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.
I realize that summer isn’t generally a huge soup season, but this one really was almost completely devoid of the good stuff; it seems I have some lost time to make up for! Luckily, the weather has mandated that it’s time for me to switch out my lunchtime daily salad for a daily soup instead. Let’s get started.
It is cold. Like, super, stupid cold. I think
today is yesterday was the coldest one we’ve had yet this winter. I know that there is much worse to come, so I should probably stop complaining—in early February, today’s frigid 33 degrees will look like a tropical heat wave—but I won’t. Brrrr. It doesn’t help that my apartment is also frigid at all times. For some reason our heat doesn’t really kick in until late January and, unless I feel like disassembling the ancient, paint-caked, radiator covers with my teeth, there’s not a thing I can do about it. Except wear warm socks and make soup. Lots and lots of soup.
I’ve been wanting to make gnocchi for years. No, really, years. Why did it take so long, you ask? The answer is pretty silly really: everything I have ever read about gnocchi says to not even attempt them without a potato ricer…and I didn’t have one. Yes, one would be tempted to point out that I could have bought a ricer at any point for under 10 dollars. But I would have to counter with: why would I buy a 10$ ricer, which as far as I know only has one use (I know I’m wrong about this, I just don’t know what the other uses are), when I could buy a microplane, or a pretty dishtowel, or something else debatably more useful. The simple answer is that I just never got around to it. And then, look what arrived from Chicago! I’m fairly certain my mom is psychic sometimes.
Potatoes. Blue cheese. Egg custard. Rosemary. Butter crust. Does it get any better than this? (Hint: no) I threw this gorgeous little thing together for a potluck on Sunday. I’ve had it bookmarked over on Smitten Kitchen since she posted it and it was just as good as I thought it was going to be. But again, if you look at the ingredients, it’s kind of a no-brainer, right?