My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

Cardamom ~ an aromatic affinity with Arabic coffee


Cardamom is a middle eastern spice I use most days in some way when cooking. My childhood memories are of spices commonly used by Mum in her cooking such as almonds, cinnamon, cloves and ginger in baked goodies, nutmeg grated over the slow-cooked rice pudding and thick vanilla custard. My late mother’s date scone recipe now includes cardamom and orange zest. Aromatic middle eastern spices are a later-on-in-life addition to my pantry.

In the time we lived in Al Ain in U.A.E., we strolled through the souqs inhaling the aromas, learning the names of the spices and herbs unfamiliar to us, chatting with people about food. The Arabic women I worked with generously shared their ways of cooking different ingredients. Arabic hospitality and celebration goes hand-in-hand with fabulous food, coffee and dates. Dates – now that’s a story in itself. The Arabic uses of a variety of dates and their stories about dates is so interesting. Dried dates are used in Mum’s scones.  Next time, maybe I could use fresh dates. That’s something to think about.

Back to the cardamom.  It is fair to say we became ‘addicted’ to cardamom with Arabic coffee. Recently, when I came across a recipe from the Hijaz region in Saudi Arabia in a blog by Chef in Disguise for Hijazi Almond Coffee, an almond milk white coffee topped with a spice such as cardamom, I thought, coffee drinkers everywhere, take note.

Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

4 thoughts on “Cardamom ~ an aromatic affinity with Arabic coffee

  1. Our household runs on coffee and I am definitely going to try this added spice!

  2. I really love cardamom too and use it in so many recipes. I do love the flavor notes it adds
    Thank you for the shout out, I deeply appreciate it

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