Italians are known for being a little spicy… in a manner of speaking. Does being a short Italian count in the phrase “spice it up with a little Italian”? Myself and a few other short Italians I know could qualify if that was the case. (Not that I’m naming names Cheri, Julia, and Tina) 🙂
So let’s talk spices…..
I grow most of the spices I use in my cooking. When I pick the herbs for a recipe I often pick more than needed so I stash the extra few leaves in a bowl. At the end of the week, I have a variety of semi-dried herbs in the bowl. I end up stripping these off the stems and putting them into a jar marked “blend.” My blend is always different because I never know from week to week what herbs I will be using in my recipes. And somehow the blend always adds just the right flavors!
Lately, I’ve been trying to broaden my culinary repertoire to try foods I have not cooked before. What I’m finding is that the recipes I’m drawn to call for “Italian seasoning.” Well since I don’t typically buy Italian seasoning, I’m not sure what is in the spice jar from the store. If you don’t have Italian seasoning in your cupboard, I found a recipe to make your own from Gimme Me Some Oven (recipe below).
Before checking out the recipe, I have to share one of my herb drying mishaps. One summer we had a larger than normal herb crop so I had large bundles of herbs to dry at the end of the season. I had the brilliant idea to dry the herbs hanging upside down on the shower rod in an unused bathroom. Fast forward to the next spring and I’m cleaning the bathroom that hasn’t been used all winter. To my surprise, there were bundles of herbs hanging in the bathroom! It was kind of like finding that lost Christmas present that you hid away so well that you couldn’t find it at Christmas. While I was excited to find the herbs, they were a bit dusty like most of the house at that time of year so into the compost they went. A little sad. 🙁
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- Whisk all seasonings together in a bowl until combined.
- Use immediately or store in a sealed container.
- Feel free to adjust the ratio to make whatever size of batch you would like.
And just in case you are making Thanksgiving dinner or need poultry seasoning for a recipe, you can make your own. No more worrying that the market may run out of it during the holiday season. I tried to copy the two recipe variations I use but don’t think the picture came out clear enough (I’ve been using these seasoning recipes for so long I don’t recall where I found them originally). I made turkey gravy recently using my poultry seasoning – the version with the homegrown herbs so it had just a touch of herb leaves in the gravy. For the gravy purests that like a perfectly smooth gravy, they may not like it. But I will tell you that the gravy is the BEST using either of these poultry seasonings in your recipe.