Sometimes life gets boring and you need to spice it up! Since I am not a psychologist or shrink, I cannot offer you a solid advice on solving your potential issues. I am also not a fan of Spice girls and cannot recommend where to go for a dance with that last bit of positivity that you possess. But I do know that I love spices and how wonderful world this is.
Spices and herbs are in most cases dry or fresh leaves, flowers, berries or plant roots. They have an important part in nutrition as they are changing and complementing taste and this way also stimulate appetite and digestion.
Best tasting spices and herbs are fresh ones. There is nothing that can beat fresh aroma of vanilla pod, fresh basil together with mozzarella and tomatoes is an all time winner. But we cannot always have a luxury of fresh spices at home. Shelf life of dried ones is relatively short. Through time they lose colour, taste and aroma. The best way to figure out if they still have their potency is to crush them between your fingers and if you still sense something then keep them, otherwise throw them away and make space for new ones.
When I was young every Monday we always had beef soup (the one that you properly cook for 3 hours or more), sautéed potatoes and onions with beef, and salad for lunch. When coming from school the lunch was waiting for me; I only had to heat it up. At first I was happy with the taste of potatoes, but through time it became boring, so I started adding herbs while reheating the meal. Grandmother did not like it, saying “we have always had it this way and everybody likes it.” Sounds familiar? I began with basil. Sometimes I added too much and taste was overpowering, sometimes too little and I didn’t even notice it. Then I tried marjoram. This was a winner. Since then I always add at least a pinch of marjoram to every potato dish, except French fries. Oven baked potatoes and potato wedges are simply not right without rosemary and garlic.
Most of the inventions we live with nowadays are results of experiments. The best, and at the same time also the worst ones, are usually results of the experiments gone wrong. There are many cooking shows you can follow on TV or YouTube where chefs are adapting basic recipe and adding a twist, some call it fusion because of adding an ingredient or applying a cooking style from different continent. They all have one thing in common. They are experimenting with taste, smell, aroma, appearance or overall perception of the dish.
A Fool and a Genius
There is a proverb saying “Smart people write it down, fools are remembering it.” When you are happy with your experiment, try to write it down for future. Although it might seem obvious to you at that moment what you did, I could bet you will not be so sure in a year or two.
- Cook whole potatoes on low heat, simmering them up to 30 minutes
- Rinse cooked potatoes in cold water, peel and slice
- Heat a spoon or two of oil in a pan and
- Add coarsely chopped onions. Cook slowly, for about quarter of an hour, until they brown and become very soft
- Add potatoes and stir for another 20 minutes.
The basic recipe almost calls for some modification. You can add herbs, cream, and even some chunks of meat. Personally I would add marjoram and some coarsely chopped bacon.