You know how every spring and fall when Daylight Savings Time occurs, you’re supposed to change out the batteries in your smoke alarms? Well…add changing out your spices, dried herbs and other dried ingredients. These items lose their potency after a while. It’s expensive I realize, but set aside money every week or month. Believe me. You won’t regret it after you open a new container and compare the aroma to the old.
I generally buy from stores that sell in bulk like a Farmer’s Market, Costco, wherever. Generally, they tend to be dramatically cheaper than in the jars in the spice aisle at the grocery. If I don’t use the bulk, I don’t feel bad throwing it out at the end of six months. With the exception of few, herbs and spices are herbs and spices.
When I speak of the exception, I speak of Bay Leaves from Spice Islands. Horribly expensive but well worth the price. They make a huge difference in flavor when added to stews. I learned this in a cooking class taught by Chef Virginia Willis.
If you live in an area where hydroponic growers live, they may provide fresh herbs throughout the winter. You can even put them in pots and grow on the windowsill. Obviously, when spring and summer arrive, growing your own herbs is ideal.
Living in apartments or condos may not be feasible to grow your own herbs in pots so by all means dried from a store is just as good. With an inexpensive coffee grinder, it’s easy to grind up any herbs, like rosemary.
The side panel of this baking soda says to change out every 30 days for fresher tasting food. The jury is still out on that. I think for a fresher refrigerator? Sure…change it out.
I’ve never experienced inferior flavors if using a box over a four to six month period. For my convenience, I mark the day I open the box.
So, if you want more flavor in your foods, be sure to change out those dry ingredients at least every six months.
…and for these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, I had just opened a fresh box of baking soda. Nice and full, huh…makes a difference.
Makes 12 cookies
3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal (not fast cooking oatmeal)
Handful of raisins
Preheat oven to 400° F
Grease cookie sheet with butter. In a mixer bowl, cut up butter into slices. Beat on high until butter is creamy. Reduce speed to medium, add the sugar and blend well, then add the egg. Add the flour, cinnamon and baking soda. Reduce speed to low and add Oatmeal and raisins incorporating both well.
Spoon out twelve dollops of cookie dough onto the cookie sheet. You may have to rob from one cookie dough to build up another, but the idea is 12 cookies relatively the same size.
Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator or even better in the freezer while your oven heats up.
Bake nine (9) minutes