In my Monday Minutiae: What's Tandem, I talked about my backup lunch on days when I wish I could go eat at Tandem but instead am at home making lunch for four kids and getting Sailor down for her nap. When I'm not eating leftovers or a big plate of watermelon, I eat a pound of broccoli, the frozen kind from Costco.
I don't eat it frozen, of course. I steam it for 15 minutes and then load it up with Kerrygold butter and Tessa Spice. What is this Tessa Spice, you say?
Well, thank you for asking.
Tessa Spice is actually called Ruth Ann's Muskego Ave Chicken and Fish Seasoning. I do not remember how we first tried the spice blend, but it is from Penzeys, the fancy spice store in Naperville, where we used to live. (Penzeys is actually a chain with numerous locations, none of which are in Greenville sadly.) I am not one to shop in fancy spice stores, but this blend keeps us going back for more.
We have never sprinkled it on chicken or fish as the name indicates, although the bottle does suggest "Good for vegetables too." It's a simple blend of salt, black pepper, garlic, lemon peel, and onion. But oh, it's complex and delicious, especially if you're not afraid of butter. Our whole family uses the blend liberally on steamed broccoli, steamed green beans, and grilled zucchini and yellow squash.
And we all call it Tessa Spice. (Except for Bauer, who is at that age of wanting to be different, I suppose. Bauer uses the original name when asking for the spice blend at the table, and he calls our cat its former name of Mooch instead of its new name Johnny).
Cash gets credit for naming Tessa Spice. There was a little girl named Tessa who was in Cash's preschool class several years ago and who looked like the picture of the little girl on the bottle. Cash noticed the resemblance, not long after we had started using the Ruth Ann's seasoning. And the name Tessa Spice just stuck.
I've had to consciously remind myself of the blend's real name when I've gone back to Penzeys to buy more, as I'm sure Tessa Spice would just draw blank stares from their employees. Now I just send TJ to buy refill bags when he goes through Naperville on a work trip. Last year, he put two bags in my stocking.
Maybe you can ask Santa for some next year, too. I know you will love it. Just remember, don't go looking in the store or online for it to be called Tessa Spice. But for sure, you should call it that at home.