Monday, March 4, 2013

Seasoning


If it had to be only one, it would be salt. That's in the top jar. Underestimated and abused equally in our (that's the universal we) eating and cooking lives. Enough salt can make a dish sing. It is a secret weapon. It is a lethal weapon.

If I could choose just two seasonings?  Salt and sugar. Sugar is in the jar below the salt. I know, it's hard. But I'd have to go for sugar over pepper, as much as I like spice. We are talking extremes, of course, because I'd hate a life without the zing of black or red hotness. Sugar and salt together are potent. Quick pickles. Balance in stews. Harmony in salads. Perfect bread.

Three? - let's say that's the black pepper, then

What would be your fourth spice, or single item for flavour?

(The tulips, you ask? Another kind of necessity. They fight off the wolves that snuffle at the thin space between the door and its frame. Wolves hate tulips.)

26 comments:

  1. I wonder what it says about me if I say "smoked paprika"?

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  2. Ginger -- versatile as it straddles sweet and savory so wonderfully.

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  3. smoked paprika or rosemary

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  4. fresh thyme and/or vanilla beans...can't decide. Do oniony things count in this game? It may be onions.

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  5. What an adorable post Marie. Charming and simple. Your choices of salt and sugar for #1/2 are surely the winter and summer of spices, with pepper being #3 (of course). Number 4. for me, would have to be garlic (if not a spice- a flavor) that I could not live w/o.
    I love your line: "Wolves hate tulips". I'll have to go get some.

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  6. For me, number 4 would also be garlic, if it is indeed a spice/herb. If not, then basil; albeit it must be fresh. I'm totally with you on numbers 1 thourgh 3.

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  7. Fresh rosemary or thyme.

    Estorbo would say catnip.

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  8. The fourth spice would be cumin for me.. I hope you like it..

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  9. Glad I found your blog. I think it is a great place to stop in over coffee. I too am a designer, NY resident and have a small urban space. I looked for an email subscribe button, but found none. No WP RSS reader there either. I also saw your husband's blog, he is a great photographer.

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    1. Thank you. Does the RSS option in the left sidebar not work for you? Above the Facebook icon...

      The blog is due for a major overhaul, soon. I like to know what people cannot find, so thanks for the feedback.

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    2. I don't use any of those readers, sorry. What I did was bookmark your site, but that does not let me know when a new post is generated like an email alert. I hope you can add one when you do the update. Also, I recommended your blog to another blogger friend of mine. She also is a garden blogger, and nursery owner. She enjoys cooking posts like I do and your blog seems to have a few.

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    3. Which reader do you use? Curious.

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  10. My go to spice, after your big three, is red pepper flakes. When you need some zing and don't have anything fresh red pepper flakes fill the bill.

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  11. Garlic and/or lemon for me - one or both helps when I want not so much salt and sugar. I came upon your blog a while back, and return almost daily - with a glass of wine after a long day! Love your photos (and Vince's) and your point of view (and food and cat). Feedback on blog; I especially enjoy the quotes you choose to add in the sidebar, and the "live traffic feed" way down below - I'm usually the Pittsburgh visitor - it's fun to see who's where.
    Waiting on your book, too . . .

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  12. I'll echo Diane G...garlic or lemon. Love your blog!

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  13. Beyond can't live without...I've been putting fennel seeds on everything lately, and cumin. Is xv olive oil a spice?

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  14. Love the discussion on spice, and am enthralled by your reference to the tulips keeping wolves at bay. Where does that come from? I find it particularly interesting in light of the fact that I’ve started keeping fresh flowers on my desk since the beginning of the year. I have a meager $4.00 a week budget devoted to this. And surprisingly have been able to make this work – whether I purchase the managers special or bring in something from the yard. But what is more interesting is that I started doing this because I am working on a project (a very difficult collaboration) and needed them to help keep my perspective. Yet since I have been doing this, the difficulty collaboration has completely changed in nature to one that is going to work out rather well, I think. Here’s to “Flower Power!” Another way to spice up your life. - Barbara (I do not have a url to publish at this time, sorry.)

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    1. The wolves and tulips? From my head...MFK Fisher writes about The Wolf at the Door.

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    2. So poetic. Just love this sentence; it is so evocative: "They fight off the wolves that snuffle at the thin space between the door and its frame." - Barbara

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  15. Toss up between a sweet chilli dipping sauce and paprika.... no, can't choose! : )

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  16. Lots of paprika, interesting!

    My fourth for flavour would have to be lemons. They might even bump sugar out of the way...

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  17. My Friday's scheduled away post is all about SALT!
    You are always one step ahead. I love salt better than sugar.
    My other fave would have to be cumin. It makes all my Moroccan and Mexican inspired dishes sing.

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  18. I'd like to add capers to the mix, since no one has mentioned it. It is not a can't-do-without ingredient, but I find that it enhances lots of things.

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