Monday, August 24, 2009


Okay, here is the first of several food posts that will be connected to our trip to Europe this summer. I thought I'd start them off with a picture and a list of all of the stuff we brought back home with us! The list of what we are allowed to bring back into the U.S. is always changing so I'd check the website for customs before you plan a trip anywhere. We managed to bring everything back into the country without any trouble which was a huge relief! I would have been devastated to have to throw any of this loot away!!!

Starting with the back row, from the left: that big back in the back of the photo is grey salt from France. The two smaller jars next to it are also salt. Red wine salt and floral salt (that smells amazing!). The two bags are jasmine flowers that I plan on using to flavor salt and sugar. I saw some jasmine sugar in Germany and thought it was a cool idea! The other bag is Harissa spices. I've never seen it where it hadn't already been made into a paste. The tall bottle is my holy grail. One of the things I planned on dropping a huge wad of cash on was a bottle of kirschwassser. This was partly inspired by a post from David Lebovitz and also by the fact that all I can find over here in the U.S. is the cheapo stuff. Genuine kirsch is a thing of beauty. The best is found in Austria and I stumbled across an amazing gourmet store in Germany that imported it. The last three things in the back are tea. The pink canister is a floral black tea from Paris and the striped bags are white tea and oolong tea from Germany. I haven't tried the first one yet but the other two are excellent! White and oolong tea are Chris' favorites. The jar in front of the tea bags came from the same shop and it is vanilla honey.

There is a little sign on the right that must have come from an old bakery. I got it at a flea market in Paris and it's sitting in my kitchen. The toys in the middle are mostly for making cookies. The wooden blocks are springerle molds from Germany. Let me tell you that I've spent a good part of the year searching for these bad boys and I found them within my first 24 hours over there! I was absolutely delighted! I got an owl, a bird, a few Christmas themed and some Valentine's day themed molds. I am still searching for a cameo and hopefully I will find one someday. There are also various cookie cutters from the same shop. A bird, a flying pig, a button (perfect for mine and Molly's Coraline themed Halloween costumes!), Saturn and a few lovely rectangular shapes. I got some Dutch duckie salt and pepper shakers from Amsterdam (Chris picked these out) and the small glass tube is vanilla from a Moroccan grocery store in Paris. Last but not least, the big canister has caramels from France. They are absolutely delicious and I allow myself to have one as a treat from time to time. Remember, it was an obsession for almost the entire trip!

On the gardening front, we also brought some red tulip bulbs from Amsterdam that we will plant this coming season. They're pretty cool looking! I'd never seen tulips that looked like these guys. I was absolutely blown away by the amazing selection of bulbs in Holland. Unfortunately, I was only able to shop from a small selection that was certified for entry into North America. We did declare them and after they saw the certification, they let us through with no problems.

Speaking of gardening....I'd better get my machete out and clear my mini Amazon since I have the day off today and the weather is nice!! Au revoir!!

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