greetings - thanks for visiting my site!

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Well, this is it. The spice store has made it's last gasp & is shutting down. Thanks for your support. If you have any requests or questions, please feel free to contact me.

Best regards to all,

.:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:. .:.

Important Notice:


We're back. I'm still trying to re-figure/ streamline the Spice Selections to make it all more sensible to you and feasible to us. Truth is, y'all just don't use the spices and seasonings as much as I do (despite that, as with all spice & seasoning ingredients, they are best if used within a six month period and not after). That's understandable, but it makes having an online business impractical, is all. Over the course of many months I've been considering ways to make the spices more appealing to first time as well as repeat buyers. I've sought to solve several problems with the product, including:

The tendency for the spice seasonings to clump - I've switched suppliers and am now using ingredients which are ground finer and have less tendency to clump. I've been satisfied with the results and I hope that you have as well.

Packaging: The metal tins I'm using are, at best, a compromise in order to ship the spices as well as make them appealing and functional. When I initially started selling spices back in 2005, I was using 4 oz. glass jars. People really like the jars over the tins, and while the tins cost more, they are easier to ship without worrying that you will end up with a package of seasoned glass shards on your end.

Packaging #2: I have been considering losing the tins in favor of simple, functional, utilitarian plastic bags. Why? I have a lot of plastic bags in stock intended for refills of spices, and that just doesn't happen. If I switch to using the plastic bags, I could probably increase the amount of spice seasoning per order while decreasing the cost of each item as well as shipping. How about that?

Packaging #3: Wouldn't ya know, now they are saying that plastic is EVIL and DOES NOT LIKE YOU or YOUR FAMILY. Oh, plastic - we lived with so many hopes for you that must now go unfulfilled. It was sweet while it lasted.

Scrapping the catalog: That's right. Another serious consideration I've had for some time now is to scrap all of my current product and sell only certain items. What I have been selling over the past several years would essentially be retired. "What will you replace it with?", you ask? Well, let me tell you - I've been thinking of starting a whole new line of extremely hot and spicy seasonings and bbq rubs, so that I can rename it THE BURN WARD. That's right. I don't joke about such things. We're talking (or rather mumbling, since we've been steadily searing off the nerves on our tongues) serious Scoville Units here. What is your vote?

Spice of the Month Club: While it is still a serious consideration, it has never generated enough interest to convince me to do it. Maybe. Drop me a line and tell me you'd support it if I made it available. No, not just you, I mean some of those other people out there who haven't piped up yet.

Gift Sets: Of course - there will always be gift sets, as well as sales, like the ever popular buy 2 get 1 free deal.

Cost: Oy... one could make a living, if only they'd let you - ya know what I mean? Over the past 12 to 18 months, cost just got weird, particularly because import/ export costs that bear on the availability of ingredients for the spices and seasonings. I try to keep that old carbon foot print as small as possible - I've even considered binding my carbon foot to a child's size 2 - but there are certain ingredients that just are not easily available in our area of Western Massachusetts. Things like fresh Kaffir Lime Leaf and Lemongrass which, the last time I had to purchase a bulk of each I was told that I would need to pre-order it as it comes from places with sunnier climates, yet it is also affected by state restrictions which prevent growing these plants in proximity of delicate citrus agricultural regions. So - I temporarily stopped making the Green Thai Curry, which needs a good amount of each to get the flavor perfect. I know - it makes me sad, too, not to have my Green Thai Curry.

So that's the short of the long on the matter. Write me and let me know what your vote is on any or all of the intertwining topics.

And thanks for your support, your patience and your friendship - I really do appreciate it!


This blog is a companion site to my online business at emburke.etsy.com where I sell unique spice and seasoning blends. I will be featuring recipes that use the spice blends here, but you can easily adapt them to suit your own needs. Also, my spice and seasoning blends are interchangeable - you can easily use one blend in place of another to get a different creative result or you can play it safe and stick to the recipe.

I have a variety of spice & seasoning blends available for purchase here - the perfect compliment for your meat & vegetarian entrées or side dishes. Each of my spice blends are made from fresh, organic spices purchased locally and are ground & blended by myself. They can be used as a dry or wet rub, as a marinade or sauce, or as a seasoning to add a little extra flavor.

Also, if you have any ideas, suggestions or challenges - send them on to me and I'll place them on the site as well.

Each quarter a portion of all sales from this site will be given to support a local charity in Western Massachusetts.

I think you will enjoy them as much as I do. Please spread the word!

Thanks, Elliott

P.S. - I'll have some other items available here in the near future.

What would you like to find here?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

beans, beans, beans

We had our Labor day barbeque yesterday, which called for baked beans, among other things. They weren't really baked and they definitely were not of the Bostonian type, but they seemed to be a pretty big hit, so here is the recipe:

Baked Beans

2 Lbs. navy beans
2 cups Onion, Chopped
2 Tb. Garlic, minced
1 28 Oz, can Stewed Tomatoes
14 1/2 Oz. can Vegetable Stock
6 Tb. Molasses 6 Tb. Maple Syrup
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tb. Tamarind Paste
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tb. Marjoram
2 Tb. Tomato Paste
2 ts. Smoked Paprika
1 Tb. Aleppo Pepper
1 Tb. Urfa Pepper

extra prep seasoning: salt, bay leaf, dried rosemary, water.

Take your beans and wash them thoroughly, making sure that you find and discard any foreign matter (small rocks, stones, twigs, or Volvos). When it is safe to proceed place it in a really big cooking pot, large enough to cover the beans with plenty of water and create a dramatic effect (see photo for example). Add enough water to cover the beans and allow for expansion. Add some bay leaf, dried rosemary and salt. I used approximately four large leaves, 1 Tablespoon and a small fistful, respectively. Hey, if you are going to soak beans overnight you may as well season it a little, eh? Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat under it on high; bring it to a boil and then turn it down to low, cover and let simmer for a while. This step is practically useless if you plan on leaving them to soak overnight, but I did it anyway. Turn the heat off and leave it there until sometime tomorrow. Go shopping. Go see "The Dark Knight". See it several times. Eat something else for dinner. Go to bed.

Return to your beans, drain the water and remove the bay leaves. You may rinse them if you like but it really isn't necessary. Place the beans back in the pot and add all of the other ingredients. You may need to add a little more water to adjust the level, but mine were fine with the liquid amounts as listed here. Turn that fire back on, bringing it to a boil once more, and then turn it down to low, cover and let simmer for the rest of the day. They should thicken nicely after several hours.

If you haven't done so already, invite lots of people over. Make sure they have names like Keith or Chrissie or Joel or Liz or Annabel and Cheryl or Chip or Anne or Sarah or Ken and Nathan or Jen. You know - good, solid Christian names that exemplify a good, hearty and healthy appetite. Make some other stuff to go along with it, because while beans are really, really great, by themselves they can become a little tedious.


Fresh local farm raised Corn on the Cob
Chips and dip
Fresh Fruit Salad

Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes (again, fresh from the local farm share).

2 to 3 Lbs. Red Bliss Potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
Olive Oil
1 1/2 Heads of fresh Garlic, cloves crushed
1/4 Cup fresh Rosemary, chopped
Pepper (bonus points for using fresh cracked black pepper)

Preheat your oven to 400/ 450 degrees ( I used the higher setting, but 400 will probably do well). Lightly oil your cooking sheets and place them in the oven to get hot. Cut the potatoes, crush the garlic, chop the rosemary and place it all in a large bowl. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat everything, add salt and pepper. Toss it all until mixed and coated well. Place the mix evenly on the hot cooking pans - by doing this you want to sear part of the potato surface. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve.

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Read what some nice people have to say about my spices:"

Some mornings, I just stand in the kitchen alone and sniff Elliotts' spice. Then I'm somehow ready to start my day. And, oh yes, Elliott's spice IS great for cooking. Your eating habit will literally get "spiced up"."~ Tomoko Deeney (TADworks)

"I’ve almost never finished a full jar of spice and I’ve used several jars of Elliott’s spices in a matter of months. They are very unique and full of different flavors without being too salty or overpowering. They get my highest recommendation. Try them and you will love them."~ Keith Brisebois

"Elliott’s Green Thai is the most amazing spice... perfect for tacos, fish, chicken or beef. Once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to cook without it!"~ Chrissie Henry

"I hadn't really explored the world of spices until this mixture somehow found its way into my cupboard. I had lived a fairly plain sea salt and cracked pepper food life, until this came along. I enjoy the 'kick' it has on my palate. And still the blend lends itself to good eatin'."~ Rachel Wilson

"Having a jar of Elliott's spice blends in my cupboard I feel as if I have been instantly transformed into a fantastic chef. Dishes I would normally feel intimidated to try - Curried Cauliflower, Tandori Chicken, Morrocan Lamb Stew - now feel within reach. Thank you, Elliott for opening up a whole world, literally, of fabulous food!"~ Alicia Pritt

"Filled a void in my life."~ Elizabeth (from Russia)