Spice of Life


Spice of life 
Why do we have so many spices in our pantries? I bet I have twenty bottles on my roller wheely thing in the cupboard, and I keep buying more. When did salt and pepper become forgotten, in the nineties? The spice bottle companies and kitchen cabinet makers really need a planning convention in Vegas. I can never seem to keep organized without random bottles of coriander and bay leaf falling into my apple pie. Work together people! I need to read labels of thirty jars crammed into a tired lazy susan. Let’s problem solve this salty issue. 
Does one really need cumin? What is it for anyway? I bet most of us use some spices once a year or less! Is saffron a spice or something you cover leftovers with? And how do you say some of these names. Paprika, do you say ‘pap-reek-a’ or ‘pap-raa-kaa’. I’m I weird if I just wanna say ‘pap-a-ree-kaa’? Sounds like a spice women eat before their yearly gynecological visit. I only use it because it’s red and looks pretty on deviled eggs. 
I guess you can tell a great deal about a person by their spice choices. For instance, my exchange partner has just as many spices as I do, but very different. I can tell she must be fun and fiery based on the chilies. I can tell she is a great cook by the complicated spices that I have never heard of. What is turmeric? I can tell she is culturally appreciative based on the exotic variety. Compared to me who has four bottles of cinnamon and nutmeg because that’s really all I use anyway. Oh, and a variety of things I never use. Yes, those spices do indicate I am a Leo and like puppies and long walks on the beach. 
I have bottles of spices that are seriously decades past the expiration. No, Seriously have a bottle of oregano from my grandpa. Gross…but the bottle is so cool! Speaking of oregano. I had a roommate in college that liked to cook. I came home from class one day and there was three big ziplock bags full of …dried green leafy….um….herbs. Ok, I’m just going to say it. It looked like huge bags of pot! What is going on?! Why is there pot in the dorm!! That’s when she joyfully popped around the corner and announced, “Look what I got today! We are going to have it tonight!” I must have had a look of horror on my face when she stopped short and lost her smile. She looked at the bags of fresh dried oregano and basil, she carried around all day at the Boulder farmers market, and screamed like a banshee at a Beatles concert. It was hilarious. I still laugh so hard I ‘silent laugh’. You know, that laugh you do when something is so funny you partially hyperventilate and try not to pee your pants at the same time? You end up looking like a mute red hyena ready to hurl a hair ball. 
Anyway, as you cook a delicious meal this week, Diversify! Bring those lonely spices from the depths of dusty IKEA organizers. Cook like you have your own show and a sexy foreign accent. Bring forth the fresh oregano. Cook, my friends cook!
Or….just add a bit of salt and pepper to your ramen noodles like I did. 

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