Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Spice Rack from Hell

Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary and to mark this momentous occasion I have vowed that I will rid myself of a wedding present that has haunted me from the day it entered my house- THE SPICE RACK.

I don’t know exactly what the problem is in this house of mine. It could be that the person chosen to play the role “Mother” seems to have gone missing and we can’t find time to hold new auditions. Because of that we amble along quite haphazardly like a BMW without a GPS system. People notice things. Like for years we had a fridge that could operate with gas or electricity. I found it in my new husband’s house when I moved in and accepted that it was part of the package. It was handy in the early 90’s when we were both teachers and junior secondary schools were being built almost daily. We were forever moving into unfinished houses with no power, and a gas fridge meant that we could have ice, even if we couldn’t have lights. On a hot December afternoon in Botswana, that is very important.

Then there was suddenly electricity everywhere. The gas/electric fridge became a bit of a dinosaur, but we soldiered on with it. Since it had no thermostat , it never shut off and used loads of electricity. It built up ice in the freezer like the top of the Himalayans. People would often be heard saying, “We really should get rid of that fridge- it’s killing us!” But nothing was done. Years passed and still it was there. Until one day I said -enough is enough- and carted it off and went and bought a new electric one. That was that. I’ve done it once, I can do it again.

The problem is that the SPICE RACK arrived in our home with a fatal manufacturing flaw- actually two, or possibly even three. It is supposed to be sort of like a double-storied, Lazy Susan with little grooves where the bottles of spices should theoretically sit.

The first flaw is it is permanently tilted, which doesn’t bode well for the many little glass bottles meant to be held by it. Second, the grooves are not really grooves. They’re the hint of a groove. The slight thought that a groove might be useful. They will hold nothing. Lastly, the spinning. To turn the spice rack is to waste hundreds of Pulas worth of spices because even the slightest movement will cause all spice bottles, both upstairs and downstairs, to go flying out in all directions crashing onto the floor spectacularly.

Inevitably, people in the kitchen will be told in a panicked voice- “Watch out for the spice rack!” or “Don’t touch it!”. We’ve adapted to living with it, but must we? Were humans really meant to live like this? Bullied by kitchen apparatus? I say NO. The time has come to take a stand, and to celebrate my wedding anniversary I intend to do just that.


Karen said...

My mother once gave me a plastic thing that was supposed to fit in my cupboard and hold plates. I'm not sure what was supposed to go on the bottom, but if you put anything there, then you could never get it out without dumping everything off the top.

I say get rid of the rack, (but keep the spices).

Lauri said...

Thanks for the support, Karen. Yes- the spice rack WILL go.

Lauren said...

Hi There: Get rid of the bad rack and get a SpiceStack. It'll hold the spices you already have and make cooking with spices a LOT less painful. Check it out at and good luck!

groovyoldlady said...

Groovy has come after the fact to see: Did you rid yourself of the cursed spice rack? What are you using in its place?

Lauri said...

GOL- The spice rack is still here but not because I've given up. I wanted to take a picture of it for this very blog, (maybe I'll take a picture of it in the bin) and my batteries finished. Then it will go in the bin. No spice rack has been bought to replace it. The reason is that is not how things work in our house. First you must feel pain. (i.e. spice bottles all over the counter) then someone will reluctantly go to a shop and buy a spice rack. We are anti-shoppers.