Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Spice

Hello, dear readers! I hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season so far.

What goes on here at BaltimoreDIY in the winter months? If the last week has been any indication, the answer is spice, spice, spice.

There's no need to drop $5 per tiny jar at the supermarket. Punjab Market in Waverly sells huge bags of all the spices you'll need for a fraction of the cost. Whether I'm adding fennel and coriander to a pot of beans, endlessly crushing black pepper, or decorating homemade pickles with whole mustard seeds, my spices come from Punjab.

Pictured above is a bulk chai tea mix I made myself. Here's a list of the ingredients:

- Black peppercorns
- Whole coriander seeds
- Cinnamon sticks
- Black cardamom pods

Boil the seeds in a pot for 2-3 minutes, then let steep for another ten. Your house will smell divine! Strain and drink plain, or add a little condensed milk to sweeten.

Gingerbread cookies were another must-make item this winter. I came across a recipe for "Soft Ginger-Molasses Cookies" on the King Arthur Flour website that reaffirmed my love for that great company.

To tell you the truth, I was thinking about these cookies as far back as July, when Mill Valley was selling plums for $2 a pint. I canned up a bunch of Ginger-Plum jam with future dreams of thumbprint cookies dancing in my head.

A photo of the Gingerbread-Plum Cookies:

In addition to molasses, the recipe called for a homemade ginger syrup. The recipe called for boiling four cups of chopped ginger, but that was a little pricey for me so I only  made a quarter of that amount. The syrup makes an amazing addition to tea as well!

The pre-baked cookies after they have been rolled in natural sugar and decorated with a dollop of jam:


Also, in case anyone is curious about the fate of our venison the most recent recipe was a risotto with peas, with the venison stock as a base. The chai spice tea was the beverage, of course!

What are some of your favorite ways to spice up the winter?

1 comment:

Michael Brown said...

Thanks! I can't wait to try this out!

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