Ask Allyn: Hot Tips & Poultry Seasoning

HAPPY Thanksgiving to all!  It took me many years to finally realize I don’t actually like turkey.  Give me a big plate of stuffing and a desert and I’m good to go. Altho, I must admit, a hot turkey sandwich does have its place. And the lime and pear jello salad is a must. And spuds.

TODAY’S tip:  On YouTube videos you can find dozens of “easy garlic peeling methods” with as many debunking them.  I am convinced most of the uploaders have never tried their own method, but I have, and most are bunk.  There is one way that I know does work (assuming you have a microwave). Peeling is especially tiresome when you have a bunch of cloves to do.  Try this:  Nip off the root end first.  Put cloves on a plate and microwave– I did 10 cloves for 15 seconds and the peels almost fell off. Careful, though, too much time and they begin to cook (Not necessarily a bad thing).

BECAUSE I’ll always be a “Read the ingredients !” guy, I’ve been making all my own spice blends.  Taco, burrito, fajita, Italian, Old Bay, 5 spice powder, etc.
TRY this blend.  Obviously for chicken, but is excellent on pork chops, too. I always add a fat pinch when making chicken salad for sandwiches. (On homemade pita bread, he humbly boasted.)
POULTRY SEASONING
2 Tbsp   Sage
1 ½ tsp Thyme
1 tsp Marjoram
¾ tsp Rosemary
½ tsp black pepper
    — All dried and ground, of course.
HOT tip for spices and herbs. Save those little absorbent packs from medicine bottles and add them to spice containers.
BONUS hot tip spice theme– Very annoying when you open your jar of onion and especially garlic powder and it is a solid lump. Trying to gouge out some or re-powder it with a table knife results in expletives and deletions that are expressed with enthusiasm.  After many failed attempts to at least delay the clumping, I have discovered a method that actually works.  You must, however, have some kind of oven or similar device that will hold a temperature of about 175 degrees F.  ( I have a countertop convection oven, love it!).  After the first opening of the powder, spread it out thinly and evenly on a tray or pan and gently ‘cook’ it for an hour or so.  While still warm, re-jar it. I usually dump the cooked powder onto a sheet of paper for easy pouring back into the bottle.
THANX for reading this month.  Donations can only be accepted in cash. Discreet envelopes available upon request.

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