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Library spice subscription adds a little zest to Lacombe’s dinner plates

Home chefs will need a bit more room in their spice cabinet now that the Mary C. Moore Library has begun a monthly spice subscription program.

Kristin Bouwsema, coordinator of the program at the library has taken the time to curate a selection of spices and recipes that can be picked up for families to try at home.

“I’d read about other libraries that had success with this kind of a program and Sonya Beauclair, who used to work at the city, mentioned it to me. I like to cook and browse cookbooks, so it was good programming fit for me,” saidBouwsema.

“This is the first year we’ve run a spice program. Last year, I ran a ‘care package from the library,’ program, which was another once-a-month take-home kit, but this program is specific to spices and recipes.”

This month’s spice is cardamom.

“Which just happens to be one of my favourite spices of all time. I’m looking forward to sharing some delicious recipes using ground cardamom.”

Cardamom, sometimes called cardamon or cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera elettaria and amomum in the family zingiberaceae. Species used for cardamom are native throughout tropical and subtropical Asia. Nowadays it is also cultivated in Guatemala, Malaysia, and Tanzania.

“I’ve made things from the recipes. Not all of them, but I try to make at least one item from each month. At some point in the near future I’ll be running an in-person program where we can get together and taste some of the recipes,” said Bouwsema.

Spices range from sweet to savoury. The kit includes three or four recipes with each subscription package, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and incorporating a variety of ingredients.

”I try to only include recipes where ingredients will be readily available locally, or easy to substitute. And I pull the recipes from cookbooks on our shelves that patrons can then borrow.”

As for upcoming months, Bouwsema said she doesn’t want to ruin the surprise for the local chefs. She said that spices will be announced on a monthly basis. For more information or to sign up for the spice subscription email kbouwsema@prl.ab.ca or call 403-782-3433.