Thanks, Goodweed! I've copied it to my small, but growing, "Recipes" folder on my hard drive. I may even get brave enough to try it. ;)
Since I'm not as good with the actual culinary skills as yet (thanks for the encouraging words, btw!), I've kind of made a specialty of finding strange flavors to add to things -- like exotic colors in a Crayola box. ;)
Some of my faves:
: great in bread-type things, so I will definitely try it in these pancakes!
: use in anything in which you would use cinnamon. (Just from the standard spice companies at the grocery store, like McCormack, etc.) I've even added it to fruit cup, and it was wonderful! It has cinnamon in it, and other things, and it really adds magic! (Be careful though -- there's another kind of Chinese 5-spice that's not for dessert-type things, and that would taste awful in pancakes,
: Learned about this in an Indian cooking class. They use it in everything, and it adds a subtle flavor and yellow color. But the best part: health benefits. It works great on cuts (cleans, seals, and heals) and I believe similar claims are made for the digestive tract. It also seems to curb food allergies a bit, which I can definitely use.
: magic on bland white fish. (from Joy of Cooking) Brings out an amazing flavor. Good on hosts of other things, too. (Being ignorant, I just try it on everything,
Weird combination that makes for a fantastic fruit salad
: I put in ... pretty much everything that was seasonally available. Berries, melons, banana. But I winged it on the seasoning, and it came out -- fabulous! ;)
I sweetened it with a bit of maple syrup, preserved and tarted it a bit with juices of lemon and lime, and then added my Chinese 5-spice. I was taking it to a family gathering of the guy I was dating then, and he was a bit nervous about my contribution (lest they think me an unworthy female?). So he volunteered for a non-cooking kind of contribution.
One of the in-laws there was a true German sausage-maker, and I had never believed I could love a wurst,
but his were magic!
He was a maestro of subtle seasonings, and he went crazy over my fruit cup!
The flavors drove him wild, and he kept begging me to write it down. Which of course, I couldn't, since I just free-handed it by taste. (I later sent them a bottle of the 5-spice) ;) Their daughter, the hostess, begged me to leave the fruit cup with her (we'd made a swimming-pool full,
) because her kids were inhaling it!
So as long as I'm not actually cooking
, my track record is a little better. I've made seasoning a specialty -- I am part French, somewhere in there, and that should count for something. ;)