I add cardamom to my pumpkin pie. Not too much, mind you. Enough that you get a little hint of it, but not so much that you’re prompted to ask “what is that?” when you taste it. I don’t know when I first decided to try it, but it must have been years ago. On a subsequent trip home for Thanksgiving, I told my dad to get some and when I arrived I was presented with a bag of pods from the international food shop. Confounded, I called one of my best friends who happens to be of Indian extraction and asked what the hell to do with them, and was given step-by-step instructions for extracting and pulverizing the seeds. If you’re a fan of the spice it makes a nice addition to the pie (and now I’m kind of partial to pounding the little seeds myself).
Anyhow, cardamom is my semi-secret pie ingredient. I don’t tell people I put it in, but I’ll divulge it if asked. However, I have an additional secret ingredient that I never tell anyone. Again, I add just a little tiny bit, and I think it makes it more distinctive and flavorful. (I always get compliments.)
So this week’s special Thanksgiving question is multi-layered — do you have secret ingredients? Did you come up with them yourself, or did you learn/inherit them from someone else? And are you ever willing to share them, or do you truly keep them to yourself? (I was going to start off by just telling you what I put in the damn pie, but I couldn’t make myself do it, even pseudonymously.)