?`s and ANNEswers

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Spice Exchange Possibly Postponed

Yesterday I wrote about how to share the spice jars in my cupboard before they reach their expiration dates.  Today, I’m in research mode to see if I can find a usage beyond the particular recipe for which I purchased the spice in the first place.  I’ve learned a lot.

Sage: I don’t remember what recipe I bought this for, but the container is still half full.  Checking online I see that it can be added (Sparingly!) to bread cubes for stuffing, to pot roast, cheese spreads, vegetable soup, and venison.  If I ever cook venison this is good to know.

Cream of Tartar: More versatile. I used it to make meringues and whipped cream.  But, you don’t need much; and with two containers on hand, I searched to see what else could be done with it.  Turns out you can make a paste-like consistency with lemon juice to clean metals such as brass, aluminum, and copper. You can also use it as a purgative, but it isn’t highly recommended.

Ground Coriander: Coriander is a first cousin to cilantro, although they don’t really taste alike. According to the online Kitchen Dictionary, it goes well with curry, fish, ham, lamb, lentils, pork, stuffing, tomatoes, and turkey. In fact, I saw recipes for lemon coriander chicken and lime and coriander octopus. Octopus and venison are on the same par in my cookbook.

All this research suggests I should check on alternative uses for any exotic spice I purchase for a particular recipe. Then I’ll decide if the recipe itself merits preparing if the spice in question doesn’t measure up (No pun intended.) in terms of other usages.

You’ve heard of the tail wagging the dog.  This is the spice determining the menu.

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