By Emily Schilling
For most of us, 2020 has been the year of getting organized. I know the quarantine certainly ramped my spring-cleaning tendencies into overdrive, and my closets, drawers, pantry and refrigerator were weeded out, reconfigured and tidied up as never before.
The organizational adventure continues for me into the fall. I’m just now tackling my spice and condiment shelves, throwing out items that are expired or that I’ll just never use.
I must admit, I’m somewhat obsessed with spices. Since I love cooking ethnic cuisine, my spice and sauce selection includes several curry sauces and spices, Korean bulgogi sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, saffron and Japanese dashi. And that’s in addition to more common flavor boosters like seasoned salt, garlic powder, and good old salt and pepper.
As I discover hidden jars in the backs of my numerous spice shelves, I’ve learned something about myself: I’m a bona fide spice hoarder!
My evidence: Five jars of mustard seed (the essential ingredient for my mustard-dill grilled salmon topping) and four jars of mustard powder, four jars of oregano and two containers plus a jumbo-sized dispenser of sesame seeds. That doesn’t include my assortment of vinegars including three bottles of apple cider vinegar, two bottles of balsamic vinegar, and bottles of rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and flavored balsamics like chocolate, vanilla, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry and pear. Oh, and I’ve accumulated my fair share of oils — coconut, sesame, rape seed, pumpkin seed, chile, and various flavored olive oils.
I recently read that when Martha Stewart organized her pantry, she found 47 types of salt and 27 varieties of olive oil in it. Though I am nowhere near being a Martha-level spice girl, I recognize some similar tendencies. So, I am hereby vowing to stay far away from aisle W9 at my local store until I deplete my current stockpile. Now I need to pull out my mustard
dill sauce recipe and get cooking!
EMILY SCHILLING is editor of Indiana Connection