Spice Hoarding and a Shawarma Spice Mix


Spice HoardingIt’s really no great secret that my spice hoarding is out of control. But when I unpacked the cupboard to sweep up some dried herbs and spilled Shawarma Mix, even I was taken aback.

The masala daba (Indian spice box) is my pièce de résistance, bursting with color and a heady mix of fragrant garam masala, Indian chili and fenugreek.

The tins with color-coded labels are filled with whole seeds, ground spices, nuts, leaves, and my favorite spice blends. From the oregano and garlic powder I grew up with, to the Egyptian Dukkah and weirdly pungent Hing, I am apparently obsessed with flavor.

The Mr., who could survive on steak, potatoes and meatloaf, along with Mouse and Ruth, have been subjected over the years to bouts of experimentation that, on occasion, have rendered dinner inedible. Even this though, The Mr. reminds me, is better than the baked to oblivion chicken breast soup and Rice-a-Roni I cooked once a week for the first three years of our marriage.

He’s been a brave soul on this journey with me, and every once in a while my spice hoarding pays off, which brings me back to the Shawarma …

Shawarma Spice Mix

1 Tbsp each cumin, coriander, garlic powder

2 tsps paprika

1 tsp each salt, pepper and turmeric

½ tsp each clove, cayenne pepper, cinnamon

We rub this with a little olive oil on chicken, lamb or beef, marinate it overnight and then roast it under the broiler. There's really no way to get the full shawarma flavor without the giant spit to roast it on, but this is a damn tasty second best.  


The Vagina Doctor


vagina doctorI have a long-overdue date with the vagina doctor today. I've been ducking Kaiser's reminders for so long that they finally scheduled the check-up for me without my consent. 

"You're OBGYN appointment with Dr. Pappy Schmear is at 9:30 am on January 28th. If you must reschedule this appointment, please call (yada yada yada)"

It's smart on their part. I mean, the do-nothing part of me that didn't bother to schedule the appointment in the first place is most likely going to do nothing about rescheduling and therefore also likely to show up at 9:30 on January 28th for the scheduled vagina inspection.

Oh come on, what else can you honestly call it? 

She probably doesn't need much work, but I thought I'd check. Honestly,  I hardly ever take her out anymore. Maybe a Sunday drive here or there, but ...

Ever since I was old enough to be in charge of my own doctoring, I've insisted on a female vagina doctor. Maybe Kaiser knew that. Maybe I just got lucky, but hey, thanks guys, for hooking me up with a lady doc for my lady parts.With the exception of Mindy Kaling's Danny Castellano, I've never quite trusted a man who chooses girlie bits as his professional specialty. A vagina doctor should have a vagina. Period.

Oh yes, periods. We should talk about that. What the hell is going on with all that? I'm suddenly as irregular as one of those $3 t-shirts in the bin at the grocery store.

 All this Bajingo talk makes The Mr. uncomfortable. Really, he's such a prude. But before he left for work this morning, he elbowed me awake, looking concerned.

You're just going to the doctor today because it's time, not because they think something;s wrong, right? he asks.

I'm going because it's 12 years past time. Nobody thinks there's anything wrong, but then again this is the doctor who would know that, so… and I suddenly feel the weight of just how irresponsible I've been. Twelve years between checkups is ridiculous.

If you own a vagina, don't be stupid like Jules.

Go see the vagina doctor when you're supposed to.

There's really only one thing I still can't figure out. What the hell am I supposed to wear? Comfey clothes? Something professional? A skirt with no panties? Ladies, help me out. Time is ticking.

Note: The writing of this post was soundtracked by Tori Amos because – vaginas.