Run, run as fast as you can!
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!
I have a ginger fetish. Either that, or a deep-seated fear of running short of the pungent spice.
Here’s the back story. Last summer, I culled my spices to get rid of duplicates. I had a bagful of extras, which I delivered to my neighbors, Chris and Maryann Musial. Chris cooks, so he welcomed the spices.
Fast-forward to Round Two of my so-called Great Clean-Out. Earlier this week, Maryann and I were sitting in my living room, sharing a bottle of wine and a lot of laughter. I had to show her my collection of mate-less Tupperware lids before they hit the recycling bin. For some reason, we opened the door to the spice cabinet.
Unlike old Mother Hubbard’s, this cupboard was full.
I don’t cook much. But I’m an enabler.
All the men I’ve dated or been married to (just one!) have been cooks. And if they–or anyone else–wants to cook at my house, I want them to have everything they need. Thus the bountiful spice collection.
We started pulling out the spices: Five kinds of pepper—coarse black, fine black, crushed red (two), lemon pepper and Chicago steak pepper. Unopened jars of powdered onion and garlic powder. The “grasses”—thyme, rosemary, dill weed, celery seed, sesame seeds, cilantro and tarragon. Most were full, minus a pinch.
I’m heavy on the fall flavors. Garam masala, sweet curry powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon (two kinds). Also nutmeg, ground and whole. Not to mention two unopened bottles of black strap molasses. Do those count as spice?
Now we get to the ginger. Candied ginger nuggets in a jar as well as a bag of candied ginger pieces. A large jar of ground ginger and a short jar of ground ginger (I got smart and started buying smaller containers).
Maryann started giggling (I said we were drinking wine). She was sorting through the spice bottles.
“How can you possibly still have so much ginger?”
“What?” I asked.
“You gave us three jars of ginger this summer!”
“Did I?” The summer was traumatic on so many levels, I’ve developed a convenient case of amnesia. I don’t remember buying ginger or cooking anything that requires ginger.
Did I mention the can of gingerbread coffee (in my defense, my son wanted it, then wasn’t home long enough to open it.) Oh, and two boxes of Trader Joe’s gingerbread mix. Maryann was getting a little ginger-giddy.
“What is it with you and ginger? It’s got to be the red hair!”
So I did a little research.
“Ginger” is slang for a redhead, especially in England—where redheads were persecuted as witches.
The old French word, “gingibre” refers to spirit, spunk or temper.
If you’re casting spells, ginger is good for creating fiery protection or invoking passion. The spice is also associated with success and power.
And if you’re not casting spells? Then try one of these recipes for gingerbread cookies…
By the way, when I reached for the coffee filters this morning? Way up on the cupboard’s top shelf I spied a box of Pumpkin-Ginger soup, right next to a bottle of soy-ginger marinade.