Sunday, December 18, 2011

homemade gift: tins of spice rub

Yesterday was our homemade gift making extravaganza...or as much of an 'extravaganza' as it's going to be when my husband and I were passing the baton-- or kid, as the case may be-- between a haircut, chess team practice, birthday party and Y Guide service project. Last week, I offered up a bunch of different gift choices to the kids, but one wanted sweet, the other savory...and I wanted to ensure sanity. I also really wanted the gifts to be something they actually made, since they are old enough to both really participate this year. So, we ended up doing three small projects, in about 2 hours (not including shopping for packaging & ingredients which I did on Friday). The kitchen was left intact, and we now have gifts that both kids are excited to give to their teachers and coaches. Here's the first one: little tins of homemade spice rub.  

This is our version, after making this one and the kids deeming it too spicy, then adding in parts of this one

Homemade Spice Rub
makes 14 4oz tins, or about 7 cups
"use the spice rub on meats or fish before grilling; add to salad dressings or soups; sprinkle on steamed vegetables"

2.5 cups dried rosemary
2 cups of fennel powder*
2 cups granulated garlic**
1/2 cup coarse black pepper
6 Tablespoons coriander
6 Tablespoons Kosher salt
4 Tablespoons white pepper

Combine all of the spices in a large bowl. Stir. Store in airtight containers. Spice rub will keep for several months if stored in a cool, dry area.

* If you cannot find fennel powder, or want more texture, you could also use fennel seeds and grind them in a blender until desired consistency. I happened to find fennel powder at Patel's Indian Market, in Norwalk but you can find an array of harder-to-find spices online at Penzey's too (or at the Penzey's store, if you're local to Fairfield County, CT).
** Make sure you use granulated garlic, not garlic salt!! Garlic salt is 3 salt: 1 garlic. Granulated garlic is simply coarse grained dried garlic. Costco carries restaurant-sized containers of granulated garlic, or your local market should have it in the dried spice section.

To make this project most economical, try to find bulk spices. Think about who in your area would have high turnover of spices? You want them as fresh as possible. Usually it's the ethnic markets. Around us, Patel's (in Norwalk, in the same strip mall as Best Buy, Rio Restaurant, TJMaxx, etc...) is a good bet. And even if you're not making a spice rub, that place is worth a visit for the truly amazing array of Indian ingredients and prepared foods!

For tins, we used these seamless 4oz. metal ones.

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