Saturday, February 2, 2008

Food Geek Nirvana

Sorry about the awful picture, it's my cell phone. I can't find the digital camera.

Remember back a week or so ago when I declared that my husband could forego any kind of traditional Valentine's Day gifting and substitute a big pile of Penzey's Spices?


Penzey's Spices has...wait for it...retail locations. Did you hear me?

Two of them in the D.C. area, to be exact; one on Rockville Pike, not terribly far from the NIH (ahem, Kimberly) and one in Falls Church.


This morning, we drove out to the Falls Church location. For those of you who are interested and local, it's located on Broad Street, which evidently is what Lee Highway turns into...I don't know exactly how we got there, Dan made a total of three recommendations for turns this morning and all three turned out to be totally wrong, but we got there. There's a parking garage in back, so plenty of parking. We stopped in Cosi next door and got a snack and some coffee.



I think the coffee might have made me a little giddy by the time I made it into Penzey's. I could have done a little more damage, I think, but not without effort.



Here is a list of what I bought:
  • French Thyme
  • Albanian Whole Leaf Sage
  • Shallot-Pepper Seasoning
  • Shallot Salt
  • Mexican Chile Piquin
  • Rocky Mountain Seasoning
  • Creamy Peppercorn Dressing Base
  • Black and Red Spice
  • Turkish Aleppo Pepper
  • Salsa Salad Seasoning
  • Sicilian Salad Seasoning
  • Tsardust Memories Russian Sausage Seasoning
  • Rogan Josh Seasoning
  • Sandwich Sprinkle
  • Italian Sausage Seasoning
  • Buttermilk Dressing and Dip Seasoning
  • Ground Red Chipotle
  • Northwoods Fire Seasoning

$60 worth of seasonings and herbs, seriously? I am out of control. But really, I am so fantastically excited about this, I can't even tell you. That Northwoods Fire seasoning? It smells so good. Well, really, everything does. Very seldom have I ever made such a thoroughly satisfying purchase. Pound for pound, when it comes to what this stuff is doing to my imagination, $60 is a relative bargain I would say.

I have another project in mind right now: You know those Archer Farms brand sauces and marinades and sauces that they sell at Target? I don't know if it's because I'm always in Target right at dinner time, but they always look absurdly good to me. They were on sale last night so I bought three of them: a mustard beer marinade, a Thai peanut sauce, and a teriyake-shittake mushroom burger topper. I am a little freaked out by these kinds of things--they tend to be salty and taste "off," despite always looking great on a store shelf.

I am going to see how these work. I plan to use the suggested uses from the labels: a "simmer sauce" for bratwurst for the marinade, on simple chicken skewers for the peanut sauce, and on (duh) burgers for the burger topper. I will season everything very simply--salt and pepper on the skewers, same thing for the burgers. The brats I'm planning on not seasoning at all--just like they come from the store. With all these new goodies from Penzey's, that's just frickin' killing me right now, let me tell you. Bratwurst seasoning! Did I tell you? Penzey's sells bratwurst seasoning. I could make my own brats! For a nice German-Dutch girl from the upper midwest, that's music to my ears. I didn't buy any this time but it's on my list. Oooh, think about this: ground pork and beef (a 50-50 mix), seasoned with the bratwurst seasoning and made into burgers, topped with some kind of crazy grainy mustard and onions. I may need to go back to Penzey's for the Bratwurst seasoning.

I will run them past the fam, and I'll let you know how these go. First up: the mustard-beer marinade.

I'm off to the grocery store for brats. More later.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Hi, Molly!

Have you tried Asafoetida? It's foul smelling stuff (it's name, in fact, refers to the fact that it's so foul smelling), but when cooked, it deepens and broadens savoury dishes the same way that lemon or cayenne can brighten them.

Blogger doesn't like people posting links to things - which I can appreciate - but Google Gernot Katzer and head over to his spice pages. If you're the type of person I think you are, you'll cry tears of joy and then lose yourself in the pages for weeks at a time.

No one loves spices like Gernot and his site is magnificent.

Good luck with your new Penzy's spices. I love the year of recipes idea, by the way. Far more dedicated than I'll ever be.