I really love autumn. As the weather is starting to cool off, we get to spend more time in the kitchen, making slow cooked stews, braising meats and baking delicious warming desserts. From beautiful figs and juicy pears to dark leafy greens to sweet root vegetables and squashes, who could resist these seasonal goodies? Everyone should make the most of what they can find at the markets this autumn and cook up the best dishes that this season has to offer.
Here’s my recipe using two of my favourite autumn fruits: figs and pears. Hope you guys will like it!
Saffron is one of the world’s most delicate and expensive spices. The reason why saffron is so expensive is because this spice is the stamen from the flower Crocus sativus, which only bloom for one week of the year. Each flower produces about 3 – 4 stamen (i.e saffron), which must be picked by hand and then dried. An estimated of around 150 flowers and many hours of labour are needed to produce one gram of saffron!
Photo taken from Carmencita, Spain, production facilities. Every gram of saffron are still handpicked and weighted before bottling.
I have never been a big practitioner of using natural ingredients for healing. My family motto has always been if you feel sick, grab a pill. My home is always well stocked with Advils, Buckley’s, NyQuills, all in bulk, thanks my yearly visit to Costco.
I am not trying to discount natural remedies; it is just that when it comes to fast relief, meds are always the way to go in this household. But there are times when your body just cannot take too many types of medicines, and that was what happened to me a few weeks back. I was already on 2 types of rather strong meds in prep for my minor nose op. But of course, even under antibiotics, I still managed to get the sore throat. Home and natural remedies were my only options and I never felt happier with my discovery!
I’ve always known that turmeric has some sort of anti-inflammatory properties so I googled how I could use this spice to make something soothing and therapeutic for my rough and dry throat.
You go through recipes and some call for chili powder or flakes, while others call for a pinch of cayenne or a tablespoon of paprika. They all sound very different but when you are in the spice row of the supermarkets, all three of these look the same. They are vibrant red and in the form of a powder. Of course there are more varieties such as ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder to name a few. But for simplicity sake, let’s keep to the 3 basic types that we are used to seeing in the supermarkets in Hong Kong.