The other day I came home from work and there was a package waiting for me on my doorstep. It was from my dad’s girlfriend, Carolyn.
(Me with my dad and Carolyn.)
I opened it up, and it was a box full of little Ziplock baggies. There was a note on top – the first part read, “I hope this box doesn’t smell like curry!” What in the heck?
She had sent me nine different kinds of spices! This one, below, was garlic powder. Yum…I love garlic. No vampires around me! (Also, I stuck my finger in the package and tasted it, and it was the world’s best garlic powder!)
There were also a bunch of these cute jars!
And different baggies of spices. When I called to thank her, she told me that you can buy spices in bulk bins, which I had never known and which apparently are much cheaper than those little glass jars of spices (which are so expensive!).
There was cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, bay leaves, chile powder, and an Italian herb blend.
I really like the jars! The top can flip open from both sides, one side with little tiny holes and the other side with a wider lip.
Of course, I wasted no time filling them up!
She also sent little labels to stick on them, but – as crazy as this is – I don’t actually have a writing implement in my house right now. No pens or pencils. But luckily I’ve been cooking for so long I can smell the apart. I mean, tell. ; )
This gift could not have come at a better time. Carolyn knows I love to cook, and haven’t been able to do as much of my own cooking as I would like, since I am working with limited supplies here at the moment. Moving is so expensive, not just because of the big ticket items (moving truck, car shipment) which my dad has very kindly help me out with, but also because of all of hundreds of little tiny items that come with starting over in a new place. Stocking up on toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies, for example! Sponges, dish soap, garbage bags…you name it. All of those household things alone aren’t expensive – but having to buy them all at once is. Restocking your fridge is the same way- those nine jars of different vinegars add up when purchased all together! And spices, which can turn the same five vegetables from a fisherman’s stew to a spicy curry, are some of the more expensive kitchen ingredients, so I really appreciated her gift.
Today on my way home from work, I stopped and bought – literally – one of every vegetable in the grocery store. (As I was checking out, the cashier said, “Wow that’s a lot of healthy food.” Ha!) I’ve been eating so much junk lately, it’s depressing. And disgusting. We’re talking cheese quesadillas, fried potato wedges, someone’s birthday cake at the office…it’s gotten out of control. So I made a vegetable soup that included: carrots, celery, zucchini, red Swiss chard, potatoes, a can of diced tomatos, a can of Great Northern beans, white onion, garlic, vegetable broth, a handful of fresh basil and cilantro, and then garlic powder, chile powder, and a pinch of curry powder, with salt and pepper to taste. No vinegar…I literally had to physically restrain myself but I thought adding vinegar to curry might take it too far. It turned out so good, and very different from what I usually make. It’s almost smokey tasting. So I packaged it all up and it is ready to go for lunch tomorrow and this weekend.
Thank you again, Carolyn! : )
P.S. These photographs were taken with the new camera lens my dad bought me for Christmas – completely untouched, because my Photoshop isn’t working! Doesn’t it do an amazing job? I haven’t had as much time to play with it as I’d like – but soon!