a few of you sent me some very sweet emails after my last post- thank you! i kind of forget how many people read my blog on the regular, and your virtual high-fives were amazing!
fact: i have over 95 spices. yes, this really happens. i have tons of “single note” spices, like you know, oregano, and i have a ton of spice blends, like gram masala. spices to me are like shoes to another- certain spices go best with specific foods, like a pair of day glo platforms, and some are like black pumps- they just go with everything. shopping for spices is a joy for me. i’m the worst shopper ever (with others) because i have to stop, touch, and read/look at everything i see, but with spices it’s almost mandatory. one of my favorite stores for spices is Penzey’s because everything they make is potent- i’ve never bough stale spices from there- and each spice is accompanied by a large canister full of the fragrant blend so that you may sniff to your hearts content. when i find a spice i adore, i often buy a large 4oz bag if the price is right, and empty it into a small mason jar at home. i also re-use all of the jars that enter my house, so many have sharpie chicken scratching all over them.
many people have favorite go-to’s- my mother in law has every kind of garlic powder, salt, granule etc known to man, whereas my mother relies on local blends from a company called Fortner’s (#89 is amazing for tofu scramble). hubby loves crushed red pepper flakes, and goes through one of those giant shakers from costco every 4-6 months, and he also loves garam masala, and chili based blends.
these are my current favorites:
from L -> R
creamy peppercorn- this is a dressing base, and i use it with veganaise and faux sour cream to make the most amazingly rich dip for fresh veggies. it’s a lot like ranch but without the dill, and it’s a summer staple for barbecues.
coriander- for how much i love it’s mature plant version known as cilantro, it’s no wonder how much i adore coriander. the smell is citrusy and it lends a delightful brightness to everything it touches. i want to use it with lemon peel in coconut milk ice cream.
sunny paris- this is a new blend i just purchased and it’s my new go-to for scrambles, quinoa, and steamed veggies. it’s base is purple shallots and green peppercorns and it’s smells sweet and peppery with a hint of dill. it says you can mix it into yogurt for a nice veggie dip- i might try that with the new ‘greek style’ soy yogurt i keep seeing everywhere.
black truffle salt- OMG. i’ve purchased truffle salt, and truffle oil, and i think that i prefer the salt for cooking. truffle oil tends to lose it’s flavor quickly, whereas the salt is preserving little bits of dried mushroom. it’s amazing sprinkled over wild rice soup and risotto, or over popcorn and french fries. a must for mushroom lovers!
smoked spanish paprika- it’s smoky and sweet and makes tempeh ‘bacon’ even better. i also use it on my scrambles, chili, and tacos.
nala kamak- also known as indian black salt, it smells sweetly of sulphur and i use it solely as a seasoning for ‘egg-type’ dishes like tofu scramble and quiche. it’s not super salty so i add some during the cooking process, and more at the table. even though it’s a staple in indian cooking, i have yet to see it show up in a recipe. side note- it’s the cheapest at an indian market, whereas most spice stores sell it for $10 a jar.
chipotle- my favorite of all chili powders. its sweet and smoky without too much heat and goes wonderfully with black beans and sweet potatoes. whenever i make chili i use up to 4 different chili powders, but there’s always chipotle in it.
here’s the rest of my haul!
my very first spice rack! it was $8 at a garage sale, but the cute erlenmeyer-eque jars were worth every penny. i’m slowly replacing the lids with corks to keep them air tight.
lucky wedding spices
overflowing spice cupboard
and a countertop carousel for good measure!