The Herb And Spice Dilemma
0 comment Thursday, September 18, 2014 |
I made my herbal order for the year today; I stock up on my flu-and-cold season herbs, and then get my homemade chai herbs as well. Normally, not a big deal - I get my organic herbs in bulk from a trading company, and a few bits and bobs from another spice provider (I like her prepared ginger a lot better).
But when the order was placed, there were some rather disturbing findings; green cardamom, which has always been easily priced, has tripled. No vanilla pods are available as apparently the crops have been flooded and no one has any available for less than ten times the usual price. There's hardly any ginger available; I had to settle for the less-than-effective slices in a third of my usual quantity (glad I've grown a bit myself!) There's no astralagus, no galangal.
Good grief....back to medieval times and spices only being affordable by royalty.
It has definitely been a year where things I relied upon being there (even with me trying to cut my flyer miles and shopping locally) just haven't been around. I'm really having to think more and more about doing for myself by what I can get in the UK, and if I can't do it that way, whether or not I can grow a substitute. After growing the ginger and finding it worked rather well, I've been turning my thoughts to growing even more herbs here at home. I want to start some horseradish, keep the kitchen herbs going, and add a few more. I'm going to be planting more garlic soon, and I hope to start using what grows in the local folly a bit more often. I think this can be done respectfully, choosing favourite spots and harvesting what you know, where you know. It's part of my inspiration for planting what looks like weeds in my back garden - and why I've still kept most of my dandelions, when I haven't harvested a bit of the leaves for the guinea pigs next door. Today when I was making corn to eat with my venison steaks, I eyed the cornsilk. Yep, that went up for drying.
It does make me appreciate my chai tea a lot more than I did previously, I can tell you, and when I brew my first cup of the fall, I'm going to savour it.

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