My New Year’s resolution to let others be themselves and not react to their moods is being tested. I’m at the spice shop for my annual ritual of purchasing new spices in January.
“Good morning, may I help you?”
“I have a list of spices to purchase."
“Okay, read off your list.”
“Basil, bay leaf, caraway seed, cardamom, cumin, curry powder."
Fresh bay leaf in rabbit stew with onions and garlic brings back memories of living in Spain where we had a bay leaf bush in our backyard. Bay leaf is an antioxidant which is good for the eyesight and skin health. I doubt I can stave off cataract surgery but I feel good putting these little green leaves in my soups and stews.
“Do you want mild, medium, or hot curry?”
My Senegalese Peanut Soup with cumin, curry, ginger root, chickpeas, and peanut butter is a profusion of tastes when it hits the tongue. Ginger helps muscle pain such as osteoarthritis. At my age, I pay attention to muscles With osteoporosis looming my muscles are even more crucial.
“If you’d emailed us your list, there would be no waiting.”
She doesn’t understand that waiting isn’t a problem. I roam the aisles taking in the exotic odors and imagining stirring them into my pots. The shelves are crowded with glass containers showing off their colors. I love to cook, for me, it’s an art form. From making Moroccan Tagines to Spanish paellas, cooking fills my creative self. A spice shop is a paradise.
The woman waiting on me won’t look me in the eye or smile. She slams the lids on the spice jars, not happy with the quantity of spices I need.
“Cardamom, dill, Fennel, ginger, mustard powder, oregano.”
“How many spices are on your list?”
"Sixteen, is that a problem?”
“Next time, call us or email and we’ll have your order filled and ready for you to pick up.
“If I’d emailed my list, my opportunity to come into the shop and absorb the wonderful odors is lost and my spice experience changed into just another errand.”
I’d put off coming until the Christmas rush was over so I could take my time.
“Paprika, rosemary, thyme, turmeric.”
Cooking rosemary chicken draws my husband from where ever he is in the house. It is his favorite. Rosemary, orange marmalade, and Dijon mustard bring the chicken to life and a smile on his face. Rosemary helps with memory, it also helps maintain a positive mood. This clerk needs more rosemary.
She has my spices ready. I want to check them off before she rings me up. She sighs. “I counted sixteen, you don’t need to check.”
I silently check them off my list and she stuffs them in a bag.
“See, now you’ve made me hit the wrong button and I need to start again.”
The spices are well worth the patience. The experience, however, has changed into slugs and snails and puppy dog tails.