Penzey’s Fans – Rack `Em!

I love the Penzey’s stuff and stocked up on lots of their smaller jars to test out some of their other offerings. With the pantry already full I decided to go for counter-top storage but didn’t want a mess. I happened to be in Ikea and they had a couple Bekvam racks in the scratch and dent section. Not optimal but I figured I’d make it work. They’re cheap as can be, after all.

I realized that the shelves would fit the smaller jars two-deep if I could ditch that crossbar. Off to the garage with one of them – just a little sawing action and it was no more. Then it was a matter of stacking them feet to feet – or I guess upright to upright – and there you have it. A dozen wee jars on the bottom and a good 8 large ones will fit on the top – more if you want to stagger them a little.

I am a firm believer in keeping flavors handy. I know that some things you want to keep in the shade/dark of a pantry for long term storage but this is not that sort of thing. (The vanilla beans? Damn skippy.)

As for their offerings – as I noted at Kit’s, the shallot pepper is a constant go-to and the venison seasoning has been in heavy rotation as I try to clean out the freezer for another season. I love their Chili 3000, too. Superb flavor. And, lastly, the paprika – so unlike the homogenized crap in the stores, this is like you remember from mom’s deviled eggs. Smokey and delicious. Oh! And the salad dressing mix – they have others – is amazing. It was Brigid first turned me on to them – you can imagine my happiness to find them right behind the Starbucks!

I know that some cookery sites and offerings are more flash than bang but not so with Penzey’s. They love helping you find something to suit your needs. Give them a try – just be prepared to make more room on your counter…

Mah Authoritay!

Sigh…I find it damned sad when people put an opinion on a blog and then seem surprised and dismayed that others comment about it in ways that are not in full agreement.

If you want to stand up with your pennant in the breeze you’re gonna take some pot shots. If you don’t want to receive Incoming, the very least you can do is offer an opening salvo – No Dissent Desired! – which makes clear that you do not want conflict. I can respect that request with ease and aplomb. Look at Beck’s old place (dusty, I know – damned FaceBook) – he doesn’t CARE about your opinion and offers you no option to give it. I like that, too! Clean, concise, and you either stay or go – his consent for either not required.

Well, hell…maybe it really is time to just shrug this all off…I’ve been giving it strong consideration of late, Trooper’s new role making it doubly important to avoid painting him with my wide non-conformist brush. Which reminds me…the FaceBook acct will likely close shortly. Pretty much done with that little data mining crap. I’ll miss it – I’ll admit it. But the whole circle-jerk nature of it – the connections it is making and socking away – just pisses me off. So, time to let that go, too.

Besides, there is a generous plenty of stuff to get done. Without all this distraction I might actually manage it.


“Beauty and terror always exist in nature, but we forget the terror.”

I watched an amazing documentary, “Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom“, wherein the ephemeral nature of life, like the blossoms themselves, was annotated by the survivors.

My love for all things Japanesque runs deep. There is a compatibility – the privacy, the consideration, the love for small beauties and large…Seeing. Mockery is made of their penchant for photography but it is because they See things and want to hold them. How different from most Americans where an image is something to glance at and move on – the slash edit of a shallow mind.

And so these days feel just as brief – as if the calendar will shed pages like blossoms and hurtle us to the end. A power outage yesterday without cause instantly stirred me into wild thoughts and I had to remind myself that these days are easy ones – the hard work will come in time.

But the trees…perhaps a few more cherry trees could make a difference…even if only to soothe myself, and to a hard spring bring some light and hope. Self-rescue.