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Friday, May 25, 2012

Fresh Grated Nutmeg: You Gotta Try It, No Ifs, Ands, or BUTTS!!



I have always heard chefs and bakers claim that fresh grated nutmeg is far superior to the kind you buy already ground, but it is only in the last 2 years that I got around to trying it.  I was never a huge fan of the dusty, ground variety you buy at the grocery store, and it just wasn't high on my culinary priority list.  But one day last year I grabbed a bag of whole nutmeg at Kensington Market's House of Spice (one of my favorite places to shop in the market!).  Man, I cannot tell you how good it is!  I find myself looking for dishes to cook just as an excuse to use it.

Nutmeg is awesome in desserts like gingerbread, spice cakes, oatmeal cookies (all the things I love), as well as puddings, pancakes, french toast, etc.  It also adds a unique flavour to potatoe and cheese dishes and recipes involving cream sauces.

But my newest use for some freshly grated nutmeg is my morning oatmeal.  I have always been a purist when it comes to oatmeal, and aside from maybe some egg whites for added protein, and chia or ground flax for added fibre and fat, the only thing I like to flavour my oatmeal is cinnamon and a bit of sweetener.  However, I discovered that fresh grated nutmeg puts it absolutely over the top into the stratisphere of deliciousness.

Unfortunately, unlike some herbs and spices, nutmeg doesn't have any major proven health benefits (cinnamon, by the way, is excellent for diabetics and for balancing blood sugar), though in large quantity it is apparently a hallucinogenic!  Hmm, that explains a lot...

Perhaps I'll blame nutmeg-induced delusions for my most embarrassing indiscretion yesterday.  While you will usually find me in yoga pants and tank tops when not working, I do try to present myself more professionally on days I am at the clinic, have meetings and/or seeing clients.  Given the predicted hot weather, I decided to wear my favorite short skirt and top outfit.  Faced with the usual whining, protests and battles to get out of the house in the morning, I hastily pushed everyone out the door and we walked briskly to the girls' school.  As I struggled with trying to maneuver Little A's stroller through the double doors, a dad arriving with his two kids held the door for me.  I thanked him but as we entered the school he tapped me on the shoulder and discretely murmured that I was "tucked in".

I looked down and was COMPLETELY mortified...my lovely skirt was tucked into my waistband on one side and my butt was hanging out.  And no, I don't wear briefs, so we're talking about bare skin here!  I walked ALL the way to the school this way.

Clearly I can never risk seeing this man again.  We are going to have to find a whole new school and daycare for the girls...actually, I think we are going to have to sell our house and move to an entirely new neighbourhood...or maybe we should leave Toronto?  Canada?  North America?

Man, this is even more humiliating than the time a few years ago when I nursed Little A at a cafe on the Danforth and then forgot to put my dress strap back up.  We went ALL the way home on the subway and bus with my dress hanging down and my bra hanging out.  Hmm, guess I can't blame it on the nutmeg after all.

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