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jtoepfert100
01-25-2005, 01:43 PM
I finally found some whole nutmeg a few weeks ago and have used it in a few recipes - Love it! However, what I don't know is what part do you grate? Do you use the whole nutmeg or just the outer "shell"? I've checked my cooking reference books and no one mentions not grating the whole thing but it seems as if you didn't use the whole thing in one shot that it would lose freshness. My "Tiptionary" did say that mace is made out of grinding the outer shell of a nutmeg, so if I only used the outer shell, would I just have mace? I know I shouldn't be so confused by this but I am. Thanks!

Chelle D
01-25-2005, 01:55 PM
Jen - I use the entire thing. Now, not so sure it's right, but it's what I have always done. I have used the same one forever and it still smells good so I keep grating away :)

Mamasue
01-25-2005, 01:55 PM
Jen....I use nothing but whole nutmeg. You do use the whole nut, grate what you need and store in the jar it came in. Mace is an outer covering of the nut and I think close to orange in color. I have never used fresh mace. Hope this helps! ;)

oskie
01-25-2005, 01:58 PM
Mace looks really different from nutmeg, kinda lacy, so I'm not sure if you have it still attached. Are you talking about the brown outside of the nutmeg as opposed to its speckled inside? That's all nutmeg and you can grind it til you scrape your fingers against the microplane. Oh wait, that's just what I do... :rolleyes:

Trying to add a picture to explain:
http://www.foodsubs.com/Photos/spice-maceonnutmeg5.jpg

jtoepfert100
01-25-2005, 02:16 PM
Thanks! Y'all answered my question. No, I don't have the mace attached. Thanks for the picture. I thought maybe the mace was the outside of the nutmeg I have but it isn't. Man, I have a whole jar full of those babies - it's going to last forever!:)

Aubergine
01-25-2005, 02:40 PM
jen, it may last foreover--or, rather, it does last forever, meaning it has a shelf life of years, unlike ground nutmeg. i use a lot of nutmeg, although maybe 2-3x/month, and i'm still working from a bottle i bought 3 years ago.

next thing you need is a cute little nutmeg grater, with a little compartment on top to stash the nut in. :)

jtoepfert100
01-25-2005, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by Aubergine

next thing you need is a cute little nutmeg grater, with a little compartment on top to stash the nut in. :)

DH actually got me a cute, little nutmeg grater for Christmas, thinking it was a mini-cheese grater.:D It doesn't have the compartment for the nutmeg, though, but I still like it. Do you use fresh grated nutmeg in recipes that call for ground nutmeg ? I thought the two weren't interchangeable. At least, that's what I read.

Aubergine
01-25-2005, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by jtoepfert100


DH actually got me a cute, little nutmeg grater for Christmas, thinking it was a mini-cheese grater.:D It doesn't have the compartment for the nutmeg, though, but I still like it. Do you use fresh grated nutmeg in recipes that call for ground nutmeg ? I thought the two weren't interchangeable. At least, that's what I read.

i'd be really curious to know where you read that (although i understand if you don't recall). i've always read everything i can put my hands on about food, and i hever heard that one! :confused: anyway, i've been using freshly grated nutmeg in any recipe that calls for nutmeg for over 30 years, so i wouldn't worry.

blazedog
01-25-2005, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by Aubergine
jen, it may last foreover--or, rather, it does last forever, meaning it has a shelf life of years, unlike ground nutmeg. i use a lot of nutmeg, although maybe 2-3x/month, and i'm still working from a bottle i bought 3 years ago.

next thing you need is a cute little nutmeg grater, with a little compartment on top to stash the nut in. :)

The circle of life or nutmeg -- I just tossed my nutmeg grater with container because the microplaner did it so much better -- Who knew what a difference between two graters. I used to dread grating the nutmeg.

Lillith
01-25-2005, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Aubergine
next thing you need is a cute little nutmeg grater, with a little compartment on top to stash the nut in. :)

Well, wouldn't you know...I have the exact same nutmeg grater!

jtoepfert100
01-25-2005, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by Aubergine


i'd be really curious to know where you read that (although i understand if you don't recall). i've always read everything i can put my hands on about food, and i hever heard that one! :confused: anyway, i've been using freshly grated nutmeg in any recipe that calls for nutmeg for over 30 years, so i wouldn't worry.

I believe what I am thinking is that in many recipes that call for freshly grated nutmeg, it says "do not substitute ground ginger, if you don't have fresh nutmeg, leave it out." I was surprised that when I grated nutmeg for the first time, it smelled like my ground ginger, only better. I figured they would be completely different. I can't quote my sources, however, so maybe I made this up. But I THINK I heard Paula say it on one of her shows, but it wasn't the first time I heard it.

Oh, and Blazedog, I'm sure you're right about the microplane. I love it and probably will use it for nutmeg if I'm in a hurry but I know it makes DH happy to see me use kitchen stuff he's bought.:)

gertdog
01-25-2005, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by blazedog


The circle of life or nutmeg -- I just tossed my nutmeg grater with container because the microplaner did it so much better -- Who knew what a difference between two graters. I used to dread grating the nutmeg.

Hey, me too. I had a little grater from Williams-Sonoma that had a white plastic cartridge on top that slid back and forth across the teeth, and the nutmeg could just stay in there until you next needed it. But it didn't grate very easily and a lot of the grated nutmeg got matted in between the teeth of the grater. It was hard to clean, too.

For Christmas I received a plastic cartridge that works on all of my Microplane graters- same principle as the nutmeg grater, but I can use it on a fine, medium, or coarse grater and it works a lot better. I just grate as much nutmeg as I need and put the remaining piece back in the ziptop bag with the whole nutmegs. For $5 it's a nice thing to have, and it's also great for small pieces of parmesan etc.- anything you don't want to accidently grate your fingertips into!

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00009WE3W.01-AH41BC3G7NDFM._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg

gertdog
01-25-2005, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by jtoepfert100



Oh, and Blazedog, I'm sure you're right about the microplane. I love it and probably will use it for nutmeg if I'm in a hurry but I know it makes DH happy to see me use kitchen stuff he's bought.:)

Whoops, I missed the bit about DH giving you the nutmeg grater as a gift! My DH always likes to surprise me with kitchen things too. He actually gave me the first nutmeg grater, but since he does most of the dishes, got frustrated with it really quickly b/c it was hard to clean. So he "replaced" it with the slider attachment. I just like that he enjoys finding me new kitchen toys. :) Enjoy yours!

PoppyJ
01-27-2005, 10:51 AM
I just bought whole nutmegs and a grinder. Now I have to find a great recipe that lets the nutmeg shine.

blazedog
01-27-2005, 11:01 AM
I have to chime in again that since getting my microplane grinder I add nutmeg whenever I add cinnamon as it's so easy to grind and clean.

I used to reluctantly haul out the grinder when a recipe specifically called for it because the cute little nutmeg grinder I had was so dysfunctional.

Mamasue
01-27-2005, 02:23 PM
Nutmeg Hint: Nutmeg is a great compliment for spinach...such as a few gratings in spinach/ricotta filling for ravioli. I sometimes add a few gratings of nutmeg in my meatball mixture especially for escarole soup.

Aubergine
01-27-2005, 02:43 PM
mamasue is absolutely right about nutmeg on spinach!

jt...100, your story about replacing one spice for another brought back the funniest memory--when i was about 8 i had a sleepover with my BF (remember when they were rare events?) and my mother made us french toast. it was the only time i ever remember her making it, and it was inedible to our young palates because she subbed nutmeg for the cinnamon and ginger in the recipe. poor mom, i'll have to mention it to her.

as for "cleaning" a nutmeg grater--heavens, in 30 years i've never washed mine! i just tap it over the sink counter a couple of times, and put it back in its drawer--where i can't say i've got any accumulation of nutmeg "dust."

that plastic microplane slip-on looks interesting, but it reminds me a lot of my rotary grater--anyone else have one of them?

blazedog
01-27-2005, 02:48 PM
By rotary grater do you mean a mouli grater?

I have one in a little box with a very 50's looking "chef" on the box. Every once in a while I will drag it out when I am decluttering a la flylady but for some reason I always put it back in the back of the bottom drawer -- I have no idea why as I can't recall ever using it or ever thinking that I might use.

BarbaraL
01-27-2005, 02:49 PM
I have a nutmeg grater from Williams Sonoma; it was expensive, and I usually avoid one-function-only items, but finally succumbed. It's got a round metal base, and a plastic top that twists onto the base; it had a handle that you turn to grate the nutmeg, with a spring that forces the nutmeg against the grater surface. Someone had given me whole nutmeg with a little teeny grater thing -- I disliked grated fingers in my eggnog, so I bought the grater thing. This was before I had my wonderful microplane; haven't tried it with nutmeg since I had the WS gadget.

BarbaraL
01-27-2005, 03:02 PM
Aubergine, I've heard of cinnamon in French toast, but ginger?? Seems like nutmeg would taste better than ginger (it's good on eggnog, after all). Or, does cinnamon + ginger taste good in French (Liberty???) toast?

gertdog
01-27-2005, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by Aubergine


as for "cleaning" a nutmeg grater--heavens, in 30 years i've never washed mine! i just tap it over the sink counter a couple of times, and put it back in its drawer--where i can't say i've got any accumulation of nutmeg "dust."

that plastic microplane slip-on looks interesting, but it reminds me a lot of my rotary grater--anyone else have one of them?

I think my nutmeg grater was just a poor design. It was the sort that looks like hundreds of tiny nail holes (the texture that shreds any sponge that you try to use for cleaning), and bits of grated nutmeg would get matted down in the spaces around the grater holes. Tapping wouldn't dislodge it. But if you put it away with the stuff stuck to it, the stuff would dry out and fall in little crumbles all over the drawer where it was stored. So it was just a pain.

I used to have a rotary grater but dropped it and the plastic body broke; didn't replace it. I liked it, though. (I have a clumsy history of destroying plastic kitchen tools- rotary grater, potato ricer, and hand blender all got dropped and broken. :o )

Aubergine
01-27-2005, 03:33 PM
thanks for the giggles, gals. blaze (separated at birth?), yes, i mean a Mouli. i seem to recall buying it to grate chocolate and/or cheese, and mine has had a similar life to yours.

gert, mine sounds like yours -- looks like the small side of a 4-sided grater, perhaps a bit smaller -- but i never worried about the nutmeg residue (not greasy; doesn't breed bacteria).

barbara, i'm still laughing. my poor mom. my GF she was cooking for had a french mom, and mine was trying to make my GF feel 'at home,' but she didn't have vast experience with 'exotic' spices like the cinnamon-nutmeg-ginger group. hey, we're talking 1960 here.

katydid
01-27-2005, 04:42 PM
i honeymooned in Grenada a few years ago: the spice island and where a lot of nutmeg comes from. Nutmeg will last 20 years in the shell and 3 years out of the shell. NO one has mentioned that you do need to crack the outer hard shell off the nutmeg and grate the inner smaller portion. thanks for tips on the nutmeg grater from WS. i always wanted one of them , but i'll stick to my little tiny grater for now. hope this helps......

Curleytop
01-27-2005, 08:16 PM
I have a little nutmeg grinder, I think I may have gotten it in Cost+
It is the same kind as my Mom had and she brought it back from Germany 60 years ago. It is stainless with a little compartment on top to hold the nut. If not Cost+, try an import shop. I too use grated nutmeg in spinach and meatloaf.

jtoepfert100
01-28-2005, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by PoppyJ
I just bought whole nutmegs and a grinder. Now I have to find a great recipe that lets the nutmeg shine.

You must make the CL Spicy Oatmeal Cookies (their in the Recipe Finder)! They are wonderful and the nutmeg does shine! Let me know if you can't find the recipe and I'll post back.

Curleytop
01-28-2005, 10:09 AM
Want to hear what your experience is with these cookies! I MADE THEM, AND THEY ALL RAN TOGETHER on the cooky sheet and I will NOT
bake them again, unless you have a better suggestion!

jtoepfert100
01-28-2005, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by Curleytop
Want to hear what your experience is with these cookies! I MADE THEM, AND THEY ALL RAN TOGETHER on the cooky sheet and I will NOT
bake them again, unless you have a better suggestion!

I'm so sorry you had a problem! I've had that happen with cookies and it stinks. As I recall, these are spreaders but I only had maybe one or two run together. How many did you put on a sheet? It's more time consuming, but I find if I only put 8 on a sheet at a time, I avoid this problem. I also made them with margarine instead of butter (can't afford butter these days) so I don't know if that makes a difference. I read somewhere once that margarine and butter made things spread differently, but I don't remember what the effect of each one was. Oh, and I also cook almost every cookie I make a few minutes less than the called for time in the recipe. This is because I prefer a chewier cookie over a crisp one, but this could prevent more spreading, too. I'm not sure.

Aubergine
01-28-2005, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Curleytop
Want to hear what your experience is with these cookies! I MADE THEM, AND THEY ALL RAN TOGETHER on the cooky sheet and I will NOT
bake them again, unless you have a better suggestion!

<sigh> yet another example of When Good Recipes Happen to Good People. it happens. take heart, you haven't yet been consigned to the recipes-from-Hades collective group of misery, although right about now it probably feels like you're there. but! you need 3-4-5 in a row (and/or a full week's worth) to qualify!

leightx
01-28-2005, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by blazedog
Every once in a while I will drag it out when I am decluttering a la flylady but for some reason I always put it back in the back of the bottom drawer -- I have no idea why as I can't recall ever using it or ever thinking that I might use.

I just decluttered my rotary grater last night! It was something I won at a Pampered Chef party, and haven't used it once (no need to with a microplane).

leightx
01-28-2005, 04:36 PM
Gasp!! Someone didn't like my favorite Spicy Oatmeal Crisps!?!? The horrors! They do tend to spread a bit - I usually put 12 on a cookie sheet (instead of 16). I cook mine on a Silpat, and I don't refrigerate the dough or anything. I also use butter, and pull them out a few minutes earlier than called for (mine are usually done in 10-11 minutes) because I like them chewy.