A story in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune listed some bests of the Taste of Chicago. “Best vegetable: O’Brien’s Celtic corn on the cob. Whatever spices are hiding in O’Brien’s “Celtic Seasoning” shaker sure do bring out the flavor of those juicy corn kernals.” Guess who makes that blend for our neighbors in Old Town? I have wished on more than one occaison that we had a patented system for each blend we seek to create, but each seasoning seems to come with it own formulation of trial and error. We might want to create a new blend because it is the hot trend of the year, or people are doing more ethnic cooking from this country, this year, there are a whole variety of reasons we might choose from for making new blends. Rarely is it to honor the request of our landlord! “So, you guys are masters of spice, why don’t you come up with a Celtic blend that we can shake on O’Brien’s Irish corn that we grill during all of our summer festivals. We will buy it, the lable will have your name on it, and it will be a great way to drum up business.” We have a very savy landlord in Peter O’brien and he has always been good to us about giving us business. So off we went to create our Celtic seasoning. I did my diligent research, knowing already that spices do not actually grown in Ireland, the climate needs to be very tropical.
Next, I looked through some Irish cookbooks (research at Barbara’s books is never a bad thing.) and looked at many online recipes also, hoping to find that the Irish recipes in general would favor this or that spice more than others. They actually did not seem too big on spices in general, no hope there. What they did seem to favor was lots of garlic and onion, so some sort of garlic/onion salt would fit the bill, we surmised. However, we already have dozens of these seasoning salts in our product line so it would seem overkill to us to create yet another blend. So we cheated, yes cheated, and just put a new name on an old blend that we know is great on potatoes and corn! This was our Ruthann’s Muskego Avenue Seasoning. http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/ruth-anns-muskego-avenue-seasoning As time has gone by, we have gotten requests from customers to buy the Celtic seasoning, to the point where it almost would make sense to change the blend’s original name to Celtic seasoning, except for one thing. Ruthann is my Mom, and my Dad created that blend for her. My husband and partner, Tom, has never created a blend for me, and we are approaching our 25th wedding anniversary this fall. I am sure, when he does, he will pull out all the stops to make it 25 years worth of good! Accompanied by a good story.