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VOL. 35 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 23, 2011

Is ‘stinking rose’ a rose by another name?

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Time for a little quiz, this is one about spices:

1. I have my own “Old Bay Seasoning” to put on my crab, using this spice. I also used this on my Chicago style hot dog. I also make a virgin Bloody Mary using this same spice. If you need another hint, I can tell you that the vegetable this spice comes from is part of the “Holy Trinity” of food, celery seed, onion seed, carrot seed and mustard seed.

2. I have just made a European potato dish, using a dried seed. I decide to grate some more of it onto the top. Two spices come from the same plant, but only one of them fits the description. Which is it, mace, nutmeg, pepper or cinnamon?

3. I have just added a spice to my dish to make it a deep, rich yellow. I didn’t add much, though, because I cannot afford a large quantity of this expensive spice. This spice comes from a common flower. What spice is this, what flower does it come from, and what part of the flower does it come from: 1. Cloves, crocus, stamen; 2. Saffron, crocus, stigma; 3. Saffron, iris, stigma 4. Cloves, iris, stamen?

4. I just added a spice that smells like mustard but tastes like bitter pepper. It is similar to saffron but is much cheaper! What is it, tarragon, turmeric, cumin or caraway?

5. There is a spice used in Indonesia to make curry powder. This spice was often in the U.S. until ginger came along, now most people probably haven’t even heard of it. What is this exotic spice, gingetta, spricki, turnip or zedoary?

6. True or False: Garlic is called “stinking rose” because it is a member of the rose family.

7. True or False: Garlic is mentioned in the Bible.

ANSWERS

1. Celery seed, which comes from celery. Cut stalk and you can see little green seeds inside. When dried, you get the spice.

2. Nutmeg. Both mace and nutmeg come from the same plant, but only nutmeg is the seed. Mace is made from grinding the dried shell of the seed, while nutmeg is the seed itself. Nutmeg is very hard, and usually requires a special grater unless you buy it already grated. Fresh nutmeg can last for years, while the pre-ground nutmeg has a shelf life of only a few months.

3. Saffron, crocus and stigma. Saffron is very expensive because it is very hard to cultivate, and 10,000 crocuses will not make much saffron. Saffron is very bitter and smells like hay. Although it appears to be red, it makes a golden yellow dye.

4. Although cumin fits the description, turmeric is known as Indian saffron, a much cheaper alternative to saffron. The taste is very much the same, but it will not give food a deep yellow color.

5. Zedoary is made from the roots of the plant and can be used as a dried powder or as a fresh root, much like ginger can be used.

6. False. Garlic is actually a member of the lily family, which also includes onions and chives.

7. True. A reference is found in Numbers 11:5. “We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.”

Grilled Chicken with summer vegetables

4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)

1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided

1 zucchini, cut into chunks

1 red pepper, cut into chunks

1 cup cut-up fresh asparagus pears

1 small red onion, cut into chunks

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Brush chicken with two Tbsp. dressing. Let stand 10 min. Place vegetables in a grill pan or poke holes in bottom of disposable aluminum foil pan. Toss vegetables with remaining dressing; pace in prepared pan. Grill chicken and vegetables about 20 min. or until chicken is done and vegetables are crisp-tender.

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