Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Spice Cabinet Is Trying To Kill Me

I spend a fair amount of time in my kitchen because, in my experience, that is where food comes from. As someone who enjoys eating both for the ability it allows me to continue my existence as well as for the flavor it can provide, I take this aspect of my life fairly seriously (Probably more seriously than I should, as I recently used a thermometer to take the internal temperature of a sweet roll as a means of determining doneness, which spell check does not think is a word). I take pride in whipping up tasty meals out of whatever I feel like buying at the store (As I also work at the store, these things are inevitably cheap), and really love the room of my house from which the food comes. So I was shocked when I recently discovered that my warm, fuzzy feelings are evidently not returned by that most crucial of cupboards, my spice cabinet.

As someone who is, technically, poor, I find myself often hit with sticker shock when I enter the spice aisle of a grocery store and find that .0056205032 ounces of bay leaves will cost me $41.85. This is why I buy my spices from the bulk section of the local Organic Hippy Co-Op, which allows me to fill a bag with however much of a particular spice I want, and then buy just that amount. Beyond helping me ensure that my spices are constantly fresh (Yes, they deteriorate with age), this saves me a not-insignificant amount of money. But occasionally I get spices at a regular store that does not smell of patchouli, which is why my spice cabinet is littered with small, frequently unmarked bags of Mystery Spices broken up by the occasional Enormous, Mostly Full, Clearly Labeled Jar. Most of the time it is fairly easy to determine which spices are in which bags, as most look different from one another, and in the rare cases that they are similar, well, no one's going to care too much if the basil is actually oregano (One exception: Do not confuse paprika with cayenne pepper. Ever). As a result of this system, my cabinet contains very few words. So the other day when I looked into the cabinet and saw the jar of coriander standing there like some kind of flavorful colossus, I was a bit startled to see that the side of the container read:

NO IRRADIATION

This is less than comforting, especially since none of my other containers or unmarked bags contain similar sentiments. On the upside, it does explain where the eerie glow in my kitchen comes from. Now, being a history major with an English minor, I am not too heavy on the sciences, and therefore am not entirely sure what the effects of radiation are, but I am reasonably certain that it is where Godzilla came from. Thank god that I am no longer in New York, because I am petrified of what might happen if a cockroach got into the cumin. And while this does eliminate the need for me to buy a nightlight (I now keep the garam masala next to the bed), I now spend most of my time wondering what the trade-off of good-tasting food v. decreased life expectancy is worth to me. I have yet to figure out the exact answer, as my thought process is fairly scattered due to the noise being emitted by the Geiger counter I placed next to the nutmeg (Which actually has a label, albeit one that identifies the bag's contents as 'nutmed'. Evidently I was tired). Such is the price of safety. In response to this alarming set of circumstances, I have composed my last will and testament, and would like to let each and every one of you know that I love you all equally, though some of you more than others. And if I am found dead, or glowing, or Godzillaing, be assured that the turmeric did it.

8 comments:

your mom said...

When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was going to be about spices that jump out of the cabinet when you open it, landing on your head. After 25 years of attempted assasination by my spices in this manner, I finally wised up and put them in a low cupboard, where they can only attack my feet! Not sure what to do about irradiated spices, so I will take comfort after your death in the fact that you loved me equally to, though considerably less than, I'm sure, Guest Informant.

Lemming said...

This is awesome. A truly amazing piece of writing. Your blog hasn't had such a funny post in a while. Keep up the good work,
Isaac

HOLLA(R) said...

Stop it, you're going to make me blush.

HOLLA(R) said...

Okay, you can start again now.

your mom said...

I find it amusing that 4 out of the5 advertisements alongside this post are for spice storage of some sort :) Maybe you could use some of the big bucks you're getting from my diligent clicking to get the one that padlocks each little spice into it's own lead-lined container, thus eliminating both possibilities of death-by-spicing we've discussed thus far.

Amy and Fat B said...

Did you know what a Geiger counter is or did you have to google it?

this made me laugh out loud.

HOLLA(R) said...

Amy, I once worked at the fine establishment named M&W Soils, which featured some kind of tool whose use was beyond me, but supposedly emitted radiation.

In (Shorter) answer to your question, then: Yes, smart-ass.

NOTE TO ANY CHILDREN PRESENT: Don't be impressionable while reading that last sentence.

your mom said...

This still makes me laugh. You should write again.