Tuesday, June 03, 2008


When faced with some long-dreaded tasks that can no longer be put off, it's often useful to alternate with a more immediately pleasurable task.

Today, I finally began to get my website in order (here) and the alternative activity was sorting and refreshing the spice rack. Here's the current inventory of the rack and the small herb bed behind the kitchen: Achiote seeds; Asefetida; Anise seeds; Basil; Bay leaves; Cardamon (black and white pods, powder); Carraway; Chiles (Cayenne, Pepperocino flakes, Green flakes, New Mexico (whole, flakes, powder), Guajillo, Jalapeno, Pul Biber, Habañero, Pequin, Pasilla); Chives; Cinnamon (sticks, powder); Citric acid powder; Cloves; Coriander (seed, powder, leaves); Cream of Tartar; Cumin (seeds, powder); Curry leaves; Dill; Epazote; Fennel seeds; Fenugreek (seeds, leaves); Garlic (cloves, powder); Ginger (root, powder); Grains of Paradise; Gumbo File; Juniper berries; Kaffir lime leaves; Mint; Mustard seeds (black); Nutmeg (Whole); Onion seeds; Oregano; Paprika powder (hot and sweet); Parsley; Peppercorns (black, white, red, green); Pimento; Pinenuts; Rosemary; Sage; Savory; Sesame seeds; Tarragon; Tasmanian pepper berries; Thyme; Turmeric; Wasabi; Wattleseed.

What's missing? Saffron, of course, and the rest of the green herbs for Frankfurter Grie Soß will have to be bought fresh. One pleasure of the spice rack is letting it be fruitful. Most of the seeds want to get planted: coriander, of course, but fenugreek is a special favorite (the German name, Bockshornklee, describes the shape of the green seed pods -- "rams' horn clover"; potatoes with fenugreek leaves are comfort food around here), and knots of ginger can grow into slender, elegant plants.

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