JM Heatherly

Spice Collection

Taste of antiquity

Image by pilipphoto via Shutterstock

One makes nutmeg by grinding dried seeds of the Myristica tree family from the “Spice Islands” of Indonesia. Drying takes two months, and we use its inner seed. Cuisines across Earth use it to season both savory and sweet dishes.

The warm flavor enhances eggnog, processed meat dishes, and even confections. In addition, nutmeg oil possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and this proves helpful in dentistry.

We categorize this species as dioecious because there are male and female plants. Nutmeg is toxic if ingested in large quantities, so please be careful.

Nomenclature: Myristica fragrans
Tastes: Bittersweet, clove, woody, warm, woody
Uses: Butter, hallucinogen, medicine, oil, perfume, seasoning
Origin: Moluccas/Indonesia

Recipe: Nutmeg Cake

Ingredients: Eggs, butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, flour, baking powder and soda, nutmeg, and salt. See link.

By JMHeatherly

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Herb Collection

Her allspice of choice

Image by Forest & Kim Starr via Wikimedia

Evergreen myrtle grows from the Mediterranean to India. Chefs use it interchangeably with rosemary or bay leaf, but the berries taste bitter. Some use it to clear the lungs, improve lower GI function, and more.

Artists depict Aphrodite with myrtle adorning her head, so it represents love, marriage, and safeguarding…

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Spice Collection

A big bird feeder

Image by Amarita via Shutterstock

Sesame originated in sub-Saharan Africa, but India mainly developed its cultivar. Many consider it the oldest grown oil seed, proving its utility. Plentiful protein and nutrients lie inside.

Sesame seeds tolerate drought well, changing climates considered. However, it’s full of oily fats compared to other seeds. Charred remains suggest it…

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Herb Collection

A powerful root herb

Image by pilipphoto via Shutterstock

Ginger comes from the root of a native plant likely cultivated by Austronesian peoples. It doesn’t grow wild, but evidence points to these peoples trading it as they expanded trade routes over 5000 years ago from Madagascar to Hawai’i. We know this because they also domesticated turmeric, another ginger with…

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Spice Collection

A woody spice

Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

True cinnamon goes by Ceylon, like the previous name for Sri Lanka — where it originates. It possesses a subdued flavor compared to what we buy in stores. The bold seasoning in the grocery aisle goes by cassia, one of three other trees in the same family.

Cinnamon consists of…

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JM Heatherly

JM Heatherly

(He/They) Hospitality pro, writer, gardener, musician and humanist from Tennessee (Tanasi). Finding gems to polish for you. https://linktr.ee/jonmheatherly