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Spice it up!

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I love spices. Combing through my spice rack to create new flavor combinations for my meals is always a fun and interesting challenge. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have a pre-made blend to jazz up what I’m cooking. Picking a particular spice blend for the night will often help shape my entire meal.

A couple years ago, I was at an event when I stumbled on a booth covered with different kinds of spice blends. The shop, Auntie Arwen’s Spices, had blends for almost anything you could imagine. (Some of the blend titles are admittedly problematic.) I had fun digging through different crates of spices, looking for some that would work well with the kinds of food I like to cook.

I’ve seen Auntie Arwen a couple times since then, and I always try to pick up a jar or two of her great blends. This past weekend, I ran into her booth at an event I was attending and decided to splurge. I picked up five new bottles.

When I started searching through the numerous crates, I decided that I wanted to pick up something for fish, something for pork, something for winter vegetables, and something that generally sounded interesting. Both the Pigs in Paradise Citrus-Ginger Rub and Malay Pirate Nonya Seafood Blend smelled super aggressive and I was instantly intrigued. Both smell spicy and tangy, and I can’t wait to try them out.

I ended up asking for a recommendation for a spice blend to use on vegetables I get a lot in the winter (squash, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, etc.), and was given the Mahout’s Joy East Indian Pilau Blend. I think the blend of cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and coriander will go terrific with roasted, puréed and mashed winter veggies.

Lastly, I picked up the Ultimate Garlic Insanity blend, which work with pretty much everything, and the “Around the Corner” Shawarma Spices, a pretty complex but harmonious blend of fifteen different spices.

All-in-all, I think I scooped up a great batch this weekend. I can’t wait to start cooking!

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Boston-based WordPress core contributor and craft beer fan. I design stuff at @automattic.

3 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Mmm, that combo sounds *awesome* for winter squash. Let me know how you like it. I love individual spices. In fact my boyfriend and I thinking about building that magnetic Periodic Table of Spices. But sometimes having easy access to the perfect blend is a good thing.

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    • Mmm, that combo sounds *awesome* for winter squash. Let me know how you like it.

      Totally, will do!

      I love individual spices. In fact my boyfriend and I thinking about building that magnetic Periodic Table of Spices. But sometimes having easy access to the perfect blend is a good thing.

      That sounds like a super fun project, and such a good way to organize spices. Mine are kind of all over the place, so sometimes I’ll forget I even have something because it’s been buried in a corner for a while. If you put this together, you should definitely post about it!

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      • For sure!

        In the past, I’ve kept my spices in CD boxes in the cupboard, grouped together by the types of dishes I would use them in. It helps a little, but now with his spices in the mix we’re out of space and in need of reorganization. So I’m thinking the magnetic organization will be a good bet, and we’ll let his baking stuff take over cupboard. 🙂

        Once we gather enough spices to do the full periodic table, we’ll do this: http://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Periodic-Table-of-Herbs-and-Spices/

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