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Dec 26, 2006 12:34 AM

What is the one spice in your cupboard you seldom use but if you threw it away you think you may need it?

Was thinking of this while talking about how growing up my grandmother always used cloves to spice up her ham and never used them any other time. For me that would have to be poultry seasoning. I only really use it for stuffing and only have that twice a year or so.

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    1. re: personalcheffie

      Yep. The problem is, I always *think* I threw it away. So when I'm out shopping
      for eggs for the meringue I end up buying yet another box. What is this stuff,
      anyway? I've got four boxes each with 1/4 tsp. taken out. I wonder if I can ebay 'em.

      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

        LOL. I am wondering if we can just freeze the stuff, program our new refrigerators to let us know every six months we have it on hand, so we don't buy more. Better yet, if we input it on our shopping list, our new refrigerator will let us know we have it on hand. Isn't that what they were designed for? Don't those new fangled appliances do that stuff now?

        I rely on Mastercook, but it's not programmed into the house operating system yet. That will be my next house, right?

        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

          Hate to be a snobby-type poster, but I do have an unlined copper bowl that works great for whipping egg whites, no cream of tartar required. You have to put a little arm into it with a balloon whip, but the reaction of the egg proteins with the copper makes a nice stiff meringue. Or,a softer whip for souffles, should you desire.

          Still, those four boxes of cream of tartar are a lot cheaper if you're not getting the copper bowl as a gift!

          1. re: cayjohan

            Posts like this make me realize how little I know. *Sigh* ;)

        2. re: personalcheffie

          I would put cream of tartar to use for an aluminum cleaner and brightener when mixed with some water.

          Rinse well any aluminum pot or pan it is used in because it will remove the tarnished (oxidized) aluminum residues that is unsafe for consumption.

          1. re: RShea78

            Would this remove the residue in my tea kettle? Lemon, vinegar and baking soda don't do anything.

            1. re: personalcheffie

              I use water / cream of tartar solution in my hot pot and coffee pot. Maximum of 2 tablespoons per qt of water and do a fresh water boil/pass/rinse following any unrepeated cycles.

              Remember it may take a few boil outs depending on the accumulations. If the tea kettle has a whistle it would have to be disabled some way, (propped open?) as it needs a good 5 minute boil.

              To me it beats CLR and some commercial de-liming solutions in many applications but in some you need to use them when heating or boiling isn't an option.

          2. re: personalcheffie

            Same here, I was sure I was going to need it... but so far nope...


            1. re: personalcheffie

              And wouldn't you know? I just made a mousse recipe for a client that required it. I went ahead and made it anyway without, and it came out fine. That was only due to my whisking attachment on the Cuisinart Hand blender.

              1. re: personalcheffie

                Snickerdoodles. CofT is an essential ingredient. I also use it to replace baking powder in a pinch -- mix with baking soda.

                1. re: personalcheffie

                  Does cream of tartar have a taste or is it purely for texture?

                  1. re: Heatherb

                    As tasteless as baking powder. And I've made plenty of perfectly fine meringue without it.

                    1. re: allegro805

                      I didn't use it for my recipe, and the egg whites came out fine. So does non fat evaporated milk. It adds an acid which can be helpful the obtaining stiff whites, but if you have killer equipment, that will do the job and you really don't need to add it.

                2. I have a pretty huge supply (from an Asian market) of whole mace that I rarely use, even though I bake and make Indian curries fairly regularly. Can live without it probably.

                  Also only use fenugreek once a year when making mango pickle/chutney. All things considered, these spices are affordable enough and take up so little room that I don't care about not using them much.

                  As for your dilemma, you could probably ditch the poultry seasoning and get by with just sage, marjoram, tarragon, and thyme.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: allegro805

                    I was going to say mace too, I've had a jar of ground mace forever, gave half of it to a guy at work whose wife couldn't find any; kept some because I was SURE I would need it someday. Well this year I found a cookie recipe that called for mace and was so pleased with myself for saving the stuff for 5 (or maybe 10?) years. Still have enough for another batch next year.

                    1. re: coll

                      You could make your own Old Bay Seasoning mix with ground mace.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Old Bay is one of those seasoning I hardly ever use- pretty much just for crab cakes (which I almost never make). I might throw a dash is seafood marinade once in a while.

                        1. re: kloomis

                          My S.O. is under the firm impression that Old Bay is good on everything. Scrambled eggs, chicken salad, roast chicken, homefrieds, french frieds (really any potatoe item except mashed), absolutely ANY seafood, you get the idea. Sometimes it's ok, but I really have to ask him to lay off occasionally. In his defense, he has lived within a stones throw of the Chesapeake since he was about 2 years old.

                          1. re: wawajb

                            I think your SO is very close to correct. I like it sprinkled on potatoes for roasting, super on roasting chicken or in chicken salad or topping egg salad. It ain't just for shrimp and crab boils anymore!

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              I've come to like it on most things...he goes a little crazy on my homefries though, and first thing in the morning is not an acceptable Old Bay time for me.

                  2. cream of tartar...I literally threw out 3 fairly new shakers during a recent move; come Christmas time half of the candies and cookies asked for it. Wouldn't you know it!

                    1. I had a great time today putting the cheap Mexican brand nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, cloves & star anise in the crock pot with super cheap apple juice & filling the house w/ a WONDERFUL scent!

                      1. Now that's an XLNT idea. Thanks Torty! Even have a crock pot which gets no use, but will now!