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Thanksgiving Spices and Seasonings

11/25/2009 9:56:10 AM

Tags: Recipes, Thanksgiving, Fall, Patsy Bell Hobson

Patsy Bell HobsonPatsy Bell Hobson is a garden writer and a travel writer. For her, it's a great day when she can combine the two things she enjoys most: gardening and traveling. Visit her personal blog at and read her travel writings at 

Premixed herb and spice combinations are a time saver and easy on the budget. If you make the blends yourself, you can adapt them to your own taste. Most pumpkin pie spice recipes call for ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a smidgen of allspice. I’m a fan of nutmeg, so my pumpkin pie spice combination has a little more nutmeg than the typical recipe.

Add a shake of nutmeg, cinnamon or pumpkin spice to your cappuccino.
Photo by 
Robyn Lee 

Cinnamon is the key ingredient in any pumpkin pie spice mix. So, buy the best you can afford. A teaspoon or two of pumpkin pie spice added to any store bought cake or quick bread mix, will turn the recipe into your baking secret. Try pumpkin pie spice in bread pudding, on top of a cappuccino, in oatmeal cookies or pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin shakes as simple as adding pumpkin puree and
pumpkin spices to your favorite shake recipe.
Photo by 

Add extra flavor to any desert, by dusting  the whipped cream topping with a bit of pumpkin pie spice mix. Or, sprinkle dessert plates with pumpkin pie spice before serving a slice of pie.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

• 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2  teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Mix ingredients together.

Before holiday baking and festive dishes appear on your menu, clean out the spice cabinet. If you can’t remember the last time you bought dried cinnamon or sage, throw it out. Give your yourself a gift and buy new herbs and spices. My favorite source for the freshest dried herbs is Penszy’s  If there is not a store near you, buy Penzey’s on line. If buying fresh herbs at the grocery store, try to use up any extra in the next day or two. Or, use the extra fresh herbs as garnish. Make herb butter, or toss the left over fresh herbs in your turkey soup pot. Adding a sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs to the next days leftovers will brighten any recipe.

Freeze leftover turkey in recipe sized portions to use later.
Photo by Bearsyr/Courtesy Flickr 

Poultry Seasoning 

• 3/4 teaspoon sage, crumbled
• 1/4 teaspoon leaf thyme, crumbled
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• Dash marjoram
• Dash cloves (optional)

1. Mix ingredients together.

If you seldom use the five individual herbs that make up Poultry Seasoning, save some money and only buy one jar of poultry seasoning. The blend is good in dressing, to season the turkey before roasting, or to make chicken or turkey soup, and turkey (chicken) pot pie.

Give thanks to the friend who will bring you homemade
turkey (or chicken) soup when you are sick.
Photo by 

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