Friday, June 30, 2006

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours- Part 2

It's baaack!

For this second edition of I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours- hosted by Sweetnicks, we have been asked to reveal something rather scary...The spice drawer. Now I am certain that there are many people who actually have a spice drawer. I think I grew up in a house with a spice drawer. The benefit of a drawer is it keeps the spices from being exposed to light, and it can be really convenient to have your spices directly beneath your mixing bowl. I however, have way too many spices to have a drawer. In fact I use another entire cupboard. And not just that narrow cupboard next to my fridge. I need a full size kitchen cabinet. Three shelves and one mystery location makes up the crux of my spice cupboard. So here we go.

Here is the bottom shelf of my spice cabinet- the most used one. In fact I'm surprised this morning to find empty space- usually it's wall to wall of the little spice jars. You can obviously see a pattern here of lovely Penzey's jars. It is an addiction. I can't go in there without picking up at least 6 new jars. I have the back walls of the cabinet lined with steps, and I try to organize my Penzeys by alphabet sometimes, but they really just end up all over. The turntable I'm not particularly crazy about. It makes it hard to get at the spices in the back of the cabinet. On the turntable you'll also see my jar of Emeril's Original Essence- a must for jambalaya, and my jar of Fleur De Del- a must for the coming tomatoes.

Here is the second shelf of my spice cabinet. And yes, there are spices in here, you just can't see them. I figured in the spirit of the challenge, I needed to photo my cabinet exactly as it is, so I withheld a quick organizing. On this shelf I keep my larger jars and tubs of spices, as well as my vinegars and honeys. Ah, I also see my bottle of sriracha, as my hot sauces are in the back right corner as well. While these may not all necessarily be spices, they are as essential to me as spices, so yes, they seriously belong in this cabinet.

The top shelf of this cabinet is also misleading, as I again eschew a quick clean-up. But if you look to the left you see the Worcestershire sauce, and behind that, one of my two varieties of sea salt- definitely an essential spice. Way in the back is a bottle of molasses, a wayward hot sauce, and a bottle of chili oil. But behind the box of corn starch, what you don't see is my supply of whole Indian spices, generously shared with me by a friend. These bulk spices perfume my cabinet like you wouldn't believe. Everytime I open my cabinet I am attacked by curry, garam masala, cardamom, and other Indian flavors. Yum, yum, and double yum. And finally, the mystery location.

Not a great picture- I know, but my spice collection would not be complete without my freezer door. Here you see about 20 packages from Penzeys containing extra spices. I use these packages to re-fill my smaller Penzey's bottles when I've run out. This keeps them fresher longer, and actually makes the spices a little cheaper to buy them in a larger bulk. It is a task keeping track of all of the spices and dried herbs that I have going on here, but it is definitely worth it. And believe it or not, there are plenty of spices that I don't have conveniently on hand at the moment. I don't have any saffron, for example, or any mace. And I really need to get to Penzey's and pick up some grey salt and some fennel seed- and if you can guess what that is for, you are indeed a foodie. :-)

I'll hopefully be back later tonight with a real meal. I'm feeling a bit inspired after going through all these spices. In the meantime though, make sure you check out the round-up of all the spice cabinets at Sweetnicks this weekend. It's sure to eb a good one.


Kalyn said...

Hey, another Penzey's fan. Great idea to put those bags in the freezer. I think I better more mine to there.

Sylvie said...

I had never heard of Penzey's before you and Kalyn's post. I'll have to check them out.

Alysha said...

Hi Erika. I'm finally getting back to reading some blogs - and hopefully writing too.

Your spices are arranged a lot like mine - a step shelf along the back wall and a turntable to the right! And Penzey's with the bulk bags in the freezer.

I'm starting the Weigh-In Weds again, so I'll try to link to yours too.

Going to poke around some more........

Erika said...

Lol Alysha. Maybe I'll get inspired soon to do a Weigh In Wednesday post. I've been lacking inspiration...summer and all. :-)