September 29, 2016

ASK ANGELA ~ Angela Goodall

 

Thyme to Spice Up Your Kitchen

 

For me, I welcome the fall and winter months as an opportunity to get back into the kitchen. Especially with the warm summer we just experienced, cooking in a hot kitchen is not always how I spend my summer evenings. But with the return of the cooler weather, in addition to all of the bounty to be harvested from my garden, cooking, canning and entertaining friends become my favorite ways to pass the time.

The greatest secret to preparing delicious dishes is the right combination of flavors, mostly generated from the spices we use on our food. As a kitchen designer, every kitchen design has considerations for “easy to access and see” the spices we use for every day cooking. My favorite approach is the tiered spice rack that allows you to lay your spices in a drawer so that the labels are easy to read. Take it one step further and alphabetize them and you will never look through multiple jars to find the exact one you need. For spices that I use frequently and in large quantities, I buy refillable jars to keep in the drawer and right at hand during the prep and cooking process. Other options include a rack that hangs on the inside of an upper cabinet or a pullout that will also hold specialty oils and vinegars.

Winter does not need to mean access to fresh herbs is limited. I am fortunate enough that my kitchen windows face south, so pot up some basil, thyme and rosemary and with the right care, you can continue to have fresh herbs throughout the winter months. Having fresh herbs on hand for cocktails is also a very nice touch when entertaining guest. Muddle some basil vs mint in rum or vodka for a different twist on a traditional mixed drink.

So welcome fall and winter as a way to return to the simpler pleasures of life, like a delicious home cooked meal with friends and family on a Saturday evening.


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