I am a total spice junkie. It’s a good thing in that I like to experiment and try out different spices and flavors. It’s a bad thing in that once you have so many spices, you forget about some and then they can get stale. One of the first things I did when we moved into this apartment was install spice liners for my spice drawer in our kitchen. I knew it would not be big enough to hold ALL my spices, so I also designated part of one of the fridge drawers for spices, particularly for ones that may be more likely to go off. It’s gotten quite unwieldy, and it still gets quite messy since I can’t always keep track of what I have in the drawer, so I still need to find a better way to organize it.
While digging in the pantry, though, I stumbled upon the rose bird buds I bought a while back to make a pistachio-almond-cardamom rose birthday cake for Chris’s mom when she was in town one year. I never actually used the rose buds for anything other than that cake, and after smelling them, I realized that they were still quite fragrant. So I made a rose sugar syrup out of them using 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water, and then half a cup of packed rose buds. I boiled the sugar and water, added the rose buds, simmered for ten minutes, then allowed to cool. Then, I strained the rose buds out and emptied the rose syrup into a glass jar. I added about two tablespoons into a cup with two squeezed lemons, a handful of ice, and some sparkling water to make rose lemonade — floraly, refreshing, and delicious. This syrup could easily go well with coffee, tea, cocktails, and other similar beverages.
Spices have a longer shelf life than we think; we just need to implement the smell test on them before using them.