Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘spice’

Sugar and Spice

I love spicy food. I really do – hot curries, flavourful puddings, the more taste it has, the better. My sister accuses me of being an “auto-condimentiser”, because I almost always automatically add salt to my meal before I’ve even taken a bite.

Colossians 4:6

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

In our highly processed, instant world, the word “seasoned” often conjures images in our minds of MSG-laden foods, or bright red concoctions that’ll have our kids bouncing off the walls in twenty minutes flat!

But seasonings can be a good thing. In fact, studies show that capsaicin, the active ingredients in chillis, can be very beneficial for asthma sufferers. It also helps with migraines and certain types of headaches. Ginger is known to relieve nausea and indigestion. It is also useful for blocked sinuses, assists in the absorption of nutrients, and has healing properties. Cinnamon reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels over time, and reminds us of the holidays!

And then there’s salt. No kitchen is without salt, and it has many essential functions.

Functions of salt:

  • Add flavour
  • Preserve
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Dry

Bland food is magically transformed into gourmet cuisine with a sprinkle of salt. It adds flavour to any dish – even chocolate! More importantly, it enhances the flavour already there. A little salt brings out the best in each element of a meal. Even sweet foods get a touch of pizzazz with a pinch of salt.

Do you like biltong? In our house, it’s practically a staple food, and by far the number one reason so few South Africans choose to be vegetarians. What makes biltong awesome? Salt. Salt preserves food, making it last for longer, while still being safe for human consumption. In ancient times, before the invention of useful devices like refrigerators, salt was a valuable commodity in keeping food fresh and healthy.

Salt cleans. It disinfects. If you’ve ever had toothache, a mouth ulcer, or a sore throat, a teaspoon or two of salt in a little lukewarm water is the perfect gargle to sort it out – and so economical, too!

In fact, salt was so valuable that part of a Roman soldier’s annual salary was paid in salt.

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لذيذ! (Delicious!)

Bright and beautiful vegetables. So pretty.

Bright and beautiful vegetables. So pretty.

I have no idea how to pronounce لذيذ but it is the Arabic translation of delicious (thanks, Google!). It’s appropriate for this post because it refers to the deliciousness of our Moroccan dinner this week. This blog isn’t supposed to be about food, but enjoying cooking is a relatively new adventure for me, and thanks to the Internet, it’s possible – nay, easy! – to create virtually any concoction you can imagine. I had so much fun making delicious Moroccan Soup and Herby Flatbread. (Click on the links – they’re worth a look and there are loads of other yummy things there, too).

Flatbread. Should it be quite so brown?

Flatbread. Should it be quite so brown?

What made it even more entertaining was being assisted by DD#2 as she began the journey towards domestic mastery for herself. She’s so entertaining and uniquely, innocently wise. What a joy! We peeled and sliced and diced and chopped and mixed and stirred and then cleaned it all away. She also made me a miniature garden from roses and celery leaves, and populated it with a Lego village and Lego characters. Considering the available space in our cosy cottage kitchen, that is quite an achievement.

Steaming stoup.

Steaming stoup.

I so enjoyed the language style of the recipe writers: practical and unfussy and really doable. Of course, in true Me-style, I substituted what I needed with what I had. And garlic. In fact, I wrapped most of a bulb of garlic in foil, drizzled it in oil and herbs, and roasted it in the oven as an aperitif. *Sigh*. Perhaps next time DH will get some. I’m afraid this time (third night, third experiment, same outcome) I ate the lot. So much of hhmmm.

Garlic. Yum!

Garlic. Yum!

I managed to remember the camera before I had served the food, so here are some pics from the delicious event.

 

 

 

 

Souper Successful. Hur hur.

Souper Successful. Hur hur.

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