Spicing things up in the kitchen brings results
They say variety is the spice of life.
Well too much variety of spices can pepper life with problems.
Such issues can be managed, even resolved, however, a lesson Better Half and I learned last weekend when we decided our “spice station” in the kitchen needed a new game plan.
It was out of control. Way out of control.
“Thyme” for some action, if you will.
We had greasy spice tins and spice bottles all stacked and shoved together in a spot by the stove, thinking what a practical idea — have all your spices stacked and shoved together on these little shelves in a spot by the stove, close to where you’re cooking and needing such things and using them.
Actually, that’s a pretty bad idea, especially if you’re in a fry-happy household.
What a comfort to pick up a spice tin and have it stick to your hand, like it’s connecting with Velcro there or something.
The shelves were my idea at the time and worked very well provided you never used any spices and left everything alone. Nothing out of order. Kind of like the bed never needs made if you sleep on top of the comforter.
Better Half suggested a Lazy Susan alternative to our spicy situation. That way we could spin for spices, like a game show or something. After all, he reasoned, spinning for spices beats digging for them.
It turned out to be a pretty good idea, something I probably shouldn’t have said out loud.
People can become quite the contortionist in the process of patting themselves on the back, if you know what I mean.
Gloating aside, the idea had merit and included paring down our spice collection so the Lazy Susan would be home to the most used spices.
The rest would be retired in one way or another — off to the landfill for a little vacation or relegated to cupboard obscurity on the premise of we’ll use that someday, some way, somehow, won’t we?
Sure we will. Yeah, right.
Spices fall into some obvious categories.
There are ones you use all the time.
For us, that would be garlic salt, which we put on just about everything.
Honestly, it’s a wonder we don’t have an extra bottle of it in the bathroom to sprinkle on our toothbrushes.
Ditto for onion powder, all of which explains why people keep their distance from us, I suppose.
Another category is spices you use once in a while, like pumpkin pie spice for pumpkin rolls at Christmas (unless you cave and buy them at a bakery). Or celery seed for spinach salad dressing. Or paprika for deviled eggs.
And there are spices I’ve purchased in moments of shopping duress, thinking I’m going to try a recipe that requires a spice I wouldn’t normally use.
I hate spending money on such things, and I’m not inclined to seek out a neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar, much less a fourth of a teaspoon of this or that.
In my opinion, ginger and rosemary should just be limited to a girl’s name. Just not a fan of those flavors.
So that’s how we spiced things up in our household last weekend, adopting a new spin-for-seasonings approach.
But hey, take it with a grain of salt.
(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)