When cooking with spices,

remember the times when you learned them. Garam Masala, pepper and powder, cinnamon, cardamum, clove bud, ginger, mustard, cumin, celery seed, saving sweet, icing sugar, vanilla beans triplewrapped, pressed into pages, hot tea in a glass jar taking bee sweet from corners, water for lunchtime, fresh from the well, lapped up from creek beds, naming halfwolved puppies, buckshot whimpering, cracked on the head, mouse babies killed, Douglas fir in midmorning, climbed for the romance, painted window panes, sagging door frames, a beach made from paper maps pushed against stones at a wood stove and peanut butter and honey for supper with breath damp voices above and the longness of dark, counting pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, hearing unlikelihoods about silver half-dollars and gold somewhere else, evidence of grandmothers and rich houses in New York, the state, not the city. When cooking with spices, remember to first heat the pan.

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