My good friend Krista Scully took me out to tea today at a new tea room--actually, maybe it's the only tea room in Anchorage. I haven't done any research on this.
It is at the new outpost of Summit Spice & Tea Company, a place that I think of as a slightly less fun Penzey's, my favorite spice store. There isn't a Penzey's in Alaska, so I always stock up when I visit people in the Midwest.
I had some time to poke around the store before Krista arrived, and let me be totally honest--I don't need spices. David goes through the spice cupboard once a year and pulls out all the things barely used since the year before. Over my protests, he dumps a few and I generally don't miss them. It gives me the space to buy a few more random things.
Here's the thing about most spices: a small jar is inexpensive, takes up very little space and holds the promise of making something potentially fascinating. In short, spices make great impulse purchases.
I was generally restrained today, buying champagne vinegar and a few little tasting spoons. However, I couldn't resist buying one random spice: porcini mushroom powder.