Even though this is so hard for me to admit, I had never heard of Penzey’s Seasonings. In the last couple of months, we have gained a new friendship with a couple from church and Marilyn loves to cook as much as I do. We have begun to meet her and her husband for lunch during the week and on one of our adventures to Cheesecake Factory, where Randy discovered a Chicken Parmesan Pizza, she began to tell me about Penzey’s and how great their seasonings were. So we planned our next adventure to go eat a Chicago dog at Portillos in Tempe and then head to Penzky’s so she could show me all of the seasonings that she loves. So last Thursday, that is exactly what we did. I discovered that I can spend $50 faster in Penzey’s than Steinhart! As we walked along the aisle, she would point out a spice that “oh this is what I add to my meatloaf, or hamburgers that people always ask me what I did to make it taste so great”, so of course I had to have that one. Then we came to a spice that she adds to any bread pudding, or apple dish, well, you know I had to have that one. Then there was the one that I just had to have to add to veggies or salads and don’t get me started on the dried fresh dill and jalapeño flakes. Randy and her husband, Bob, just stood over by the door, shaking their heads. Upon checking out, Randy learned over and whispered in my ear, “does this mean that you are going to actually start cooking other things besides cakes and pies?” After glaring at him, I told the lady to hold on, I wasn’t through and went and grabbed a few more spices that I didn’t think any home should be without. Randy didn’t have any more wise cracks before leaving the store. When I posted my new found treasures on Facebook, several of my friends told me that they couldn’t believe that I had never heard of Penzey’s. I informed them that unless they were on the shelf at Walmart, my spice world is pretty limited with garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, you know, the stuff kitchens are known for, but… Now, I have the catalog and my new spice lingo includes words like:
Herbes de Provence, Bouquet Garni, Chicago Steak Seasoning, Beef Roast Seasoning and Sunny Paris. I hope that by the time we have company and I use the new seasonings, I will have learned how to pronounce the ones with the fancy little names. I have Chicago and Beef and Sunny down, but am working on Herbes, Provence and Bouquet Garni. If I have too much trouble, I guess I’ll stick with just garlic powder. Well, on fancy meals, I’m pretty sure I am good saying “celery salt”! So, watch out Phoenix, this country girl is practicing her french and is ready to start cooking with her new Bucket Garnie and my new Hurbees dee Pro Vince! Hope it tastes better than it sounds!