It's not been a good couple of weeks ... it's not been a good New Year. Really, it hasn't. I read a post on Twitter last week that said "Locked out of the house. Husband is at work. No umbrella. Happy Friday. Ug." Are you kidding me??? Go to a coffee shop, get a nice hot cup of tea, treat yourself to a pastry while you wait, and get over it!
I won't re-hash the chaos of my past few weeks, or share (yet) the utter misery that *I* experienced last Friday. (Locked out of the house??? Pfffft!) Suffice it to say that I was awakened by a phone call at 3 that morning, still had to slog in to work despite sleep deprivation and stress, one of my faithful cohorts doesn't work on Fridays and the other was home sick, I had to schlep and run an errand that I didn't want to in another town nearby and was rushed to do it by a certain time, and I'm still in shock over what happened and how pointless and unnecessary the situation is. And the situation will be prolonged and stressful and expensive. I am not happy.
But the next day -- on Saturday -- I had a few moments of escape, a blessed reprieve. Tom noticed it, and I felt it. I really was transported out of my reality.
Tom and I were out running errands, picking things up at the library and at the drug store, buying coconut milk for the chicken curry we planned to make that night, and looking for a birthday present for a very, very dear friend. We meandered through a collection of quaint and charming shops downtown looking for the perfect gift, but hadn't quite found what we wanted.
Until we got to the spice shop.
Spice Merchants is a store so lovely, so enticing, so colorful, so aromatic, so utterly sensual that it is hard to fully describe ... this shop must truly be experienced. The photos are woefully inadequate, and there is no way to share the fragrances of the curries, the teas, or anything else with you.
Each time I visit the store, I wish I had the resources to buy a little of everything. It makes me want to cook and, especially, to experiment. It makes me want to not just throw together a quick meal, but to linger over a day-long affair of toasting and grinding and mixing spices to infuse flavor into something cooked slowly and lovingly ... something exotic, usually, and unique.
There are a dozen varieties of salt, in pink and white and grey and yellow and green and brown; some are flavored with citrus, some are smoked, some are naturally colored and have been imported from around the world. Spices can be bought individually or pre-mixed for Indian, Moroccan, Cajun or other cuisines, and come in the most glorious shades of red, orange, and yellow or the deep burnished tones of tan and brown.
There were also other unique uses for the astounding array of spices, including small gift bags of crumbled cookies with ginger or vanilla mixed in, to use as ice cream toppers. There were soup and chili mixes, tied with pretty ribbons and ready to give to loved ones. But Tom and I settled upon the Lemon-Garlic Orzo -- a lovely bag of the rice-shaped pasta that "has a subtle hint of lemon & the robust taste of garlic." We thought it would be perfect to prepare as a side dish or as the base of a salad, or even as an addition to soup.
Then, as we stood in line, Tom said that I looked genuinely happy surrounded by food stuffs and things to play with ... and I was! I was holding his hand as we waited to pay for an ideal gift for someone who appreciates good but simple food ... it was perfect.
And, for a short while, I had forgotten that significant stressors loom large. I had magically and momentarily travelled to my kitchen, travelled to far-off lands, travelled away from daily life and into a beautiful world of color and fragrance and inspiration ....
Ghosts of Postings Past and Present
- ► 2014 (18)
- ► 2013 (88)
- ► 2012 (229)
- Rigatoni con Gorgonzola
- A Few Moments of Escape
- Snow Day Applesauce Bars
- A Most Decadent Delight
- Cheesy Red 'n' Black Bean Enchiladas
- National Biscuits 'n' Gravy Day
- The Oxymoron of "Healthy Cookie"
- Pita Pita
- Floozin' 'n' Schmoozin' at the Chili Cook-Off
- iCarly's Spaghetti Tacos ... Spaghetti SQUASH Taco...
- Creamy Potato and Gorgonzola Soup
- Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- A Burger, By Any Other Name ....
- Thai with Tom
- "This Is the Motor City"
- Life Is Good, Stylish and Irresistibly Sweet!
- New Year, New Look, New Header!!!
- Worshipping at the Altar of Nutella
- Pepper 'n' Onion Quesadillas
- Who Needs Regis??? I'm Co-Hosting Today!
- Teasing on a Tuesday
- ▼ February (21)