Sunday, 29 May 2016

The spice of...

I guess most of us have a shelf in one of their kitchen cupboards where they keep spices and herbs. Usually it’s a collection of funny shaped jars bought over the years to make this dish or that and then bought again the next time that you make it. We have a spice shelf, almost two actually, and it stretches five jars deep across the full width of a double kitchen cupboard.

God knows what you would find if you took the trouble to work your way all the way to the back. Some eye of newt, a little wolfsbane, perhaps even a love potion or two. But whatever is in there smells fantastic each and every every time I open that cupboard. It reeks of warm yellows, deep reds, sunshine and mystery, cold winter evenings warmed with paprika in soups, a sprinkle of mystery, a teaspoon of magic. It's the whole world and more in a few jars.

Sometimes it’s Mysore that hits me that first time I landed in India at the airport late at night the smell of heat and the scent of spice on the breeze. Other times it’s Barbados jerk chicken or Memphis hot pepper ribs. Curries, chipotle, garlic bread, goulash, beef tomato salads, even a shepherd’s pie or two. It’s all in there when I open the door to the spice cupboard. It’s like having free travel tickets to anywhere in the world and instant access to all of my memories.

How brilliant is that?

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