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Although herb and spice mixes are readily available in the stores, experimenting at home by blending herbs and spices to your own taste is easy and fun. You can use a coffee grinder to achieve good results, or the old fashioned mortar and pestle, of course.

Lemon Mix
2 lemons
2 tablespoons chopped lemon thyme
1 tablespoon chopped lemon verbena
1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass

First, peel the 2 lemons into strips and air dry them for a couple of days.
When thoroughly dry, powder the peel with a mortar and pestle, or grind in coffee grinder.

Mix with all the other flavorings. Store in a covered jar, in a dark place. Wonderful as a dry rub for chicken. Great on fish and other meats. Experiment by using it in various ways in your recipes.


Four-Spice Blend

The French use this mix to flavor sausages, pates and terrines.

7 parts freshly ground black pepper
1 part freshly grated nutmeg
1 part ground cinnamon
1 part ground cloves

Blend together and pack into a glass jar. Seal and store in dark cupboard. Best when used within six months.

For best results always keep your herbs and spices whole and prepare them when you need them. Make sure to label your jars not only with the name of the spice mix, but with the date as well.


Blended Sweet Spices

2 parts dried gingerroot
1 part white peppercorns
1 part cloves
1 part nutmeg
1 part cinnamon stick

Grind the whole spices and then blend them together. Make it in relatively small batches to get the best flavor. Store in covered jar, in dark cupboard. Use wherever a sweet spice is called for. Intense flavor when freshly made.

Experiment with other flavors, following the mortar and pestle procedure. You might just come up with something uniquely tasty and wonderful!