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Nice & Spicy

When you think of condiments, what comes to mind. I always think of Salt and Pepper, look in the dictionary and it states…

Condiment : Seasoning- A substance such as salt, mustard or pickle that is used to add flavour to food-to improve its taste.

All countries have “salt” in common and mustard. Yet condiments go much wider if we’re talking about adding flavour to dishes.

Are you guilty? I am, buying a spice or herb packet or jar to use for one dish, then not being used again! used again! used again! sed again! ed again! d again! again! again! gain! ain! in! n! ! ust make a yearly appearance? The wonderful (imo) paMichael McIntyre sketch comes to mind about herbs and spices.

How some have moved house with their owner. Others reached 7 years of shelf sitting, and Chinese 5 spice, boasted he was 5 AMAZING spices, but he’d never come out of the cupboard! Paprika had never been unwrapped, still with the cellophane on his head! Have a watch…

Are you guilty? I am, buying a spice or herb to use for one dish, then not being used again!

Chinese 5 Spice gets its airing from the cupboard for Chinese New Year. I could tell you those spices and herbs which are always coming out parsley, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, mixed herbs, cumin, curry and chilli powder and oregano are a few of my favourites. Those that are still looking pristine ; Saffron comes to mind, in its very shiny glass jar, but it's top covered in dust, it needs an outing. I bought it so I could bake Saffron cake that I tasted in Cornwall. This weekend I am giving Saffron it's outing! We are baking with it in Bun Saturday kitchen!

Star Anise is the Christmas spice, used then, then back in the cupboard until next Christmas. In fact the cloves too, used for infusing my Christmas cakes' port then back in the cupboard!

I like to get my cooking classes trying new flavours. One way we do this is making home-made crisps. We take tortilla wraps, paint over a little oil with our fingers, then flavour our crisps. They can choose whatever flavours they like, some combine them, we have paprika, curry powder, cumin, mixed/Italian herbs, salt, pepper, parsley, chilli powder. They smell and sprinkle over the spice or herb. I bake them, they go home munching a bag of crisps, trying flavours they might not have before. It’s a good way to use up the stale wraps and herbs/spices too.

Here’s some ideas for those ‘Left on the Shelf’ Condiments.

  • Add Marmite to gravy! Love or hate it, it’s amazing in gravy, despite Mr Bun not being on the ‘yeah’ for Marmite he loves it in gravy.

  • A splash of Worcestershire Sauce in Spaghetti Bolognese, a great way to give it a kick. Grandad Bun swears by Tomato Ketchup in the BBQ Sauce.

  • That last bit of pesto or mayonnaise add to mashed potato.

  • Nutella, adding flavour to cakes, cheesecakes, biscuits, so I am calling it a condiment here! But what do to do with the last bit in the jar? So hard to get out. Fill ¾ full of milk, place it in the microwave (make sure ALL those silver bits are off the lid) for 1 minute, shake, 30 seconds, or another minute and hot chocolate! No microwave? Add enough cold milk to fill half the jar, shake and chocolate milk shake!

Go on, have a peak in your cupboard, what spice is there that needs an outing! Look at the date maybe… really!?! Did I hear 1997!

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