This morning when I fired up my laptop and logged into Lemony Thyme I was greeted by our first non family, friend, or spam comment. Ha! I had goose bumps. This person had found us searching for Patty Pan squash recipes. And of all the choices she took the time to read our recipe. And then she went on to read other posts and ultimately commented on our North African Lamb Kabob post. It was a great comment too. She shared that to get even deeper flavors from my spices that I try lightly toasting and then grinding my cumin and coriander from whole seeds, something she learned from the book “The Dance of Spices” which I shall seek out.
Reading her comments and suggestions made me realize that I had been so focused on getting to know my fresh herbs that I had been neglecting my spices. At that moment I committed to making Spice Exploration my winter project (when my fresh friends are less abundant). The thought of it makes me happy. The phone rang…Shelby, inviting me to her new place for some Sunday time together. Still warm and fuzzy from the spices comment, I read it out loud to her. She joyfully exclaimed…You’ve been found!!
So now on to the Great Day. First mission, find somewhere different to have lunch. We drove past several options that were either too busy with the Sunday crowds or too ordinary or too…just not feeling it. After driving in circles we agreed on “new” vs. different and chose the newly opened Tin Lizzy’s Cantina. They had a vast Margarita list (we chose Grapefruit) and $3.00 Tacos (we chose Spicy Fish with lime vinaigrette, Grilled Shrimp with Asian slaw, Super Greek with gyro meat and tzatziki sauce, and Fried Fish Tacos with poblano tartar sauce). Definitely made a good choice. We left there inspired to create new AND different tacos (and Margaritas) at home very soon.
Next mission, find Shelby a used Feng Shui book at Goodwill. Piece of cake, we found three to choose from and some amazing vintage necklaces at the jewelry counter….score!! On to Barnes & Noble…just to be sure “The Dance of Spices” isn’t on the shelf calling my name. No such luck, needs to be ordered. (note: I’ve had to start a ‘cooking wish list’ since I’m finding so many great things I’m sure I can’t live without. I’ll share my list just in time for Christmas). I will add this book and the one I found on one bite appetizers to the list.
Last stop (or so we thought) Trader Joe’s for some Shelby staples for the week. The parking lot was jam packed which forced us to park at the other end of the plaza, directly in front of Penzeys Spices. Wait…Penzeys Spices?! Could this be the same store one of my favorite bloggers, Naturally Ella, brags about? And after committing earlier today to Spice Exploration…the only parking space happens to be smack in front of this glorious, most amazing store? How could I have not known this was here?? (opened less than a year earlier and is the only Penzeys in Georgia) Destiny I tell you!! We spent at least an hour sniffing almost all of their 250+ spices, seasonings, and extracts.
I chose only three to take home with me, knowing that we LOVED this place and we’d be back. They have a wonderful catalog online if you’re not fortunate enough to have a Penzeys near you.
We also bought matching magnetic bumper stickers. Love People. Cook them tasty food.
These are the lunches and thrift store finds and destiny happenstances that make a Great Day!!
I went home and toasted some coriander seeds, ground them fine, and added a heaping tablespoon to our African Chicken Peanut Stew from Simply Recipes. Glorious. The exploration has begun.