Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sugar Shelf

Anna's Cupboard.
My friend Daniel, who launched me into this blogging world a few years ago, stopped by for dinner the other evening. As I was scurrying about putting the finishing touches on the first course, I noticed Daniel had opened one of my cupboard doors, and appeared to be deep in thought and scanning the contents in detail. The thought went through my head "OMG I hope he doesn't find anything EXPIRED in there...". About that time, Daniel looked up and said something like, "You could write an entire NOVEL based on what's in this cupboard you know. Sometime I'd like to come back and chronicle all the things in here." Hmmm... oh really? Well, perhaps it's worth a blog post. So I lay my cupboard bare. This is actually about a fourth of my cupboard space, but it's representative.

So let's explore the shelves. The first one, above, I call my 'sugar shelf' as it has mostly sweetish things. Things like sorghum molasses, Persian lump sugar, jams, honey crystals, and the 'true' syrup of Liege. And some miscellaneous stuff has made its way there like a variety of soy sauces.

Seasonings Shelf

Next one down is what I call my 'seasoning' shelf. 99.9% foreign seasoning packets, spices, mixes. The white basket contains my treasure trove!

Norwegian Mixes

For example, these Norwegian mixes randomly pulled from the basket. One is for a type of cereal. Apparently in Norway housewives used to pride themselves on the richness and smoothness of the cereals they prepared. I was told of one recipe which consisted basically of heavy cream, flour and butter -- good thing they ski a lot there! The other is for a fish sauce from Lofoten, where those beautiful mountains meet the sea in Northern Norway.

European Mixes

Another handful yields a variety of European mixes. Dutch, Belgian, French and Irish origin mixes. What fun!

Japan Shelf

Next shelf - entirely Japanese! Well, there is one Korean piece in the right upper corner - sesame oil infused nori (laver seaweed), something really tasty! This shelf is jam-packed and it's not my only "Japanese shelf". You can see my Hiroshima tastes coming out with the okonomiyaki mixes and sauce in the right hand side as well.

Tea Shelves

Now for my real weakness -- two shelves entirely devoted to TEA (with a couple small bags of coffee and mulling spices). This is reduced from a previous three shelves full, and yes, I do have a couple more boxes outside of this area, and one inlaid wooden serving box chock full.

Random Tea

Randomly pulled teas: Winter melon, Hokkaido lavender, soba (buckwheat) and Iri Genmai. The Iri Genmai is actually what you add to plain green tea to make Genmai-cha. I keep it on hand to blend to taste. I also keep some whole dried hibiscus and peppermint on hand to blend into my own infusion/tea blends. Whole novel? I don't think so, but I hope you were entertained by my cupboard musings today.

5 comments:

Kalyn said...

Anna, good luck with the transitions with your father. I am hoping it will work out for both of you.

Anna Haight said...

Thanks for your thoughts Kalyn, I will be back to Weekend Herb Blogging soon!

Tanna said...

Cupboards-who would think you could get a novel out of them. I do find yours really fun!

Vegard said...

"For example, these Norwegian mixes randomly pulled from the basket. One is for a type of cereal. Apparently in Norway housewives used to pride themselves on the richness and smoothness of the cereals they prepared. I was told of one recipe which consisted basically of heavy cream, flour and butter -- good thing they ski a lot there!"

Uhm, that's rice porridge. It's a porridge made from vanilla-treated rice cooked with milk, served with cinnamon, sugar and butter. It's a warm dish. And we don't ski any more than Americans do.

Toro is a dry foods company based in Bergen, on the west coast. It's not "from Lofoten", it's basically just "Lofoten style fish sauce".

Anna Haight said...

Hi Vegard,

Thanks for your comments. I think where you live in the US makes the difference on how much you ski. It was a weekly thing for a lot of my friends growing up since we lived near great ski slopes. I'd love to find a source for "Toro" in the U.S.