Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Making Seasonings

Once a year I redo the herbs in my spice draw. I toss out the year old ones and dry some new ones. Often the last ones to get tossed are my onion and garlic powder. I could have dried the garlic powder much earlier, but I didn't seem to get to it until now. And making it was desperate as I ran out of my seasoned salt and needed to make more. I don't dehydrate either onions or garlic in the house as it would be a bit too much to take. I pick a nice day and plug it in outside. Once it is well dehydrated I grind it up in a coffee grinder that I only use for herbs and spices.

Once the garlic and onions were done, I could do a couple mixes that I use all the time. One is seasoned salt and the other is Italian seasonings. Though I do have recipes for them, in general I tend to change them each year to suit my current tastes.

The Italian seasonings is from an Allrecipes recipe. But I don't like as much marjoram as it calls for so I use a third of what they call for. I also add a teaspoon of both onion powder and garlic powder. One year I think I added lavender to the mix. I like making this mix as everything in it come from the garden.

Seasoned salt isn't quite the same as less than half of it comes from the garden (I certainly don't grow salt,sugar, or turmeric), but I find it useful for some things, like making rice when I don't want plain but I don't really want a real seasoned rice. I don't remember where I got my seasoned salt recipe from, but in general I can't have the commercially prepared ones as they tend to have paprika in it (and I can't eat peppers). I was going to add some celery leaves to the mix this year, but forgot to put them in. I might have to go and fix that now. I just wish I had more space in my drawer so I could make more mixes besides the basic ones. I used to make a chicken spice mix that was good. I know I can't have the same one anymore as I'm sure it had paprika. But I could make one similar if I tried. Or I could play around with other people's mixes. Do any of you make your own spice mixes or do you just use the individual spices when you cook?


  1. I'm fortunate to live near a Penzy's spices retail store, and I shop there for nearly all my spices. A few others I pick up at specialty shops and I've found that spices / seasoned salts make good souvenirs.

    I'm envious of your DIY spices, however.

  2. This has nothing to do with KFC but once a year I combine all those leftover spices into a jar labeled "11 Secret Herbs & Spices". When soups and stews are bubbling away in goes a handful. Always tasty, always a mystery.

  3. It's such a great idea to make your own seasoning mixes. I like to make a 'soup mix' we use for vegetable soups that usually includes basil, oregano, thyme and a bit of rosemary. Like you I make it up fresh each year, and for that I can use homegrown herbs. With a little marjoram and sage it would make Italian seasoning. I also make a blackening mix we use for fish that has our own garlic powder and paprika in it, but the rest of the ingredients come from the store. It is fun to make your own mixes and I like the fact you can tailor it however you see fit.

    1. Dave, your soup mix recipe for vegetable soup sounds great. I need amounts though. Would you have time to give me those? Thanks. Nancy

  4. I typically add spices individually to recipes. My husband loves hot peppers, so I think that we'll eventually try making hot pepper blends. I'm not sure if we'll have enough peppers to make any this year though. There's a vendor at the local farmers market who sells a lot of specialty salts and seasonings from things he grows.

  5. This is something I've never tried doing - there again I haven't got a dehydrator

  6. I have a taco seasoning mix made up but would like to get into making more mixes. Have never dried onions in the dehydrator because of the smell and never thought of plugging it in outdoors. Thanks. Nancy

  7. Wow, that is impressive to make your own spices! I make my own spice mixes but always with store bought spices. The only thing I've ever had from my own garden is coriander seeds which are ridiculously easy compared to what you are doing (just pick them off the plant and let them dry!).

  8. I'm like Susie - I make my own mixes using store bought spices. Would love to change that though. It's funny but I never thought of onion and garlic powder as something that I could make at home - I kind of feel a bit silly now for thinking that. *Must get a dehydrator*