They say variety is the spice of life. I just got a new spice rack—my architect/son designed and constructed it for me. After a lifetime of rummaging in messy drawers and dark cabinets in search of the perfect spice it’s a pleasure to see my spices all neatly lined up in a row. This beautiful piece is constructed out of barn doors from the 1800s and metal; it’s way cooler than anything I could have imagined or purchased in a store.
Since the rack has been up, I’ve been thinking a lot about spice (I may even be inspired to do some cooking later). But more than that, I’ve been thinking about how particular spices are used for certain things. I could probably really mess up some brownies by lacing them with cumin or crushed hot chili pepper. But these spices taste really good, respectively, in lentil soup or on pizza. I love sprinkling dill on a salad, but I’m not really sure how good it would be in a pancake. So, it makes sense to choose and use spices wisely.
On the other hand, food (and life) without spice can be pretty dull. I can’t think of anything more boring than food without salt, pepper, thyme, or basil. Along those lines, I’ve noticed that life gets pretty bland when I stick to the same routines. I know some folks who refuse to eat Thai or Lebanese food and who won’t try Kundalini or hot yoga. They don’t like ballet, or contemporary music, and won’t step out of their comfort zones. But while I admit that you can really ruin your day (and your dish) by choosing the wrong spice, it’s also important to experiment. Who knows? Maybe dill in a pancake would be awesome, after all.
Now that my spices are in full view I intend to get a little more adventuresome with them. Hopefully, this will extend to other parts of my life as well. Routines and rituals are fantastic (especially for toddlers), but I like to spice things up now and then. And a world without oregano…well, I just couldn’t face it!