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Advisor

Fearless or Fainthearted?

The thread on gardening kind of made me think about seasonings.  I love to use lots of fresh herbs in my cooking but this time of year I only have dried herbs in my cupboard.  I freeze fresh herbs each year as they maintain great flavor for a long time but all are gone by now. 

 

Anywary, I have a pot of mixed bean and ham soup on simmering.  Opened my herb and spice cupboard and rummaged around looking for what might make a nice blend of flavors to make my soup just sing! 

 

I decided on basil, thyme and marjoram.  I was hoping to find some rosemary but none there.

 

Once I seasoned my soup the aroma just became heavenly. 

 

So....are you fearless when it comes to seasoning?  Or do you stick with the basics, a bit more of a fainthearted cook?  My mom taught me to be fearless and she is a wonderful cook.  All of the cooking shows I watch usually use way more seasonings that I normally use, especially salt. 

 

What is your favorite herb or spice?  I love basil and I love cardamom.(sp?) 

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10 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

Funny, but I thought about asking the same question earlier in the week.  Mike had given me a list of ingredients he wanted for a pork curry, and it was really good, but different.  

He wanted some fresh ginger root to grate into that.  Of all of the candy, drinks, cookies, and quick breads I like, any ginger ones are usually my favorites. 

Gingerbread, gingersnaps, ginger ale and this new Ginger 'Gizer, and the yummy ginger chews I order off of amazon...plus ginger Altoids and Gin-gins hard candy...love them all!  I like the slivers of pickled ginger that come with sushi, sesame-ginger marinades, and ginger salad dressing, too. 

If I could have only one seasoning, it would be ginger, the fresher the better. 

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Advisor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

That is TOOO funny...of all the flavors in the world the only one I truly despise is ginger and anything from the licorice family...I think that they are related.  I would rather eat dirt than eat ginger anything...

 

I have never heard much about what makes a person like or dislike a flavor...I wonder if it is genetic or environmental?  Since my family never ate much ginger at all growing up....maybe gingerbread cookies at Christmas?,,,,I am thinking genetic??

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

Garlic and lemon pepper. the no salt version. There is just so much salt in all foods that we pretty much don't add any to the whole batch. Instead we add some if we think we need it. Some much more and that person doesn't need it either.

 

Saw on TV that the Chinese are hoarding sea salt because it comes from Japan. Do you think we may have a similar scene in this country with sea salt? I don't know where it comes from to this country, if it is imported. It may be domestic for all I know.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

I would love to use seasonings of different kinds, but dh would turn his nose up to it all...his seasoning...ketchup!   I do like alot of garlic too   Ham & bean soup sounds good about now Smiley Happy

 

S.

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Advisor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

Well, licorice is a food group all to itself, to me.  I LOVE it, and would eat as much as there is in the house, so cannot bring it into the house very often.  It has that much power over me...but, we all know I am a food wuss, doesn't take much t wrestle my willpower into submission. 

Mentioned to Mike last night that I needed a good fix of licorice.  Of course, he wanted to urp, since he hates it!  Anise is sort of licorice-flavored, and I love it, too, so I watch for that in anything new, since I know he will not like it.  My last box of Altoids was licorice-flavored.  YUMMM!

The quesion of flavor preference is an intriguing one.  I Googled it to refresh my memory on the subject this morning.  Here's an excerpt:

What do we know about factors influencing the etiology of children's food likes and dislikes? The preference for the sweet taste, probably the preference for salty tastes, and the rejection of sour and bitter tastes are innate and unlearned (Beauchamp et al. 1994), but nearly all food preferences are learned via children's early experience with food and eating. Children's preferences are shaped by the quantity and quality of children's experience with food, and as a result of many eating occasions in which foods are associated with the social contexts of eating and with the physiological consequences of ingestion, children come to accept some foods and reject others, shaping their dietary intake.

Of course, we all grow up in the context of a family that has developed taste preferences of their own, so will influence us by largely offering us what they like.  I guess it's kind of like the old joke abotu the recipe where the grandma cut off the shank of the roast, the mother cut off the shank of the roast, and the daughter asked why they all cut off the shank of the roast...which turned out to be because great-grandma had a roasting pan too small to hold it whole.  Our palates are apparently similarly shaped by the family traditions and likes/dislikes. 

We've had people comment on how our three kids would "eat anything." In truth, thy each have very broad food acceptance, excpet for raw tomatoes, which I despise - not for their flavor, but for the jelly-like gunk around the seeds. Everyone in my entire family will eat them off the vine like candy...but, my maternal grandfather hated them, too.  He had strokes when I was tiny and couldn't talk to explain why, so I never knew his reason. 

SO, my kids may be warped against raw tomatoes, but they will sit and make do off of any plate set in front of them, because I never tried to coerce or cajole them into eating anything.  They were allowed to freely eat or leave whatever they wanted, and I told them if they didnt' like a meal, they were free to get up and make a PB&J, which I cannot remember anyone ever doing.  That was what i made for myself when the rest of my family had tomato sandwiches for lunch. 

I think a lot of food wars between parents and kids are just power struggles in disguise.  They ruin mealtimes for the whole family, and anyone else within earshot. 

We eat some pretty bad-smelling stuff (stinky cheese), some things that have strange flavors (smoked country ham), and pick up new preferences as we age (wasabi is certainly not a family favorite, but I love it).   Coming from a teetotalling family, I would say it's hard to explain my affinity for single malt Scotch, but maybe that one is genetic, just skipped a generation or two!

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Advisor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

I think sea salt can come from many places.  We certainly can replace it with mined domestic salt deposits, but like everything else, I am sure this will jack up salt prices and make the checkout total rise. Everything touts sea salt now...chips and even chocolate. 

For once, I got ahead of the curve...ordered a five-pound bag of sea salt from amazon about a month ago.  We like Himilayan pink sea salt, which we use in a grinder at the table, if any salt is added at all.  I maybe use it once a week, Mike no more often than that. 

It is expensive enough to start with, but I bought a quantity that justified the shipping costs.  What I ordered will probably last us for years...at least it does not go bad.  So, if you get desparate, I can hook you up....

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Senior Contributor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

Kay, your point about our kids preferences in relation to their parents choices is a good one.  However, my gandkids are a paradox.  The older can make a meal with meat & potatoes, not so much on brocolli & salads.

#2 doesn't like meat but will eat salads, brocolli, cauliflower, etc.  #3 the little 3 yr old will eat most anything.

All have it offered & told to "try one bite" and of course, more encouragement when it comes to the needed nutrients.

I have problems with DH not wanting to eat whole grains such as whole wheat bread.  Would rather eat that junk white Wonder bread.  I won't buy it.

He does have some digestive problems (going to gastro Dr) so I have to watch spices.  I use a lot of that lemon pepper salt also & garlic.  I have been making a homemade spice rub for our chicken so I've been using paprika a lot in that.  Another one from the garden is chives.  And I like tarragon for my fish.  I like the rosemary but nobody else does.  I like being able to smell them as I brush by them in the garden even if I don't use them.  Love my apple scented geranium sitting by my front door.  Overwintered 4 yrs now.  I dry my parsley & use it all yr.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

Probably somewhere in the middle.    I've been trying more receipies with different spices lately.   Have a couple with basil that we absolutely love to smell when it is cooking.   Over all probably need to try more different recipies.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: Fearless or Fainthearted?

We all should be trying different dishes. It would be a great use for all the spices we have in the cupboards. I feel like we are starting to get in a rut with the meals.

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