Formerly known as the Spice Rack Challenge. :) But I decided that there was a certain ring to Mystery Spice Monday so there you have it.
Now, I will be honest with you, this post is a little embarrassing for me.
Because it will completely reveal my ADD tendencies in a way that I don't normally share with people. Besides my wonderful Hubs of course, he's completely aware of my utter lack of organizational skills. Now you can officially be sorry for him. He puts up with a lot, poor guy.
This, my friends, is my spice cabinet:
Notice how my cook books and spices have intermingled and become one?
And how things are just tossed in there willy nilly?
There's no rhyme or reason to why things are where they are, but amazingly enough I still sort of know where to find things.
My poor poor cook books... they just never had a chance.
Now if you look carefully you'll notice that I have some pretty strange things in there. Especially in that upper left hand quadrant.
My parents went on this fabulous Mediterranean cruise several years ago and I asked them to bring home some spices for me... and boy howdy did they!
One of the things they bought me was this bunch of "Mountain tea" from Greece. I have no idea how to prepare it. But I think I'll give it a whirl sometime on one of our Mystery Spice Monday.
It certainly warrants the title Mystery Spice, that's for sure!
I never go anywhere interesting. One day I'll remedy that. In the meantime I'll just gather interesting things that my parents buy me when they're on their adventures. Here's an item they got at a local lavender farm. I'd love to go to a lavender farm someday, I hear there actually is one in my very own town. Have I been to it? No. But someday... someday it'll happen...
And here's some uh... Barbeque Herbs? I think my parents said they got it in Turkey. Or maybe it was also from Greece. I don't remember. The instructions on how to use them are in three languages, one set is English, but it's not like any English I've ever read!
And here's the coup de gras! A huge honkin' cabinet of spices that I'm sure came from Turkey. There's all kinds of cool spices in there! I can't wait to dig into it. But I'm sure that once I break the cellophane seal on it the flimsy little plastic drawers won't stay closed and I'll end up with spice mess all over my kitchen. But for you... my loyal blog followers... I'm willing to risk it.
I know this isn't a spice. But it also came from Turkey and it lives in my spice cabinet. Little tubes filled with some sort of crystal substance that are supposed to be teas of different flavors. I'm a little skeptical about them. Especially the Sex Tea, that seriously can't be any good at all. My parents said that all the little shops they went into in Turkey all served tea, and they claim they actually drank sex tea in one of the shops they went to and said it was actually pretty good. Lies... it's all lies I tell you. No good tea can come from a tube in the form of crystallized something or other. Another reason why I haven't broken the seal on this item is because there are no instructions on how to make the tea (at least not in English!), no info about how much water to add to each vial. So they would take some experimenting, and I haven't been brave enough to try it. But I WILL try it, I will... I promise.
And lastly, but certainly not least, I have these marvelous vials of real vanilla beans that Hubs felt the need to pick up at Costco before Thanksgiving. He thought they were an awesome price (I think the pack was $8 or something). But he failed to ask me, "Honey, do you plan to make anything involving vanilla beans this year for the Holidays?" The answer to that question would have been no. Oh, and they supposedly expire in June. So now I have to figure out some way to use up some truly amazing vanilla beans before they expire. I know... such a tortured life I live. And think of all the terrible recipes that I could make with real, luscious, seductive, sexy, luminous, luxurious, voluptuous, fantabulous, vanilla beans. Oh be still my beating heart...
And as you can tell by the pictures up at the top, in addition to the rare and unusual stuff, I also have an extreme abundance of grill seasonings, cinnamon (apparently I can never have too much of it), pumpkin pie spice (because of course every year when I need it I buy a new thing of it expecting that I'll make like 7 pies, and then I only make one, and then I discover that I actually still have some in the cabinet from last year), and whole nutmeg kits, and chili pepper, and... well... you name it I've got it!
PLUS I also have one of those spinny counter top spice racks. You know the ones. I forgot to even take a picture of it because well.. I rarely think to use it! I almost forget it exists. Hopefully I'll make friends with it again over the coming weeks.
So obviously, I'm not just starting this new carnival for you, and for something entertaining to write about, I'm also doing it for ME. Because lets face it, this is the next best thing to an intervention and I know that if I share my own challenges on my blog, then there might actually be a chance that I'll do something about it.
The first Mystery Spice Monday will be Monday February 9th! So start lookin' around in your spice cabinet and see what you find!
And last but not least, here are the carnival rules, because apparently these sorts of blogging activities require them:
Mystery Spice Monday
Rule #1) You can write about cooking with ANY spice from your spice cabinet/rack over on your own blog. It can be a spice that you've never used before (you can look up great recipes by ingredient HERE, just be sure to reference appropriately if you blog about someone else's recipe). It can be a spice that you're trying to use the last of. It can be a spice that you use every day because you love it so much. The important part is that you make something featuring a spice, and have fun with it.
Rule #2) Please link back to my blog and mention that you're participating in Mystery Spice Monday.
Rule #3) Then come back here and enter your blog on Mr. Linky. Please link your ACTUAL POST, not just your blog. That way people can find it easier. If you would like to put what your blog is about that's fine, and helps other readers to find you.
Rule #4) No need to ask if you can participate, just jump on in!
Rule #5) I reserve the right to put Mystery Spice Monday up on my blog any time on either Sunday or Monday. I'll do my best to get it up Sunday night, but I make no promises. My life is crazy, and I often don't get to sit down and blog until nap time, so your patience is appreciated!
I'm so excited to start this next week! And just to give you something to look forward to, I've already decided that I'm going to make something involving saffron! It should be awesome! :)