The photo attached to this particular blog was the contents of my spice and vinegar cupboard. I had multiple duplicates (a few scarily out of date, as is the tradition of the cupboard of spice for me), as clearly I have utterly no idea what was in there. I get the impression that I buy spices based on a singular recipe then banish them to the cupboard and they seldom ever see the light of day again.

I know that I hoard elsewhere in my life, but food seems to be a weird one. Food is perishable, I don’t have favourite memories attached to a particular can of tomatoes, I take a deep sense of pride in my spotlessly mould free refrigerator, so am struggling so ascertain the rationale behind my deluge of spice.

A friend has a house that has much more food (though am not sure on her spice detail) than mine does. The fridge is generally rammed and to locate food in her cupboard generally involves removing at least three more favourable items. She said that she likes to feel that she has a store of stuff, it makes her feel safe. This doesn’t really relate to my particularly deliciously scented cupboard, but it’s good to consider all variables.

I think that for me the cupboard represents possibility. The possibility that I will make more delicious foods with an amazingly incredible array of spices. It is the cupboard of good intentions and broken promises. It is a cupboard that silently mocks me – for everything that I could possibly do if I were to risk a little bit more.

My Mum often laments about her she doesn’t like more foods and wishes that she did. My daughter has friends who seem to survive on an incredibly limited diet. Maybe some of us simply don’t have the conditioning to accept new tastes, or maybe the choices are too vast.

I have a friend, Laurel, who is a fearless warrior when it comes to food. Whenever I go to her house, I am amazed and more amazed by what she has created. I have experienced cold pressed coffee, homemade vanilla essence, a huge array of vegan paleo food and her fridge is a sea of glass containers filled with unknown delights. This is also the exceptional woman who when I first found myself unable to tolerate dairy when I was a student, brought me round bags of shopping, filled with dairy-free delights. She loves food, is passionate about food and is generous with her talent.

So, back to the cupboard. I dutifully cleaned it all out and returned most of it to the shelves, creating a little space with the removal of sad, unloved and unused, spices. I think it is likely time to go have a chat with Laurel.

Map Point. Which of my friends have the knowledge I want?

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