Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't dog my spice

When my parents were newlyweds, my mom made chicken curry for my dad. Apparently the recipe wasn't exactly stellar. He claims that he asked her about the dish in a neutral manner (memory is always a peculiar thing.) She then admitted that she didn't like curry and had omitted it from the dish. So it was chicken... chicken. Hey, she tried! They both giggle at the memory.

Needless to say, I did not grow up eating much curried food. Presently I like using curry for a handful of recipes. It is not, however, a staple spice in our household. I buy it in the smallest size available. The jar usually sits on our spice rack until I decide to make our favorite crockpot recipe; remarkably, it's a chicken dish.

A while ago I was at the grocery store replenishing supplies. I snagged a dinky little curry jar and headed to the check out line. As I unloaded my groceries onto the conveyor belt, I looked up at the checker. It was pretty obvious that she was Indian. I cringed inwardly and wondered what she would say at my pitiful little offering. Maybe she would applaud me for my lame attempt at international flavors? Or maybe she would toss the jar-- and me-- out the door, banishing me from the premises. Or maybe....

She picked up all 1.25 ounces of curry and pondered it for a moment. Then her face cracked into a smile. She giggled. And with a lovely thick accent, a single word:


She cackled to herself as she scanned the rest of my groceries. I took the grocery bags meekly and headed out the door.

Hey, give me some credit! I'm trying here.

No comments: