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Something good happened to me today.

Very spontaneously, I went to a spice exhibition with Hubby and a couple of friends. Yes, spices. Exhibited. When my friend first mentioned it I didn’t really know what to expect, because… spices!? I mean, you could just go to the supermarket and have a good look without paying 10,-€. She was a bit offended when I told her this, I’m afraid. Well, she’ll forgive me. And I have to admit it was a worthwhile experience (okay, “experience” is a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean).

It wasn’t just spices, of course. It was the history of spices and spice trade seasoned with six or so spice “stations” where you could touch and smell samples of different spices. There was a fun diorama on the upper floor telling the story of Columbus’ and Magellan’s travels, there were exhibits comparing the average German dinner table before and after America was discovered (no potatoes in the bleak times before 1492, no corn, no tomatoes… oh! woe was us), there were models of Chinese and English and Portuguese ships, and metal cut-outs of people who had something or other to do with the distribution of spices. There was a plague mask on display whose long beak was filled with herbs and spices in order to prevent infection (fat load of good that must have done them), and a bunch of nifty silver vessels for different spice-related purposes (perfume containers, small jars with several compartments for different, expensive spices, …).

I learned that merchants who got rich trading spices were often called moneybags (says the online-dictionary of my choice, while the literal translation from German would be pepperbags – but there you go) and that Hildegard of Bingen (German benedictine abbess and medicinal pioneer) thought that cinnamon could cure headaches (which I will have to try at my earliest convenience (or rather inconvenience which headaches usually are)).

Also, at the aforementioned spice stations, there were recipe cards utilizing the respective spices on display. Those were my favorite for so many reasons, the best of which is this:
On the front of the card, the spice of interest is embedded in a pun! The cards say things like carda mom & dad, chill i out, and curr i? curr you? (not the wittiest puns in the world, maybe, but the fact that someone thought to give out recipe cards and spice them up with puns! I believe I’m in dire need of smelling salts!) The puns have nothing whatsoever to do with the recipe on the back, but that makes them all the more charming to me. 😀

I collected all the cards, even though most of them call for meat of some sort, and I’m planning on trying out the vegetarian parts of the recipes in a one-and-a-half-week-long cooking marathon. I’m also planning on documenting this marathon in the munchies section of this blog. And by one-and-a-half-week-long cooking marathon I mean, of course, that I will be cooking something from those cards whenever I feel like it, and since there are exactly nine recipe cards, this will take, all in all, one and a half weeks, not necessarily on consecutive days. There.

Anyway, look forward to

    • Nutmeg Truffles
    • Coriander Carrots
    • Bean and Herb Pesto
    • Lukewarm (does that sound gross to anyone else?) Fried Potato Salad with Porcini
    • Cinnamon Tomato Soup
    • Nettle Vanilla Spinach
    • Tomato Salsa (without the capers the recipe calls for because they’re one of the few things that neither Hubby nor I would touch with a ten foot vanilla bean pole)
    • Chili Sour Cream with Elder Blossom Jelly and Strawberries
    • Spicy Red Wine Gugelhupf

*yum, i guess*

Update: yeah, nothing yet. I know. 🙂

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