What foods do you think of, when you think of summertime? Iced tea, fresh fruit, vegetables? These are all celebrated in the month of June. (I don’t really think “turkey” when I think of June, but hey, I’m always game to eat some delicious turkey).
Monthlong food holidays:
June 1: National Doughnut Day
June 2: National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day
June 3: National Egg Day
June 4: National Cheese Day and National Frozen Yogurt Day
June 5: National Gingerbread Day
June 6: National Applesauce Cake Day
June 7: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
June 8: Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day
June 9: National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day
June 10: Herbs & Spices Day and National Iced Tea Day
June 11: National German Chocolate Cake Day
June 12: International Cachaça Day and National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
June 13: Kitchen Klutzes of America Day (woo hoo!)
June 14: National Strawberry Shortcake Day
June 15: National Lobster Day
June 16: National Fudge Day
June 17: Eat All Your Veggies Day
June 18: International Picnic Day
June 19: National Dry Martini Day
June 20: National Vanilla Milkshake Day
June 21: National Peaches and Cream Day
June 22: National Chocolate Éclair Day and National Onion Rings Day
June 23: National Pecan Sandy Day
June 24: National Pralines Day
June 25: National Strawberry Parfait Day
June 26: National Chocolate Pudding Day
June 27: National Orange Blossom Day
June 28: National Ceviche Day
June 29: National Almond Buttercrunch Day
June 30: National Ice Cream Soda Day
This is one of our series of profiles of the AllSpice staff. Today, we introduce you to Denise D.
AllSpice regulars will recognize Denise — she’s the one with the British accent, and the inexhaustible list of cooking ideas.
Background: I was worn in Aberdeen, Scotland, and grew up in the Isle of Man, which I still visit and consider my “other home.” I went to school and college in England. I am a qualified Princess Christian Nursery Nurse (aka nanny), and am now (mostly) retired. I spent many decades looking after other folks’ newborns and small children in various parts of the world.
How did you come to be part of the AllSpice crew? I had been in a foodie book group with Alex (AllSpice’s founder) for a few years. He had been talking about starting a spice store “for people like us,” for ages. When he told us that AllSpice was really going to happen, I half jokingly told him that I would be delighted to help out for “a few hours” a week. The rest, as they say, is history. I am officially the longest-serving member of the Spicettes other than (AllSpice co-founder) Jen.
What’s your official (or unofficial) title? Alex dubbed me the “mixologist.” I love to experiment with all the possible combinations of olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
What’s your favorite thing to cook — or what is your specialty? My favorite is whatever moves me at the moment. I like a challenge and love to feed people, so when you visit, come hungry and come often!
Dessert tends to make my creative side happy, baking keeps me under control, new recipes keep me interested and odd/unusual ingredients make me think. All good stuff!
When someone else is doing the cooking, what’s your favorite dish? I’m very easy to feed, and very appreciative, too. Just no porridge, rice pudding, or others of that ilk, please! Boarding school did me in on those British nursery staples.
Do you have a food that’s a guilty pleasure? Chocolate. Am I meant to feel guilty, though?
What do you do for fun, when you’re not having fun at AllSpice? My pals are major, as are my westies, Dougal, Rory, and Flora.
I love everything about food: talking/reading about it, cooking it and eating it. Nothing like curling up with a new cookbook and planning a dinner party! I play tennis and walk the dogs, and am to be found regularly joining Weight Watchers — again — and forever losing the same 20 lbs!
What about you would people find surprising? I’m shy by nature. I’ve battled it all my life.
We get a lot of compliments from customers about our attractive packages. (No, not those kind of packages.) We have nicely-designed labels for our jars.*
But we also often get asked about where to find a rack that is just the right size for displaying and storing those jars. (And before you make a similar joke about the size of our rack — just don’t. What are you, a seventh grader? Gee whiz.)
We’ve been mulling over special AllSpice racks, and the woodworker who makes our custom salt cellars has come up with this:
What do you think? Would you be interested in this kind of spice rack? We’d like your input and ideas: please leave us your suggestions here in the comments, or drop us a note at info@AllSpiceOnline.com.
*(Thank you, super-designer Connie Wilson!)
This is one in a series of profiles of the people whom you’ll meet at AllSpice. Today, meet Rory, one of the two co-Managers at the shop.
Background: Grew up on a farm in Fairfield, Iowa. I have also lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Kansas City, Kansas. I worked as a VoIP Engineer for 13 years before being laid off and finding my BLISS at AllSpice!
How did you come to be part of the AllSpice crew? I was looking for a new job, and friends mentioned that AllSpice was looking for some seasonal help for the 2011 holiday season. I was excited to have somewhere to go, but once I actually started work and met everyone here, I was even more excited to see everyone — the staff, and all our customers — every day.
Official title, if you have one, and what is/are your main responsibility/ies at AllSpice? I’m co-Manager with Chef Amy. I’m responsible for sourcing new products, the operational functions, I’m the fix-it guy. The Man With a Truck. Jack of All Trades. The ladies keep me busy.
Favorite ingredient in the store. Can do a “top five” if you can’t
narrow it down to one. There are so many. I really love the Espresso Rub, because I am a coffee addict, so I show it to everyone. I use it on pork, chicken, steak, and like to add a little to my chili. It has a nice sweet flavor, with a hint of coffee and spicy finish.
What’s your favorite thing to cook – or what is your specialty? I like to challenge myself in the kitchen. My humble beginnings were Kraft Mac & Cheese. Now I like the grown up version, with cheese from the Cheese Shop and a touch of truffle oil.
When someone else is doing the cooking, what’s your favorite dish? Mom’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. Plus she will save the gizzard for me.
Do you have a food that is your guilty pleasure, and if so, what is it? The aforementioned Kraft Mac & Cheese.
Is there any food or ingredient you absolutely won’t [or can't] eat? I will try most anything. I can honestly say I have a big problem with some textures, though, like liver.
What do you do for fun, when you’re not having fun at AllSpice? I have a wonderful husband and two cute dogs named Bellatrix and Carl. They keep me pretty busy. We moved last year, and house projects are my hobby right now. I love to bike and I have been on the past 2 RAGBRAIs, but took off last year (2012). Andy and I collect vintage Pyrex… [laughs] Some people say we have a “problem.” We might be a bit like collection hoarders.
What about you would people find surprising? I was once a John Deere Salesman in Colorado Springs. You can take the boy off the farm, I think is how that starts.
We’d like to take a moment out from talking about food to congratulate Val, an AllSpice staffer and Grand View College student.
Last weekend, at the Midwest Collegiate Conference Track & Field Championships, Val was voted Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. Val 1st in disc and shot and 3rd and 4th in javelin and hammer in the championships, which took place at William Penn University.
To top it all off, Val even improved her ‘A’ standard national qualifying mark in the shot put.
We’re so proud of Val and are inspired by her hard work, dedication, and incredible athletic ability.