variety is the spice of life

Auntie K, giver of cookbooks and wine glasses, turned my mother and grandmother on to the wonderful world of Penzey’s Spices many moons ago when they were still a humble mail order catalog out of Wisconsin. I grew up shunning grocery store spices and really never knew anything else. Balti seasoning and double-strength vanilla extract were bought in bulk and with equal importance to salt and flour.

Well, color me surprised when I discovered some of my lovely girlfriends here in DC were ALSO Penzey’s addicts. Las weekend we headed out to one of their new retail stores in Rockville, MD and proceeded to have entirely too much fun. Although, the joke that doesn’t get told is I was recovering from a nasty cold and could not smell A THING. Luckily, I have most of their inventory committed to sensory memory.

Coarse ground pepper, chicken stock base, balti, country french vinagrette, and whole nutmegs were in the haul. Meat Man’s lady friend, Scary Spice, recommended the Shallot Pepper which I’m quite excited about and the lovely lady at the registered scored me a coupon for a free Bangkok seasoning.

Glamour shots–ready, GO:

Bet you wish you could smell all those delicious spices, don’t you? And now you feel my pain.

Also, a note from your editor: we’ll be going on a quick little hiatus this week…we’re throwing a tiny little get-together at work–no big deal, just 300 crazy progressives from across the country descending on us for 3 days of left-leaning hullabaloo. The  up-side: there was lots of de-stress cooking this weekend, so there are many many delicious things to come!


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