The Spice Is Right V Theme: “Fresh and Local”

This Spice is Right challenge may be a bit difficult, but it should be fun.

In recognition that August is, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, a time of growth, plenty and harvest, and considering how many bloggers we have from around the world, it might be fun if we highlighted the local flavoring ingredients that are in season where we are.

For us North Americans, that can mean onions, garlic, chiles, nasturtium seeds, blossoms and leaves, dill seeds, fennel seeds, fennel bulbs, coriander seeds (green and dried) and any number of other goodies that we may have grown and harvested ourselves, dried ourselves or processed ourselves. Or, it could be we obtained them from the local farmer’s market.

For those who live in say, India–the field is a bit more open, isn’t it? Some folks have black pepper vines growing wild over their back garden fences. There may be a co-op of farmers down the road who grow ginger or turmeric or chiles or cardamom. They may, like we North Americans, have a pot of chiles growing on their deck or doorstep.

For folks in Europe–well, you know what grows near you! Lavender is one–caraway seeds, dill seeds, fennel–and of course, onions and garlic. The list isn’t as restrictive if one thinks about it.

And once you figure out which locally grown spice you want to highlight, I would really like it if you featured it in a recipe containing as many local ingredients as humanly possible! That includes vegetables and fruits, which will be in copious supply next month, meat, fish and dairy, eggs, legumes and grains. Work with what you can get from your local farmers.

See what happens!

Go native for a meal!

It should be fun. I look forward to seeing what folks come up with–I have a bang-up bunch of goodies to feature for “It’s Too Darned Hot!” so look for three round-up posts over the next three days.

As always, the deadline is August 15th at midnight EST. Post your recipe before that time, with a link back to this post in case your readers want to join in the fun, too, and send me an email including a link to the post, your name, where you are, and a link to your blog’s main page. I will do the rest!

And then, next week, we are going to be away in Washington, DC, with a friend who is interviewing at Georgetown University. (She’s brilliant.) But, I will still be posting from the hotel room–I have some posts and photos lined up and ready to go while we are gone so you don’t have to get lonely.

One other thing–I have the schedule for the next few months of themes for the Spice is Right. Would you like me to go ahead and post them and let y’all plan ahead? Or, do we want to continue as we have been? I will tell you that there will be no Spice is Right in October, since I will be busy giving birth to Kat that month, and there may not be one in November. The only way there will be one during that two month hiatus is if someone else wants to pick up the baton for two months and come up with themes and do round-ups. If you are interested, email me, if not, we will just take a two month break, and come back in December.

Thank you for all of your interest and support in my event!


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  1. I’m interested in taking over for the two months. Emailed you about it. And congrats again on the upcoming sprout!

    Comment by Danielle — July 16, 2006 #

  2. Barbara,
    Now this is a tough one for me. Considering that Düsseldorf and the surrounding Ruhrgebiet are all industrial areas with hardly any farming done, maybe apart from rapeseed. Hmmmm…I guess I’ll have to grow my own herbs. Btw, I like the way you talk about your child. Like you already knew her. (Well, mothers kinda do anyway, don’t they? :))

    Comment by Vaishali — July 16, 2006 #

  3. Hi Barbara,

    I don’t mind taking over for one of those months either. It’ll be a shame if this wonderful event took a break. Let me know if that’s ok with you per email.

    By the way, when would the deadline for #5 be?

    Comment by Meeta — July 17, 2006 #

  4. Local Ingredients in Indian cuisine means a balance between the main ingredient balancing it with the required spices.

    South India is famous for what Indians call ‘Garam Masala’, which comprises cardamom sticks, cinnamon pods, cloves, saffron, nutmeg, cumin, caraway and the likes.

    There are many recipes that can be turned out of them, but my favorite is Chicken soaked in yogurt and then fried with onions, ginger-garlic paste and then heated up with red chili powder, cinnamon powder, cardamon powder and cumin powder.

    As you are going to deliver Kat in the next two months I would suggest that you go for a dash of ginger root powder in chicken stews and that is one spice along with pepper powder that is best for pregnant woman.

    Comment by Esther — July 17, 2006 #

  5. […] The Spice is Right#5 […]

    Pingback by blog from OUR kitchen » ... we adore good food — July 17, 2006 #

  6. This is going to be a fun one, Barbara! Many thanks once more for hosting this wonderful event.


    P.S. Could you please put a note at the bottom of this post with instructions on how to participate? Something along the lines of the As always, include in your entry your name paragraph in the announcement for The Spice is Right IV Theme: It’s Too Darned Hot!. Thank you again.

    Comment by ejm — July 17, 2006 #

  7. […] This is my contribution to Barbara’s “The Spice is Right – Fresh and Local” event. […]

    Pingback by Hooked on Heat » Hopping on the Bar-B’! — July 17, 2006 #

  8. Hey Barb!

    I’ve posted my entry for the next event already. The link is here –

    Wishing you a safe delivery! :o)

    Comment by Meena — July 17, 2006 #

  9. Danielle, thank you–email sent back to you.

    Vaishali–do the best that you can. If you have to be creative, then use what you know is grown in a nearby part of Germany. See what happens. If all else fails, you will at least learn what is lacking in your area.

    As for Miss Kat (Katherine Artemesia), I can discern a distinct personality already. You are right–mother’s do know from the beginning, but I am lucky in that I have seen pictures of her already and had confirmation that she was a girl because of the amnio test. As soon as the wee one had a real name, I started talking to her as a person, not just a possibility, and that has seemed to make her stronger, and given her more personality.

    Meeta–thank you. I already granted Danielle the task of hosting October and November. If I am still not on my feet as well as I would like by December, would it be possible to tap you to host that month, and I will take back over for the New Year? If you are interested, send me an email, and we will play it by ear. The deadline is the fifteenth–I just edited that back into the post!

    Esther–thank you! I hope you join in our game next time around–I will look for you. And thank you for the note on ginger–I have been eating a lot of it–it helps to balance a lot of the yin energy that courses through a pregnant woman at this time. (I am not used to so much yin–I am a very yang person!) Pepper I cannot do, as I developed an allergy to it a few months ago–I hope it is just a side effect of pregnancy and goes away soon!

    Elizabeth–I have noted and edited the change–thanks for reminding me!

    Meena–you ARE the early bird! Thanks! And thank you for the good wishes on the delivery. I am not worried. My labor and delivery with Morganna went fine–I don’t expect problems this time around, either.

    Comment by Barbara — July 17, 2006 #

  10. Barbara,
    Your themes always set me thinking. Uptil now I always thought most of the things in our market are year-round. I will actually have to find out from the vegetable vendors in the market- as to what’s in season and what grows best in these months. Probably my mom will be able to help too. This is definitely going to be fun! You take care

    Comment by Nandita — July 17, 2006 #

  11. I’ve posted my entry too Barbara – Southwest Crostini.

    Comment by Christine — July 30, 2006 #

  12. Anstehende Food Blog Events

    Mehr für mich selbst als Reminder…

    Das Gärtnerblog ruft im August zum Koch-Event Feigen auf. Ich nenne keinen Feigenbaum mein eigen, ich vertrage keine frischen Feigen, mein Schatz mag keine Feigen. Ich habe noch getrocknete Feigen im Schrank ab…

    Trackback by FoodFreak — August 5, 2006 #

  13. […] And, because Barbara is collecting recipes that feature local ingredients for this month’s Spice Is Right, I used locally ground spices–cayenne and paprika–in the batter. The zucchini is straight from a Louisiana farmer just down the road, the buttermilk came from a local dairy, so besides the flour, seasoned salt, and oil, this dish is completely south Louisiana. And, of course, as far as techniques go, you can’t get more locally southern than frying. These crunchy little spears are a cross between fried dill pickles–popular at state fairs around these parts–and some eggplant fries I had once at a restaurant. The zucchini held up nicely–it turns very soft, but doesn’t fall apart–and I love the mild flavor of the vegetable dressed up by the spices in the batter. Comeback sauce would, I’m sure, make a delightful dipping sauce for fried zucchini, but it’s not necessary in my opinion. […]

    Pingback by Weekly Dish » Blog Archive » Weekly Menu and Fried Zucchini — August 14, 2006 #

  14. TSIR #5

    Barbara at Tigers

    Trackback by — August 15, 2006 #

  15. […] The Spice is Right V: Fresh and Local […]

    Pingback by blog from OUR kitchen » Deadlines, deadlines! (Spice is Right V)... we adore good food — August 15, 2006 #

  16. Mine is posted here:

    and the specific post is:

    Yay food! Yay local!

    Comment by Emily — August 15, 2006 #

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