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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Holy Trinity of Spices--Cajun

While I was growing up, my parents were not heavy users of savory spices. We had plenty of spices and flavors for sweets. They used the Holy Trinity of Spices--bell pepper, celery, and onions. These three flavors went into spaghetti, probably our favorite dish. I remember all three of these in soups and many dishes. Consequently, I use them today. Even if I open a can or jar of spaghetti, I often add these flavors.

This past fall, I dehydrated celery, onions, and bell pepper. Using them in any dish just involves opening three jars and dipping or shaking out what I need.

My parents did use olive oil and garlic. So do I. Daddy preferred everything fried, so there was his flavor! Daddy also dictated, and I do mean dictated, the flavor of savory food. If he did not like it, it was not allowed in the house. Since he did not particularly like sweets, Mama was free to use what she pleased.

The one savory spice I have added is Summer Savory. When I made beef/vegetable stew/soup, I could add no other spice except for Summer Savory and the whole house smelled like soup!

Back to the Holy Trinity--these are supposed to be the mainstay for Cajun Cooking. Other than eating crawdads or okra, we were not into Cajun food or spices at all. Let me add that I never ate a crawfish after I was about four-years-old. I never recall eating okra because the taste and appearance of slime really made me gag.

Sometimes when folk talk about their spices and their heavy use, I feel sort of inadequate, maybe intimidated by folk who are maybe more sophisticated. But, I realize after cooking and having others eat my offerings, my food is delicious, just not with the same spices they choose to use and not from a jar.

After all, jarred, commercial spices were living food just as my choices of spicy, homemade, home dehydrated whole foods are living foods. I prefer not to use garlic salt, garlic powder, or celery seeds. The one exception with celery seeds is using them in chicken salad, tuna salad and most cold savory salads. I do use garlic when I have it.

This spring, I will be growing some spices I have tried before and some I have not--basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano. I was not successful this last year with basil and oregano because I did not care for them. Basil is easy. I could roll in a bed of basil. That is how much I love it. I bought dried basil in the glass jar, and the flavor was nasty! I wonder what was the difference.

The difference in my cooking is that I prefer the whole food to season. Since storing onions, celery, and bell peppers leads to waste, I will use the home-dehydrated flavors instead of going out, buying celery and watch most or a even a small part of it go to waste.

I must say that I do enjoy seasonings I don't use. So, don't think I am fussy about new tastes.

More Holy Trinities

Greek
lemon juice, garlic, and oregano

Italian
Garlic, basil, and tomato

Mexican
corn, beans, chilies

Chinese
scallions, ginger, garlic

Southwestern
Cumin, garlic, and cilantro

There are variations on the Holy Trinities, so don't get excited if it looks wrong.

Your turn
Do you use the fresh ingredients for Holy Trinity for seasoning? Or, do you prefer more of the jarred spices? What is your favorite Holy Trinity of seasonings?

11 comments:

  1. Hi Linda...I think one of our first exchanges was when I told you I kept baggies of cooked carrots onions and celery in my freeser. I go through a lot of them. So I guess that is my holy trinity. I also useva lot of garlic so I keep that in the freeser too. I really do think it keeps us from getting sick.

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    Replies
    1. carol,
      I think you are correct about our first exchange. You are using the Holy Trinity of northern Italy, I believe. I should cook more with carrots.

      Delete
  2. Hi Linda...I think one of our first exchanges was when I told you I kept baggies of cooked carrots onions and celery in my freeser. I go through a lot of them. So I guess that is my holy trinity. I also useva lot of garlic so I keep that in the freeser too. I really do think it keeps us from getting sick.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I grew up in NC. My parents only cooked with onions. Daddy grew them. I had an Aunt that loved green peppers. When I moved to New England, I was introduced to garlic, basil. They are two of my favorite spices. I love sage too for chicken dishes. It is easy to grow here. Barbara

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    1. Barbara,
      We DO tend to eat what we grew up eating. Thankfully, we are introduced to other wonderful herbs and seasonings.

      Delete
  4. I've just now started loving cooking, but my use of spices is still pretty boring... the BF & I LOVE garlic. The usual salt & pepper, onion powder (we don't like the taste of actual onions), & olive oil. I have lots of other spices I use if the recipe calls for it, but these are ones I use all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TLC,
      Onions cooked well are so delicious! However, there were seasons I only used garlic powder. You have done like we all seem to do--find your favorites.

      How do I get to read your blog? Can you email me as I seem to have lost your address.

      Delete
  5. I am not sure exactly how you can have a favorite. If I am doing some classical cooking I use carrots, onions and celery, cajun _the Holy Trinity. For Greek fare I go an additional step and add mint to the garlic, lemon and oregano. I think every single culture has some root veggies and some seasoning veggies as a base, except maybe Eskimos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne,
      I suppose the things I cook all need my favorites. I never cook Greek or Cajun, for example.

      Delete
  6. I had lovely herbs in my gardens back when I lived in chicago.
    Oregano is weedy, as is mint - grow them in containers!

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    Replies
    1. Ur-spo,
      Thanks for that hint. I knew about mint, but not oregano.

      Delete

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