Monday, October 15, 2012

Sugar and Spice

Well, I’ve been packing up my 2400 square foot home for over a month.  We only have two more weeks in our house before we move into an RV that is about 320 square feet.  Today, I decided to pack the kitchen items.  I opened my spice cabinet and was immediately reminded of Erma Bombeck’s quote: “Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever…” 

My spice cabinet was overflowing with spices for every imaginable exotic dish I might someday want to cook.  There were many spices left over from the days when Nurjahan, our child from Bangladesh, was living with us.  I found wasabi, curry tree, black salt, Chinese red pepper, mustard seed, mustard oil and about six bottles of cumin.  How do you pronounce “cumin” anyway?

Just for the heck of it, I decided to check the dates on some of the items.  Way in the back of my spice cabinet was a very large container of basil.  The faded date read, best if used by April 4, 1999.  I almost threw away the thirteen year old spice but, for some strange reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I mean we all know that spices never expire.  I might need some basil any day now.  Never mind that I had eight more bottles of basil in front of the very large container! 

I counted 12 bottles of various kinds of garlic; garlic powder, garlic salt, go go garlic, garlic chives and garlic oregano.  There were many bottles of vanilla and several kinds of sugar; brown, powdered, cubed and granular.  The strangest thing I found was finger root.  What the heck is finger root?  Why would I have it in my spice cabinet?  These questions may never be answered, but I packed the finger root anyway – just in case Nurjahan comes to visit and needs it to cook something amazing.  

Here’s the really funny thing – we do clean-outs of homes after estate sales.  Whenever I open the spice cabinets of these homes there are always duplicate spices that are well beyond the dates stamped on the bottles.  If I find a spice that is still sealed, I bring it home just in case I need it. 

So, after cleaning out my spice cabinet, I had two full boxes ready to move into the 5th wheel.  I think Erma is right…”Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm taking with me when I go.”

I think I’ll take the finger root.