Retrievable Spices & Herbs

Add Ground Pepper toward the end of the cooking time. Ground pepper looses its favor in long cooking times. An alternative is to put peppercorns in a muslin bag or cheese cloth that can be submerged during cooking then removed from the dish.

Bay Leaf is another retrievable spice. Add dried bay leaf to your soups and roasts during cooking then remove before serving because the leaf is bitter and hard to chew. Crush bay leaf for added flavor; again put them in a muslin bag that can be retrieved before serving.

A Tea Infuser works well for adding spices that you want to remove at the end of cooking. This allows you to add the flavor of the spice/herb without actually adding the texture.

The power of one man’s word.

I don’t watch the Dr. Oz Show, but I do know he sends me weekly customers. Usually first thing in the morning one of my customers will start the ball rolling with “Dr. Oz says…” That’s when I know it is time to package a few extra bags of that spice or tea. Once he promoted watercress, while I don’t sell watercress the stand directly across from me does. By mid afternoon they sold out of watercress and watercress just isn’t a popular item. Amazing the power of one man’s word. The following week I said to the stand owner, “I noticed you sold a lot of watercress last week.” “Yes,” she said with a look of surprise. Recently, he promoted Yerba Mate Tea as a natural simulate, people use it in place of caffeine. Yes, I sold out. Because of him I can barely keep Turmeric in stock and I now sell Hibiscus tea. While I don’t have extra time to follow the Dr. Oz Show it would be helpful if one of my customers would email me the heads.

Believing is Seeing

Recently, I saw a billboard that said, “Believing is Seeing”. We have been taught, “Seeing is Believing”. How many times have you heard this phrase? Yet all great teachers teach the power of faith, be it Religion or Sales 101. What a great statement. If only we would change something as simple as a cliché, the result could be miraculous.

That Throat Thing

This past Friday at market was the start of the winter pass around illnesses. For whatever reason it seemed to target the men market vendors. Maybe there was something in the woods, since it was the first week of deer season. I’m sure the deer had little sympathy. But seriously people all over York had “The Throat Thing”. Well, the throat thing brought new and old tea drinkers to my stand. The requests were all the same, “Do you have a tea for this throat thing?”

What I know about men and those none serious health people is they are wimps in what they will do to help themselves. So, based on this, I knew the Germ Blaster tea blend was not going to be their cup of tea. But I did what to offer them some relief. I went with a mix of eucalyptus leaf, nettle leaf, ginger root and rosehips. I went heavy on the rosehips to give them a Vit. C jolt. One man’s voice returned after drinking only one cup, everyone came back for a second cup. Now that’s dedication!

Don’t wait to get sick. Drink herbal teas daily to stay ahead of the cold and flu season.

Buying patterns of the healthy and unhealthy eaters.

Often I feel overwhelmed at the amount of unshared knowledge I have in my head. I am sure many people could say the same. But then it also amazes me how lacking some people are in basic things, like how to eat healthy.

Watching the buying pattern in market is an education. We are a farmers’ market with a diverse array of vendors, the same is true of our customers. Our customers vary from the upscale chef and the organic shoppers all the way down to the junk food, out for a scroll customer. While some are buying organically grown carrots and leeks, others are buying donuts, chips and pretzel wrapped hot dogs. While one group is not necessarily more likeable than the other, I can tell you there is a difference in the over all appearance of these two groups of people. If only they would stand side by side in front of the mirror those under nourished and over calorie people might see the rewards of healthy eating. It’s not that hard when you get right down to it. Start with vegetables, add a little meat and fruit and stay away from the bread, cakes, pastas, potatoes and sugar. Oh, and eat raw vegetables and fruits or learn to cook; processed foods are a big no. They suck up your food budget and leave you fat and malnourished.

Winter Illness Got You Down

 Make a tea of ginger root, horseradish root, garlic and onion. I use equal amounts, chopped and steeped into a tea. Drink small amounts throughout the day. If you are extra brave you can add a small amount of cayenne pepper, but I have found adding cayenne pepper is too much for me. I tolerate all the other ingredients well. This recipe helps with my bronchitis but it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

House & Home

Holiday events are sold to us by advertisers as quality family time, but you and I both know this is not always the case. When putting together your holiday menu consider that smell can have a dramatic effect on improving our mood and sense of well-being. Citrus is a smell that most people like. It is uplifting and familiar, giving the recipient a warm, trusting and family feeling.   Over the holiday season I like to fragrance my home with the smell of hemlock and a touch of citrus. Orange, tangerine and bergamot are all good choices.

Holiday Spice Tips

Replace all or part of the white sugar in your Pumpkin Pie recipe with brown sugar.  The pumpkin flavor is more pronounced, the sweetness more subdued.

Most cinnamon is 2-2.5% oil content, I sell 5% oil content cinnamon. The taste is superb.

General Guidelines for Tea Making

Here are some general guidelines for tea making:

How much loose tea per cup? My recommendation is 1 tsp. per 8-10 ounce cup. For finely cut black, green and oolong teas a light teaspoon. For leafy herbal teas such as dandelion leaf or lemongrass a heavy teaspoon.

How long to steep a cup of tea? The general rule is 3 to 5 minutes. For black, green and oolong teas stay on the 3 minute side. The leafy herbal teas need to steep longer so go for the whole 5 minutes. Roots, seeds and barks need time to soften to release their flavor and health benefits, so again, 5 minutes or more.

Remember everyone likes their tea different. If you like your teas light then try adding less tea and/or steeping for less time. While some people believe steeping to long makes the drink bitter others like a good strong cup of tea, which might mean a little more tea and a little longer steep time.

Holiday Spice Blends

Blends are a great way to cook if you are a “Cook on the Go”. They are also great for people who do not have a lot of knowledge of individual herbs & spices. Spice blends can make your life easier!

Poultry Blend—A blend of seasonings that especially compliments poultry – both for seasoning poultry itself and a variety of other dishes such as stuffing, wild rice, and sausage.

Ingredients: Salt, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Celery Seeds, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Cayenne.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend—A flavorful, powdered blend of spices suited for creating perfectly seasoned pumpkin pies.

Ingredients: Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg, Coriander, Cloves and Caraway.

Wheat Bread Stuffing

Just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner. This stuffing is excellent baked in the bird or in a pan. This is my own receipe; my family loves it. You’ll love the compliments!

Wheat Bread Stuffing

1 loaf of wheat bread

1 stick of butter

3 eggs

1 large onion

3-4 large stalks of celery

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Cube bread in small squares (this is easiest done when the bread is frozen). Dice celery and

onions, toss into bread cubes, along with spices. Melt butter, mix into bread mixture. Mix eggs in a separate bowl then mix into bread mixture. Stuff into turkey or bake alone in a covered baking pan at 350º, 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.

 

 

Kramer at Market

I own a spice, herb & tea stand in the New Eastern Market. We are located in York, PA and are open on Fridays from 7am -7pm. If you live locally please stop in; it is a wonderful market. I have over 150 spices, herbs & teas at my stand. This is my first blog! I hope we will learn from each other. Enjoy!

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