Book of Spices
Book of Spices teaches you how to select, grow, preserve, and cook with spices. The cookbook includes over 100 delicious recipes. There are metric/UK and US measurements with the recipes.
Format: Hardcover, 151 pages.
Publisher: Bookthrift Co.
Author: Pamela Westland
Description: Spices have played a vital part in every civilization since the beginning of time. As our knowledge of the past increases, we realize that they were indispensable to people who lived long before history was recorded. Excavations of tombs, temples and cities that have been buried and hidden for thousands of years are constantly offering fresh evidence of the importance of spices in religious ceremonies and the embalming of the dead; in medicine and folk lore; in the preservation and cooking of food; in skin and hair care and cosmetics; and as dyes for food and fibers.
Some spices are ground to a powder at their places of origin (usually tropical); others are exported whole and milled when they reach their destination. It is convenient to have a range of ground spices to add instant flavor to any dish you are cooking, but it is well worth the extra time it takes to grind spices yourself.
We tend to put most emphasis on their use as flavorings and condiments, since spices are no longer essential for the preservation of food. We can freeze meat, fish and vegetables, or buy freeze-dried packaged foods, without having to rely on salt and other spices to keep food safe to eat. However, now that so many people are seeking to discover alternatives to the processed, prepackaged foods we have grown accustomed to, spices seem set for a welcome comeback. We can use them to make delicious preserves -- chutneys, flavored oils and vinegars -- and can experiment with salting and curing meat and fish.
Doubt about the advisability of relying on drugs every time we experience an ache or pain has led many people to look again at the natural medicines that were used to treat the sick for thousands of years. Health food shops usually have a section devoted to natural medicinal and beauty care products, and there are some we can make ourselves. Looking back to nature brings us -- naturally -- to ancient and beautiful crafts such as making vegetable dyes to give soft and lovely colors to natural fibers. Saffron and turmeric, for example, have 'endored' (a term meaning 'to turn a golden color') not only clothes but food for hundreds of years. Experimenting with natural dyes is a fascinating hobby.
Other spices, such as frankincense, myrrh and sandalwood, have a long and important history and, burned as incense, still have religious significance today. Incense was burned as a form of fumigation and purification, and as an offering to the gods. Making incense is simple, and the ingredients are easy to obtain from church suppliers.
Although most spices thrive best in tropical climates, there are some you can grow in the garden in temperate zones, and even more if you have a heated greenhouse.
Now that so many of us want to enrich our lives with a greater knowledge of the past and of natural products, spices will once more have a wider part to play. As they are used in more subtle or adventurous cooking, in home-crafts and beauty products, maybe they will become as indispensable today as they were to our ancestors. The Book of Spices will encourage you to find delight in these exotic, aromatic plants.
Condition: Good condition.