Sunday, December 30, 2012


The other day I was cooking with Heidi's mom, Louise, in her kitchen, and I asked her if she had any Italian seasoning. She proudly pulled out her built-in spice rack. "They are alphabetized," she told me, and in no time handed me a jar of McCormick's.

Let me say first, that I do not have Italian seasoning in my own spice cupboard, but I often buy it on vacation for cooking in rental houses, because it nicely takes the place of several herbs in many dishes. It is an excellent all-round go-to herb mix, which is why I requested it in an unfamiliar kitchen.

When Louise handed me the bottle, my eyes widened. The label design transported me back at least 30 years, and when I flipped it over the price stamped on the bottom was 33¢. I held it silently in my hand for a few moments. "How long have you had this?" I asked her.

She could not say, and seeing as there was less than a pinch left in the bottom, I suggested an alternative, but I made a request. "Can I have this container?" and when she looked at me funny, I blurted, "It's vintage!"

We laughed, but the truth is, I know how that happens. They have lived in that house for almost 35 years, and the longer you live, the older your stuff gets.

To be honest? I like my old things a lot. Why just this evening, when we finally made it home after nine days away, 2 eight hour drives, and 2 seven-hundred mile flights, after lugging in all our stuff, I opened a bottle of wine with my favorite cork screw.

That efficient little gadget has been with me since the restaurant I waited tables for when I was in college forced me to buy it. The beach-front seafood establishment docked my first paycheck $2.50 so that I would always be properly equipped in the event that any customer might order some wine.

I can't say that I used it much that summer, but it sure has come in handy over the last thirty years.

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