A Home Cook's Practical Family Heirloom: An Embroidered Seasoning Chart

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We received a note from a reader named Peggy, who sent us these photos of the loveliest family heirloom: A hand-embroidered seasoning chart. Want to hear her story about this beautiful heirloom? 

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The art of seasoning is easy to master if you’ve got a good guide. In my family, ours was a seasoning chart, embroidered by my mother and hung at eye-level in our kitchen for easy reference. We used the chart all year round, but it was especially handy for the more relaxed, unscripted meals of warmer months. In late spring and throughout the summer I would be sent to the garden to collect fresh herbs for the cuts of meat mom brought back from the butcher or the fillets of flounder we’d caught at the shore over the weekend. As I got older, a quick glance at the color-coded embroidery was all I needed to choose the right seasonings for just about any protein. 

Now, as a recipe developer and cookbook editor, my kitchen references are a bit more advanced. I’ve got books about recipe writing, encyclopedias of cooking terms, and, of course, cookbooks of all shapes, sizes, and cuisines. But this time of year—when planting season begins, and the first shoots of parsley and chive and basil poke out of the soil in my herb garden—I still find myself in front of that embroidered chart (which now hangs in my kitchen), dreaming up flavor combinations and inspiration for future meals. 

If you don’t have a seasoning chart of your own, here are some references to keep on hand:

Thank you so much for sharing, Peggy! 

Visit Peggy's blog: An Un-Still Life

Do you have a favorite tool or chart for remembering spices or seasonings in your kitchen? 

Related: Quick Guide to Every Herb and Spice in the Cupboard

(Image: Peggy via The Kitchn's submission form)

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