Monday, October 19, 2009

Martha Stewart I'm Not

The other day I found myself on the blog, Bake It Pretty, gazing longingly at the perfect autumn recipe:  Ginger Tea Bread


It was a lazy Sunday morning, so thought I would give this recipe a whirl.  Let me tell you, I was feeling a little Martha Stewart-ish when I discovered that I had NOT ONLY all of the necessary spices, but also a full, unopened jar of molasses.  Molasses! Who keeps that just lying around?  I considered myself a kitchen goddess for all of ten seconds, because that's when I noted the best by date on the jar:   February 2007.   How embarrassing.  Oh, well.  On to the spice cabinet. Ginger - check!  Allspice - check! Cloves - check!  Cinnamon - check! 


 All expired?  Check!  Good grief.  The ginger was so old it didn't even have a Best By date on it.  Fear not.  Apparently, I used to have OCD and had written the purchase date on the bottom of the jar.


Does that say 2002 or 2007?  Oh, surely I haven't had that in the cabinet for seven years.  I did a quick search on the internet for "the shelf life of spices" which led me to the McCormick's website (duh) where I found a handy dandy spice-o-meter.  If your spice jar doesn't have a Best By date, you just enter the code on the bottom of the jar and the city of manufacture.  I did that, and this was the result I got:



Yep.  2002.  Expired.  And don't call me Shirley.

Undaunted by the fact that the main ingredient was seven years old, I proceeded to make the recipe anyway.    That's when - using a knife to break the seal on the molasses jar - the knife slipped and cut my thumb.  


Good grief.   It hurt worse than it looks and it was bleeding!  It still hurts today, but don't you worry about me.  I washed it up and put on a Band Aid.   The remainder of the recipe went without incident.  However, can I say I hate loaf pan recipes?  I had way too much batter for that one pan.  Fortunately, I had some mini pans.  Even though I doubt Martha would use aluminum disposable pans, I poured the extra batter in them.   The two little loaves cooked up perfectly in about 23 minutes, but it took the regular sized pan about 15 minutes longer than the recipe called for.  As a result, the edges were a lot darker than I would have liked.   

The mini loaf popped out of its pan easily and was absolute perfection.  Considering the fact that half of my ingredients were expired, it tasted pretty darn good.  My Martha Mojo resurfaced a little at this point, and I got a little cocky. Trying to take the cake out of the pan before it completely cools is not a good idea.

This is Exhibit A after I tried to smush it all back together:


 Amanda from Bake It Pretty, suggests wrapping the cake in plastic and serving it the next day.  Excellent idea.  The flavor gets stronger and the hard edges I was worried about softened.  I took it to work where it disappeared quickly.  I've noted before my co-workers may not be the best gage of good eats as they remind me of the hyenas in The Lion King.


Unless, of course, they're raving about my quasi Martha Stewart-type offerings.



33 comments:

Hank said...

CC, honey......yer co-workers kinda look like ME!

Midwest Mommy said...

I am so glad I am not the only one who uses expired spices, lol!

Joanne said...

I think that's why I stopped cooking (my excuse and sticking to it) all my spices expired and I am too damn cheap to replace them when I NEVER - I repeat NEVER bake. My new hubby (bless his soul) could care less about home baked goods so why bother.

Oh and none of my co-workers deserve it LOL

Glad to see you back - loved the post.

TheEccentricLady said...

To funny. Love your newest background! Good to hear from you again!

Flartus said...

Meh, I think my mom's spices were all older than me, and her pumpkin pies still tasted just fine. Course, Miss Chef's tastes better (shhhh, don't tell Mom!!)

On the other hand, I'm completely converted to whole nutmegs that we grate with the microplane as needed. Which, considering your thumb, may be a risky move for you...

The Courteous Chihuahua said...

Flartus, As soon as I saw you had commented, I was like, "Craaaap. She's got a Miss Chef at her house." Oh, and it shouldn't surprise you to learn I'm genuinely scared of graters.

Joanne, I was going to make a pie the other day that required cardamom. $10 for a jar, and it wasn't an industrial size jar. Maybe I'll make that pie when I win the lottery.

Alix said...

OMG, Becky! I just realized my Blogroll isn't updating and I completely missed this post. My apologies! Just wanted you to know I haven't forgotten you.

Now I'm going back to read all about your baking!

Joanna Jenkins said...

If you opened my spice cabinet you would be afraid-- very afraid. It never dawned on my that spices "expire". I better go check!

Great post and that end pic is a hoot!
xo

Alix said...

Becky, my Queen...

Please swing by Casa Hice when you have a minute and pick up the award I left for you...

Alix said...

Where the hell are you Becky? Casa Hice misses you!

trish tunney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hank said...

CC, honey......where the heck ya been? My house is borin'.....I need tuh hear some good stories!

Cakespy said...

Haha! I have resorted to using bulk spices so I buy in tiny amounts and never run out...but then again I frequently don't have enough to just bake on a whim. Is there any middle ground??? Still, I'll bet I could have made a dent in these loaves!

TheEccentricLady said...

Just stopping by to say I miss you! Hope all is ok and it's just been the holdiays. Stop by and say hi.

Katy Gunderson said...

I hope to see you at The Yellow Bowl Bakery! Thanks for commenting on the interview in Batter Chatter. We have a fan page on Facebook if you are interested in seeing what the bakery is up to. Have a good day!

Jeff Hickmott said...

Nice job! I'll have to try it myself...

Andika Pratama said...

I like ginger tea so much ^^

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