Tag Archives: spices

Day 261: Chris

The VP of my department is always so thoughtful when she travels – she always brings back some wonderful little gift from wherever she was visiting. Her latest trip was to the Dolomites along the Italian Swiss border I’m guessing as I showed up to work one day and found a container of Hexensalz, salt blended with herbs and a tiny bit of chili to give it an enjoyable kick!

I rarely do this myself, not because I don’t think about others when I’m traveling but because I never know what to bring people. Somehow Chris knows what to get people. I love to cook to this was perfect.

She was out of the office today, but I left her a little thank you note on her desk.




You know me well. I love the Hexensalz you brought back from the Dolomites. I’ve already used it twice – I sprinkled some on buttered bread for a spicy aromatic snack and last night used it to season some pan seared salmon – delicious! 

You are so thoughtful,


Day 110: Matt and Erin

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can think of few ways to spend free time better than with good friends. Last Saturday evening I visited with Matt and Erin, great friends and terrific hosts who enjoy tasty food and boozy concoctions as much as I do, so an evening with them centers around their dining room table which is boiling over with homemade salty and savory treats with the likes of homemade butter and delicate Italian truffles. Their charming Woodley Park apartment feels more like 1950s France than modern-day Washington, DC.

Erin pushes food while Matt, who usually doesn’t last more than a few hours before the need for sleep wins him over, stays awake by making cocktails and assuring that everyone is good on drinks.

saffronThey had just returned from a trip to Greece and brought me a thoughtful little gift of red saffron – which I’ve never had. Saffron is a curious spice. I’ll never forget the first time I went shopping for it. I couldn’t find it and asked a store employee for help only to be told, “Oh, saffron, we keep that in the safe of course. It’s worth like a $2,000 a pound.”

I appreciate their thoughtfulness and look forward to having them over and making them something delicious with it.

Day 110

Matt and Erin,

Thank you so much for having me over on Saturday. As always, it was a lot of fun. And thank you for the Greek red saffron – that was completely unnecessary but very thoughtful and much appreciated. I’ll have to have you over and make something with it. I’m thinking this would add a delicious touch to fusilli pasta with zucchini and pine nuts.

Day 110-3See you soon


P.S. Matt, all my respect to you for staying up as late as you did – that may be a new personal best!