My spice cabinet runneth over. Actually, my spice rack, a 6-level behemoth holding spices 2 jars deep, runneth over. As does my extra spice shelf, which holds overflow from my spice rack. And the top shelf of my cabinet, which holds the remainder of the bags of bulk spices that wouldn’t fit into the mini mason jars that I use for my over-flow shelf. I have all the spices. Sure, some of them are probably older than they should be—not all of us can afford the time to track the 6 month expirations of zillions of spices—but having such an ample collections means that when I feel like making a french dish, I don’t have to run out and find juniper berries. Feel like cardamom rice pudding? No problem. Or that when a recipe calls for not one, but two types of cumin (whole seeds and ground!), there’s no need to bust out the spice grinder OR visit Kalustyan’s. It makes feeding the cravings so much easier.
We all know that you should never go to the grocery store hungry. It’s just never a good idea; you will invariably walk out with several off-the-list items that you’d rather not have in the house. Unfortunately, it seems that I’m always hungry when I’m at the grocery store. This is probably because the grocery trip is nearly always tacked on to the end of a gym session (it’s right next door) or at the end of the work day when I am so hangry I could eat my own arm. Luckily for me, instead of oreos and ice cream, my low-blood sugar addled brain generally gets out of hand in the produce isle. In a grocery store where half the produce is unidentifiable, this can be dangerous. Last time, instead of nopales, my hunger randomly chose a huge head of cauliflower (whew). Now what to do with it?
Have you ever heard of Country Captain? I first heard of it on Throwdown. Yes, I heart a good food competition as much as the next person (I’m a lemming and lovin’ it) and my affinity for Bobby Flay goes way back before the Food Network ever became a national obsession. Anyways, I had never heard of Country Captain before but was intrigued by a southern dish that was clearly Indian in origin. Plus, foods with goofy names are fun.