Posts Tagged "spices"

Parsley, Sage, and Findlay Market

Dear Kid,

We had a great visit with Grandma and Grandpa.

On Tuesday I took the day off to play with them and after a leisurely start to the day, we went down to Findlay Market.

Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine. A great outing!

The first (and perhaps most important) thing we did was to walk over to the Samuel Adams mural and find the second hidden perfect pint glass and the word C I N C I N N A T I. I feel so much better! It was tricky and I never would have figured it out without help. (If you’re dying to know where the hidden letters are let me know—I will share the love).

I finally found the hidden beer bottle, two perfect pint glasses, the flying pig, and C I N C I N N A T I! Love this mural at Samuel Adams.

Cold Nitro Coffee. Really. DearKidLoveMom.comThen we found Maverick Chocolate, and how could we not investigate? Especially when there was a big sign promoting Cold Nitro Coffee. Say what? Clearly we had to try some! They infuse cold nitrogen into coffee which makes it fizz up and build a foamy head (like beer). Either the nitrogen or the coffee was bitter so we added simple syrup. (Really? Not drinking coffee black? Yes, in this case really.) Summary: Grandma and I are trendy enough to try Nitro Coffee but not to order it again. At our urging, Grandpa tried it. Fortunately, I had a piece of gum to help him get the taste out of his mouth.

Then we found a spice place which had all kinds of interesting things (before you look, can you guess what was in the Simon and Garfunkle (spelled by the singer Garfunkel but by the spice people Garfunkle) mix? We bought a little bit of this and little bit of that and had a wonderful time.

Shopping for spices at Findlay Market.

At the oil and vinegar place, we tasted and bought peach balsamic vinegar. Unlike some flavored vinegars which are, um, subtly flavored, this has a bold right-up-front peach zing. Yum.

From there we wandered around and eventually had Vietnamese food for lunch.

Lunch at Findlay Market.

Our final stop on our outing was at Pet Wants where the store, the employees, and the puppy compete for adorable-helpfulness. We got some food for the Puppy (a mix of lean and salmon—quite yummy if you are of the canine persuasion), chatted a bit, and headed home.

It’s amazing how nice a day can be when you hang out with people you like.

Love, Mom

P.S. If you didn’t get (and can’t read the fine print), the Simon and Garfunkle (see note above about spelling) mix has parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

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Horseradish | Bet You Don’t Know This About Horseradish

Dear Kid,

This is what horseradish could look like in our garden. It won't, but it could.... DearKidLoveMom.comI’ve been thinking about horseradish. I’ve been thinking that I should suggest to Dad that he grow horseradish in the garden, but I decided that I should probably do some Helpful Research before making this suggestion.

The problem (of course) is that my idea of helpful research and Dad’s idea of helpful research tend not be related. In fact, they are generally not even on the same branch of the conversational tree.

Horseradish is a root plant and is part of the mustard family. Remind me to do some Helpful Research on growing mustard—I’m a little unclear about what keeps the glass jars from breaking as they grow.

One harvests horseradish root in the spring and fall. The root (when harvested) has almost no aroma. It’s not until one grates it up that it turns spicy. Chemistry alert! During the grating or grinding of the root, volatile oils (known as isothiocyanates) are released. Once released, they run around like crazy getting hotter and hotter until vinegar is poured on them to stop the reaction and stabilize the flavor. Less time between grating and vinegar = less heat. More time = Dad turns bright red and his head explodes. Also the more finely ground the horseradish is the more heat there will be.

When horseradish turns brown-ish (rather than white-ish) you should probably toss it because it has lost most of its flavor.

It takes about 4 pounds of horseradish roots to make a gallon of prepared horseradish.

If you want to grow horseradish, you should add potash to the soil.

80% of US horseradish is grown in southern Illinois. Guess what they have a lot of in their soil?

Horseradish leaves are edible. It’s amazing how “edible” and “delicious” are not interchangeable.

Some people believe rubbing horseradish on your forehead relieves headaches. It certainly can’t hurt, but I think I’ll stick to modern drugs. It is also sometimes used topically to treat wounds and sore joints and ingested to treat urinary tract infections and breathing problems. Who knew?

Happy Horseradish.

Love, Mom

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Shakshukah: How to Make My New Favorite Food

Dear Kid,

I have a new favorite dish and its name is Shakshukah.

This is how you make Shakshukah.

Tal Cooking Shakshukah DearKidLoveMom.comSince it’s a tomato based dish, the first thing to do is go outside and see if there are any ripe tomatoes. It turns out there are several that are almost ready but prefer to remain on the vine for a while so you add to your plans a stop at the farmer’s market to get tomatoes.

Once you have tomatoes and have decided that the rest of the ingredients are as assembled as they are ever going to be, you begin.

Boil a pot of water that’s big enough to hold all the tomatoes. Get distracted, forget about the pot, and eventually realize that half the water has boiled off. Sigh. Once you have an actual pot of boiling water, put the tomatoes in and turn off the heat. After some number of minutes (“I think maybe a few more minutes would be good” says Tal), scoop the tomatoes out. Try not to burn yourself. The skins will peel right off. They are even easier to peel when someone else (Tal) peels them.

Chop a couple of cloves of garlic. Better yet, have someone else (Tal) chop several cloves of garlic while you see about cleaning up some of the dishes that have been left in the sink.

Heat some oil in a large pan. Watch Tal add the garlic and stir. After a few minutes, watch her add the tomatoes and mash them up. Add about “that much” from a can of diced tomatoes. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste. Watch Tal stir.

Season the mixture with some of the spices that Tal brought. (We added two tablespoons of spice and some salt and pepper. After the whole thing cooked for about 15 minutes we tasted and added more spice. Then we congratulated ourselves on being smart enough to taste before moving on.)

Get out the eggs. Consult about how many eggs are necessary. The recipe said 8 eggs, Tal said 5, and the pan said 6. We went with the pan’s idea. Break each egg into a bowl and gently slide the egg on top of the well-stirred tomato mixture. Cover the pan partway and let the eggs cook about 5 minutes. Check the eggs and decide they definitely need more time than that. Give them another 5 minutes or so and decide they’re done.

Serve with bread. You put the Shakshukah on your plate and then pile it on a piece of bread and YUM!

If you are a very good child, I shall make it for you sometime.

Love, Mom

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