Monday, March 22, 2010

Spice Drawer

Last night started off a week of freezer eating.  We had a combo of sweet potato ravioli and duck ravioli.  The girls had the extra pappardelle which I had dried and put away in our cupboard.  I served both with a shiitake mushroom sauce.  I was happy to find that both were just as delicious as the first time around.  The frozen ravioli maintained that fresh pasta consistency and taste as did the dried pappardelle.   
So, in lieu of posting a newly made meal, I decided to share my spice drawer.  I was vacuuming it out the other day and when I appreciated again its appeal.  The canisters have magnetic bottoms and they lie on a magnetic sheet inside the drawer.  In the beginning when the drawer was not full, this kept everything from sliding around and getting out of place.  I arrange my spices by color order.  For me, it is not only visually pleasing, but also easier for me to identify each spice.  The caps twist to give you the option of sprinkling or pouring.  There are varying opinions on the shelf life of a spice.  I like to go by color and aroma.  If it has lost itself in either category, it has likely lost its flavor too.  I've gathered my collection over time and some are rarely used and some are used almost daily.  My favorites?  Red chili flakes are across the board, most used.  There are so many Chinese food applications, but I like it for almost everything that needs a little spice.  It imparts the spice without changing the other flavors of the food.  Yellow mustard powder for Caesar salads and my barbecue rub.  Bay leaves for braising and stewing.
I was trying to think of something pointed to say about spice, but my love of sci-fi movies brings to mind Dune and the quote, "he who controls the spice, controls the universe".  I have to go have my lunch and think about that metaphor for a minute.

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