It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... and if you are like me that means that it is the time of year that you start planning what you want for Christmas. Well actually most of you are probably a lot less selfish than me so you probably haven't put any thought into it, but I start planning out birthday and Christmas presents several months ahead.
Back in 2004 I was a young bride. Greg and I had only been married 5 months. We were strapped for cash, and didn’t have a lot of extra money that we could spend on Christmas presents for each other. What would a person in my predicament ask for? I don’t know. I can’t tell you what normal people would ask for, because it has already been established that I am not normal.
I asked for (drum roll please) a spice rack.
Have I ever cooked with spices before you ask? No, no I have not. I was young, naïve, and trying to become a better cook. I had received several cookbooks as wedding presents, and they all called for fancy and exotic ingredients like thyme, rosemary, and parsley (stop laughing Peggie). I decided that is the reason why nothing that I made tasted good. I was only using salt and pepper and if I wanted to spice things up I might sometimes use garlic salt or lemon pepper. Yes, I decided that in order to become a good cook I needed a spice rack.
You know how in A Christmas Story Ralphie yearns for the red ryder bb gun. His family, teachers, and even Santa try to talk him out of it, but Ralphie is convinced that this is what he wants. I think that I wanted the spice rack more than that. I had dreams about how the spice rack would change my whole life. Who knows? I might even become such a great cook and so efficient at it that I would even have time to freshen up, throw on some heels and pearls while my freshly spiced dinner was in the oven. My husband, family, and friends were not exactly supportive. Instead of hearing “you’ll shoot you’re eye out” I heard constantly “you’ll never use it.” I was going to prove them all wrong if I got that spice rack. Come December 26th, 2004 they would be eating their words and all of my wonderful culinary creations.
For Christmas that year I got the $50 spice rack that I had wanted so much. It was beautiful. It swiveled for easy access. The spices were all alphabetized, you know so I wouldn’t have to waste cooking time finding a certain spice. The bottles were clear. I thought that would be perfect when I started running low I would know immediately and could rush to the store.
Fast forward and here we are almost 6 years later. I bet at this point you are thinking to yourself: “wow, I am glad that she got that spice rack, I bet it has really come in handy.” Well actually you are probably not thinking that because that wouldn’t make a very good story now would it? Here we are 6 years later and out of the original 20 spices in the rack I have opened 6. One of them being thyme and I only opened it because I wanted to know what Thyme smelled like. I have dusted the spice rack more than I have used it, crazy right? It gets crazier, since we have moved 4 times since 2004 I have actually moved the spice rack more than I have used it.
Don’t worry, I have learned my lesson. Every year since I have asked for jewelry or handbags and they have gotten a lot more use than the spice rack.
On a side note, does anyone know what the shelf life is for spices? Will 6 year old spices hurt us? Who am I kidding? In order for them to hurt us I would actually have to use them.