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I’ve had quite the week . . . planned on posting Saturday but I was under-the-weather.  Wanted to post Sunday but I planted my spring garden before the rain set in and then caught up on Saturday stuff in addition to leftover Sunday stuff.  Thought I might be able to squeeze in a post after the gym on Monday,  but that didn’t happen.  The last week of the month is my hectic week at the office, so when I finally got home I had a little wine and then treated myself to a second glass.  Umm,  no blogging energy after that. 

For the sake of the blog, and to convince others that I’m still alive and kicking,  I’m sharing a favorite little thing I discovered recently.  I don’t expect any blogging award for the post, but maybe somebody will think, “Wow, I’m going to try this.”  I owe this discovery to a black bean soup that I make in the winter and a post last month by Lea Ann from Mangos, Chili & Z.    Both of these sources suggest heating cumin seeds in a dry pan to release the aromatic goodness before adding to the recipe.  I took it step further . . .

Start by toasting the seeds in a dry pan on medium heat.  I love how this smells – so fragrant and cuminy.   If you’ve ever done this, you know it’s a real word. 

 

Once the aroma starts wafting through the kitchen, drop the warm seeds into a mortar and grind them up with the pestle.   A spice grinder would work, too, but I don’t have one of those. (yet)

 

When it’s ground fairly well, sift it into a bowl to remove the seed husks.  My handsome assistant, Mr. H,  lent a hand with this so I could snap a shot of this process.   

 

Just look at the difference – it’s pretty obvious when you compare it side-by-side with the ground cumin from a jar.  

The fragrance and flavor are that much richer, too!

Now it’s your turn to tell me one of your spicy secrets . . .

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