Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table chose not only an easy muffin recipe for this week, but one that filled my kitchen with the aroma of allspice, one of my favorites. Last week, I had made a grilled flank steak meal using jerk seasoning whose essential ingredient is allspice, so I was delighted to use the spice again, but in a dessert. Allspice has the flavors of cinnamon, cloves, pepper and nutmeg rolled into one. Named the “Jamaican pepper” by the Spanish who erroneously thought the fruit was black pepper, allspice is grown only in the Western Hemisphere. This tall evergreen grew wild in the rain forests of South and Central America, but the forests were decimated, so few remain. The best allspice is said to come from Jamaica where the soil and climate are well-suited for producing this ambrosial spice. Whole allspice can be stored indefinitely, but the ground spice loses its flavor after about three months. Culinary uses of allspice are many and varied. To substitute for allspice, combine one part nutmeg with two parts each of cinnamon and cloves. SourceKayte has the recipe on her blog or you can find it on page 16 of “Baking From My Home to Yours” by Dorie Greenspan. The Allspice Muffins are great to serve with breakfast, brunch or with a cup of coffee or hot tea.