It’s a truism that many people who do not cook at any point during the year decide to give something a whirl over Christmas. I think it’s the combination of Christmas cooking, shows that flood our televisions and a sense of cosiness that hangs in the air causing us to migrate towards all things homely and warm.
Where’s warmer than the kitchen after all?
However there is nothing more disheartening, nay soul destroying, for a novice or experienced cook should you be all settled in the kitchen only to find that you’ve run out of the most important spice that your chosen dish contains. And you can almost guarantee that if this situation is going to arise at any time of year then it will do so at Christmas.
It’s not super easy to get your mitts on two or three Star Anise on Christmas Eve just as the ham goes in to bake. And you can bet your first born child that the ground Cinnamon will be long gone from the corner shop shelves leaving you with sticks of the stuff which is not helpful unless you decide to do some crafting instead.
With this in mind, my tip to you is to do a wee inventory of what’s lurking in your herb & spice cupboard. To do this effectively you’ll need to have some sort of idea as to what you plan to cook or bake over the next couple of weeks. If a recipe you’ve had in the back of your mind for months requires Coriander Seeds then NOW is the time to check both the recipe and your cupboard.
Do what I do and add a little ‘Sleeping with the Enemy’ touch to the cupboards while you’re there and turn all of the labels around the right way so that they face you. You can go one step further and alphabetise your jars also. From left to right just put them all in order. Look, I know this sounds sad, but it works people and you NEVER HAVE TO TELL ANYONE that you’ve done it!
And while you’re there don’t forget to top up your Salt, Pepper and stock supplies. You may very well have sourced some of the most expensive Saffron you can find but if you can’t season the roast potatoes then something’s gone wrong along the way.
Doing this job at this time of year not only enables a very tasty and organised Christmas but it also stands you in good stead for the New Year when you’ll find you have one less cupboard to clean out on the ‘January Junk Armistice’!
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