My father builds shelves. It’s not something he does professionally and he is rarely paid for his services. However, at least once a year, he finds himself measuring, designing and buying wood to construct bookcases, kitchen storage and in-set shelves that take advantage of every inch of space. His stints as a builder always coincide with his visits to either my sister or me.
Many years ago, when I was still relatively new to apartment living, he came and created an elaborate system of shelves that still exists in my kitchen (in a move that I consider both quirky and sturdy, we shimmed the final shelf that’s perched over the existing cabinetry with a #2 pencil).
He spent the time before my sister gave birth last fall designing shelving for her tiny, storage-less bathroom. And in the days before my wedding, he bought a small saw, cut a giant hole in a wall and inserted the most wonderful spice storage I’ve ever known. We used jars to determine the shelf spacing. It brings me great joy.
I use a lot of spices in my kitchen. Despite the fact that my recipes typically yield small amounts, I still have a fairly massive total output as a canner, thanks to recipe testing, cookbook writing and multiple freelance projects. There’s also the general, life-sustaining cooking that I do every single day.
In the past, I’ve been sort of lazy about buying spices. Sometimes I order them from Amazon. Other times, when I need something immediately, I hop in the car and drive to my nearest Penzeys. I used to shop at the Spice Terminal in Reading Terminal Market, but they’re now closed (and honestly, their goods weren’t always as fresh as I hoped). However, my loyalties have recently been won by a new company. Mountain Rose Herbs.
Based in Oregon, Mountain Rose Herbs sells organic herbs, spices, teas, oils and many other things. As someone who seeks out organic produce for canning when possible (I’m not militant about it, but I do what I’m able), it’s nice to know that the spices I’m adding are just as virtuous as the fruits and vegetables I’ve started out with. What’s more, the prices at Mountain Rose are really good (four ounces of their dill seed costs $2.50, the same amount from Penzeys is $3.45). Finally, the spices I’ve tried so far have been incredibly fresh, fragrant and flavorful. It’s just good stuff.
I will confess right now that while I’d heard of Mountain Rose Herbs for years, it took them sending me some samples for me to give them a shot. I’d always assumed that because they were organic, they’d be more expensive than my other sources. I am so happy to have been proven wrong.
Mountain Rose Herbs is offering a $50 gift certificate to one of my readers, good for anything on their website. If you want to enter for a chance to win, here’s what you do.
- Leave a comment on this post and tell me what your most used herb or spice is.
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm east coast time on Friday, August 10. Winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) and will be posted to the blog on Saturday, August 11, 2012.
- Giveaway is open to US residents.
- One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog, I cannot accept submissions via email.