23 February 2010

Scent of a Whoa, Man!!!

This winter, it has been harsh, yes?

Tragedies abroad, tragedies at home, severe weather, dogs and cats living together...

Well, maybe not dogs and cats living together. But the other stuff, yes. Collectively, the weather and the woe having been getting me down, more so than usual. I'm about ready to pack it in and head south. Or maybe I'll just crawl under my bed and hide until spring. I've been told some light therapy may help, and I have to admit I'm a little curious as to the cost of one of those lights that mimics the effects of the sun.

Bad attitudes abound in situations such as this, and the mind seeks relief along many avenues. A cloudless sky, a fine glass of beer, a good book can all do wonders for tired eyes and thin blood, as can good food. Tonics for the heart and soul, they are.

I found such a thing last week, in the form of cumin seeds. I have quite an abundance of them, the result of not understanding that four ounces of cumin seeds is a buttload of seeds by volume. They have been hanging around my kitchen for a long time, while I have been ruminating on ways to use them. Cumin is very tasty, and very easy to overdo. The opportunities to use cumin quickly are not often in my self-generated cuisine; if I were in Mexico or India the story would likely be different. 

Now and again, inspiration strikes and memory returns upon itself. I had a hankering for cumin, a craving that wouldn't go away, and while not knowing exactly what I would make, I decided I would grind up some seeds just for the heck of it. In the grinder they went, whizzed them around, then took the lid off to pour the powder into a waiting jar. That is when the aroma hit me full force.

That was the smack in the face for which I had been waiting. Oh, sweet baby jay-zus, did it ever smell good!* In that instant with my nose in the jar as I inhaled deeply** I felt the blahs disappear, blown away on a wind of spicy-sweet rust. I started salivating a little, and my pulse quickened. I felt rejuvenated and calm, and like spring is just around the corner. Life was good, there in my humble kitchen.

What scent finds your bliss?

*Like tango music for the nose.
**When it comes to fresh spices, Bill Clinton I am not.


  1. Crushed chives or sauteed onions for me.

  2. I haven't thought about the smell of cumin. i used to put a little of it in the mix when I cooked ground beef for tacos, or green beef enchiladas.

    But now, Irish, you've gone and flung a cravin' on me.

    Guess I'll be cooking tomorrow!

  3. For me it's coffee. The smell of it brewing, the smell of the beans when I open the bag.
    Gotta go stick my nose in and take a sniff right now.

  4. This made me laugh. What you should have done is snorted the cumin. Bwahahahaha. On video for our amusement.

    I love nothing more than a fine beer and a good book. (Well, apart from a good clean poo of course.)

  5. Toast the seeds, make pancakes, eat with scallions, onions, or whatever veggies along with yogurt, or hot sauce...very good...a good douse of hot sauce...a false sun god at our finger tips!

  6. A good light box will set you back about $180. Are they effective? I can't really say...you actually have to USE them on a regular basis and, well, I get distracted easily.



  7. I'm with Mo. Snort some cumin and tape it for us.

  8. You know, some women when they're pregnant crave dirt. Usually they get over it . . . ;-)

    Okay so you are speaking my language here, Irish. I have a couple things that I have on hand and use daily PURELY for the aroma therapy value. One is my CHI Silk Infusion hair stuff. I spill a bit into my hand and inhale before I stroke it on the locks. Yeah, I know. Sounds sexual, and well, it kinda is.

    Then there's this pomegranate and mango handsoap at my sink. I wash my hands more, just for a whiff of it.

    Was that kinda weird?

  9. Sometimes it's creaming together: butter, brown sugar and pure vanilla extract with some vanilla been scrapings.

    Other times: it's garlic and butter.

    I guess butter features prominently in my happy scent place. I'm really not surprised.

  10. For me, scents bring back so many memories. I love the smell of lipstick because it reminds me of my mom. I love the smell of plastic dolls because it reminds me of when I was little. I love the smell of my sons feet. (weird, I know) and the smell of my little girl's neck. And cumin? Oh the cumin is heaven!


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...