How Old is Your Spice?

Thinking about the spice jars on the shelf.

Where do you keep yours? A spice rack, a drawer, a cupboard?

How old is your spice? That’s the question.

I received a gift of a jar of Bagel-on-Grant spices at Christmas (thank you Amy) and as I put it on my spice shelf today, I looked at the other little jars and thought about how long they’ve been on the shelf.

Some spices are used often, so get replenished more often but some little jars just sit. A pinch or smidge here or there, but just sitting. For years!

I think it’s time to clean out the spice collection.

The new one is the fresh looking white label in the photo. The Steel City Salt Company is across the Allegheny River in Millvale, Pennsylvania. I just checked out their website and they are on a family vacation until February 3rd but they’ll fill online orders upon their return.

Here’s an article from Still Tasty about the shelf life of spices

Bagel-on-Grant seasoning is the new spice.
The jar of cardamom was new before a Christmas.

Mustard Yes or no?

Mustard. A condiment found on the door of many a fridge.

Did you know there is a National mustard museum?
The museum is located in Middleton, Wisconsin and ooops I missed National Mustard Day this past August 6th.

If you’re YES to eating mustard, which type? And What do you put it on or in? It seems like something you don’t eat by itself.

I have 3 kinds in my refrigerator. Yellow, brown and Dijon.

So many varieties at Labriola Italian Market
Fancy mustard found in Massachusetts

Baked Mushroom Ravioli in Tomato Sauce

Friday night in winter supper.

Found a tray of a dozen mushroom ravioli in the freezer and a big glass jar of Labriola’s Italian Grocery Marinara Sauce on the pantry shelf. Sprinkled some Parmesan on top when I served up the dishes.

I poured half the sauce in a 10×13 glass baking dish, placed the frozen ravioli in sauce, put about a 1/3 c water in rest of sauce in the jar and whirl around a bit. Poured over the ravioli. Covered with aluminum foil. Baked at 350 for 45 minutes. Perfect.

After being away almost two weeks I definitely need to get to the store with a long list but managed to wait another day to avoid going out in the freezing cold. Will add something green to our menu tomorrow. It was a night of comfort food.

Chef Sam Teaches Us to Make Pasta

Tuesday at the Senior Center, Stephen Foster Community Center, in Lawrenceville. Pasta Making Class taught by Chef Sam , some hand cut and some hand cranked through Pasta Machine. Three different sauces, all delicious.

 

Selfie on timer- Here I am sporting pasta apron my friend Vincie bought in Italy.

It was so much fun today . Thanks Chef Sam.

Fresh Cut Fries Not From a Freezer

 

French Fries, Pommes Frites, Chips, Fries.  These are fresh cut fries, fried to perfection.

The frozen, thinner ones from the freezer have been around since the 1940’s,  You can find these frozen fries in plastic bags in the grocery store freezer section and they are served in most diners and fast food restaurants. There is no comparison to fresh cut potatoes, plunged into hot oil, drained and sprinkled with salt.

Sometimes fried twice for that extra crispy exterior and light creamy interior. Soggy and limp is the worst.  The type of potato will affect the end result.  Russet/Idaho potatoes are mentioned in many recipes and if you want to become a student of types of potatoes click this Guide to Every Potato You Need to Know

Eating fries may clog your arteries and make one fat, but they can certainly satisfy the palate.  Some people accompany them with ketchup, vinegar, mayonnaise and slather them with cheese or gravy and even tomato sauce. You’ve probably heard of the famous Pittsburgh Primanti Bros sandwich with the fries and slaw right inside the sandwich. (photo of one here)

Here’s Bon Appétit Magazine’s Kelly Dobkin’s “culinary school method” for fail-proof, perfect French fries Secret to Perfect French Fries recipe 

Need less fat, you can bake crispy fries in a 450 degree oven (recipe here)