spice fan you can do an annual stock-up or go in with a friend.  Then their prices are pretty unbeatable!  www.herbco.com

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