I have another confession, as if telling the world that I love my garbage can  wasn't enough. I often buy strange ingredients for dishes I never cook. Anyone else with me?
Now, I don't at all consider myself a foodie - I'm a person who loves to eat, so I cook.
But every once in a while, I stumble upon a recipe that calls for something obscure. I remember the obscure thing, or write it down on my obscure ingredients list, promptly forget the recipe and then buy the strange thing anyway.
For example: I read this book  and allowed my mouth to water when the author included a recipe for fried shrimp. It called for cracker meal, an ingredient she said made the dish sing. I wondered what cracker meal was and where I'd get it. I then returned the book to the library without writing down the recipe.
Earlier this week, I was on assignment in the Beachy's Bulk Foods  neighborhood, so I stopped by. Turns out, this is the source for most of my odd ingredients.
As I was hightailing it toward the whoopie pies and dried kiwi, I found a bag of cracker meal. It was priced at less than a dollar a pound. I bought some.
And then I realized I have no idea what else goes into that fried shrimp recipe.
This is not uncommon for me: some ingredients in my cabinets include meringue powder, cream of tartar, seven-grain flakes (for baking bread), rye flour and unflavored gelatin. I've used most of these items at least once, but not nearly on a regular basis. And yet, I'm still making room for more random food. Like cracker meal.
Tell me you do this too - and that you have some strange fixings in your cabinets. I'd love if you'd leave a comment, saying what they are. Also, any of you have any genius recipes or ideas for what to do with things like cracker meal, meringue powder or cream of tartar, I'm all ears.
Photo from this Flickr page. 
Edit: I just happened upon this recipe  for Marshmallow Icing. It calls for unflavored gelatin, meringue powder and cream of tartar. It may just be my holy grail of using up strange ingredients. Darn, guess I'm going to have to bake this weekend - as long as I can hang on to the recipe.