Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go.—Erma Bombeck
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]There’s not much left to our garden. Long vines and huge leaves from winter squash plants have all withered and died, leaving behind a strange, other-worldly array of expired tentacles grasping at the dirt. Beans just disappeared. Cucumber plants shriveled to nothing. Zucchini plants that were once four feet in diameter are now reduced to tiny mounds of memory. The color is gone. A huge square of gray dirt dominates our lawn, looking more like a disappointment rather than the glorious success it was a couple of months ago.
Kat has taken most the spice clippings inside. We’ll have more than enough oregano, thyme, and basil to get us through the winter. All that remains are a few tomatoes that refuse to give up, and one very stubborn habanero plant. Habanero isn’t really a spice, though that’s the side of the garden on which it was planted; it’s one of the hottest peppers in the world, several times more than jalapeno. Kat wanted to try it. To my knowledge, she attempted to eat one.
Spice did well in the garden this year, for the most part. I’m not sure what happened to the lavender, but everything else on that side of the garden grew exceptionally well. Bell peppers and sweet peppers came in a little late for some reason, but once they started they were abundant. That one habanero plant, though, started early and there are still three small ones on the vine. We won’t pick them; there’s no reason to bother. They’re just too hot.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]Spice and peppers are a lot different when they’re fresh versus what one buys in the store. By the time anything makes it to the local grocery, it has had time to mellow a bit, having been picked early so it wouldn’t spoil too soon. Organic spice has a slightly more pungent flavor as well, and we definitely went the organic route with everything. Spice packets in my freezer are pungent and it doesn’t take much to flavor a sauce or a soup to the point the entire house is full of the fragrance.
Those habaneros were just too much, though, which is saying something. Kat enjoys a lot of spice and heat in her food, much more than my old intestinal digestive system can tolerate. She’s one of those people who put hot sauce on hot sauce, leaving everyone else to wonder how she’s not breathing fire. These peppers were too much. Just cutting one open made my throat hurt.
I know that saying about variety and spice and having plenty of spice in one’s life is definitely a good thing. Life is full of choices and to the extent one is curious there is no reason to not to experiment, try different blends, see what works and what doesn’t. Life is not meant to be bland, but full of flavor. When autumn comes, however, some things are best left to die on the vine; another illusion allowed to pass.[/one_half_last]