Saturday, January 12, 2013

Spicy confusion... and a happy resolution

One of the things we loved about this house, when we first saw it almost exactly seven years ago, was the kitchen. It was well organised, with a lot of attractive wooden cupboards. It had a dishwasher - a big plus point for me - and an electric oven with a gas hob, my ideal combination.

It also had a rather neat little shelf arrangement above the oven, intended - we assumed - for holding little jars of herbs and spices. Whether or not that was the intent, that's what I put there when we moved in. Except that it took me ages to find anything, and sometimes we had too many to fit.  So after a year or two,  I organised them alphabetically, which helped somewhat. But there were still too many... and so random jars were put on a different shelf, and the alphabetical system fell down almost completely.

Then, in about the middle of last year, I realised, in a stroke of sheer brilliance, that the easiest thing would be to put the spices - which I use quite a lot - in the convenient shelf:

While keeping herbs (and replacement spices, on occasion) in the other little shelf next to the oven: 

I'm not renowned for good organisation, and it took me long enough to come up with this idea... but it seems to work very well. Everything fits nicely, and the alphabetical system makes it easy to find everything.

Except for one little detail...

I had two spice jars of the same brand, containing powders of the same colour, and they came next to each other in the alphabet: 

Not really a problem, as they are clearly labelled. And while I normally use real garlic, crushed, in curries or carrot-ginger soup, it wouldn't matter if I accidentally sprinkled in some extra garlic rather than ginger. Particularly if I noticed what I was doing so that I then added the ginger anyway.

It would, however, be a big problem if I put garlic powder in gingerbread. And very strange if I sprinkled ginger rather than garlic powder on roasted tomatoes, or potato wedges. So I was careful, and tried to remember to check the label every time. Once or twice I did get very close to adding the wrong item... it's so easy just to pull a jar off the shelf in auto-pilot without bothering to look at the label. When suffering from a long cold, as has been the case recently, my sense of smell isn't been too great.

What concerned me the most was that I like to sprinkle half a teaspoon or so of ginger powder onto my breakfast each morning. There are times when I have breakfast fairly early, somewhat in a zombie-like fashion because I'm not yet fully awake. Or, by contrast, I sometimes feel shattered after going for a 4km walk, buying fruit, and cleaning the house before breakfast.

So although - thankfully - I never did make the mistake of sprinkling garlic on my granola and yogurt, I felt faintly anxious about it every time. In a low-key sort of way, which I didn't quite realise until, running out of ginger recently, I spotted this jar in a local shop:

A different brand! 

It doesn't look like the garlic powder!

There is no way I would accidentally pick up the wrong one....just so long as the garlic doesn't start coming in this kind of container too. 

They - whoever 'they' might be - say that small things please small minds. So when I say that this quite made my day, I wonder if this means that I am just a Bear of Very Little Brain.  


Anvilcloud said...

Phew! :)

Gina said...

Garlic-infused gingerbread does not sound good at all! :)