Many years ago when I established my own home, and started delving into some major cooking, I was always a bit disappointed in the dressing that I made because it never quite tasted like I remembered from my childhood. But being young and "innocent", and taking the easiest route at the time, I kept buying the convenient ready-blended poultry seasoning that is available to all on our grocery store shelves, because quite frankly, that was what my Mom had always done, never questioning, never delving into just what went into that can. Blind trust. .rather naive of me, what can I say. .with age comes wisdom.
Over the years, I varied my dressing recipe, tweaking it until it had my own signature taste, but I still was never quite pleased with it, but began to think that as some childhood memories do, I was remembering it in more romantic terms, than it actually was.
|Aren't These Graphics More Fun To Look At?|
They originally came in cardboard, which we now know today, doesn't keep them fresh for very long. .but let's be real. .the tins of herbs and spices today are either so loaded with additives to preserve them, and/or are also past their prime.
|Herbs & Spices Used Traditionally in Autumn, have a tendency to be packaged in Orange!|
But, it does list the ingredients! Sage, Marjoram, Pepper, Celery Seed, Coriander, Allspice, Savory, and Salt.
And how does that compare with today's ingredients in poultry seasoning? Like a lot of things, each manufacturer has their own touch.
McCormicks uses Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Rosemary, Black Pepper and Nutmeg.
Durkees prefers not to readily share their ingredients which makes me suspicious. Like I said, with age, comes wisdom.
Frontier Brand has two blends. Their regular blend is Sage, Thyme, Dehydrated Onion, Marjoram, Black Pepper, Celery Seed, and Cayenne.
Their organic blend consists of all organic ingredients as stated. Sage, Thyme, Dehydrated Onion, Black Pepper, Marjoram, Celery Seed and Red Pepper.
So my suggestion to you, is to do what I have done for years. Ditch the handy little pre-mixed stuff and make your own! Delve into the fragrant world of herbs, and let your nose lead you into culinary heaven.
I grow as many herbs as I can, mostly in pots so that I can bring them inside during winter, but I have a number of sages in the ground that winter over just fine. I clip the leaves and dry them each Autumn, crumbling them and storing them in an air tight ceramic jar, to keep out light. So keep that in mind next Spring, when planting season rolls around!
In the meantime, buy the individual herbs, either at an herbalist, or if you must, from the shelves of the grocery store, but buy the smallest tin you can find. Their shelf life isn't very long, no matter what the date on the can says.
Start with a 1/2 teaspoon of sage, and add a 1/4 of a teaspoon of the other ingredients, choosing from the lists above. .blend them together in a glass or pottery bowl, and take a gentle sniff! Smell the individual ingredients to see if you would like to add more. (take a breath of fresh air in-between) I will suggest taking notes so that you can duplicate your favorite blend in the future. This won't take as long as it is for me to write it all out, so don't think that you need a big block of time, unless you find it relaxing, in which case, take all of the time you want!
There may be some herbs that you won't be able to find in your grocery store anymore, such as Savory. In that case, you can always turn to the internet and order some. One source that I absolutely love is the Spice and Tea Exchange. (thanks to my friend, Pam, who discovered their shop while on vacation in Florida! Thanks, Pammie!!!) You can order small amounts or larger ones, they ship quickly, and the ingredients are always very fresh and fragrant.
Here is the link to their Savory, just for ease in an introduction to the site.
Once you start making your own blend, you will never go back to the prepared stuff again, and don't be surprised if your family and friends will be asking for your recipe, or want to know what you did differently, because your stuffing will be declared the best ever!
Oh. .and if you make the traditional bread stuffing, do something that neither my Mom, nor my Grammies apparently never thought to do, but is SO good. .add a slice or two of dark pumpernickel bread to the mix. .not too much, because you don't want to overpower your seasonings or veggies, & mushrooms, only to enhance them.
Let me know if you tried your own seasoning blend, and how it came out! I'd love to hear what you used!
Wishing you all a beautiful and joyous Thanksgiving!