Monday, October 15, 2012

The spice wars

In August, I posted about More Weird Stuff in my House, and I included this picture of some seriously ancient oregano:

Over the next few days, @jessiejensen and I engaged in a spice war via Twitter. I suck at Twitter so I'm not sure I got all the tweets, but it went something like this:





(and a detailed close-up):


It may look like I surrendered and thus lost the war, but the truth is that there are still a ton more ancient spices lurking in my mom's cabinet. MOM: Don't throw any of them away, so I'm ready for Round 2 of the Spice Wars next time I'm in the US.

Anyone else care to join in? Specifically, I'm wondering if anyone else's mom (or self) was a Utah/Idaho housewife in the 1970s and owned curry powder. Because seriously, what the?

17 comments:

Susanne said...

I googled "betty crocker cookbook 1970s curry powder" and got some hits. Maybe your mom made some of these dishes. Or thought she might. or maybe the spices were gifted to her when she married from someone else who used those particular spices. Loved the Twitter spice war!

\\https://www.google.com/search?q=betty+crocker+cookbook+1970s+curry+powder&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Circa late 1970s I must have had the RS assignment to cook a dish that required curry. And the once-used tin has since resided in 4 states and witnessed 5 children grow up.

If you include my box of baking chocolate in the spice wars you would win hands down. Bonus if you include the paraffin.

Jessie said...

Blast! I totally thought I'd won.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Good suppositions Susanne. Perhaps the curry powder was secretly foisted on me at my bridal shower in 1974 (we were all college students who gave food gifts for major occasions). And am thinking, if that was the case, it came from the pantry of one of those gals, who had been gifted with it previously, and had no idea what to do with it. So, you know, it could be older than we think.

Melody said...

My sister-in-law (a Utah native) makes Chicken Divan with Curry powder in it. It is a recipe that she got from her mom and grew up with (my mom's chicken divan had no curry powder), so maybe that's why some Utah/Idaho moms have curry powder in their cupboards.

Amira said...

We had curry powder in Utah in the 70s and 80s. The only thing I can remember using it in was a creation of my dad's involving canned cream of chicken soup, seasoned salt, Worcestershire sauce, and curry powder. We ate it over rice.

I am so glad that era is gone.

Jennifer said...

Yes, my mom's Chicken Divan recipe had curry powder in it!

Kathy Haynie said...

I'm sure I still have a box of paraffin in the basement. Plus some ancient curry!! Eeewww...the lid is pretty greasy / old. The whole clove can is pretty gnarly, too.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Another recipe from the swell 70s-80s era: hamburger stroganoff. Browned hamburger, cream of mushroom soup, some sour cream: eat over noodles. Mmmm....crap. A common variation: just add soy sauce and eat over crispy Chinese noodles and rice.....double crap.

Craig said...

What do you mean "crap"? Sounds delicious.

elliespen said...

Oh, man, that mention of stroganoff just brought back a lot of painful suppressed childhood dinner memories. My mom is a great cook but even she bought into that stroganoff recipe. *shuuuuuuudder*

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure my mom's spice rack could hold its own in this kind of competition. There's one particularly suspicious container of cream of tartar that comes to mind....

Myrna said...

I was growing up in the 1960s in Alberta, Canada, and my mom had curry powder in her spice cabinet. Not sure it ever was used... :o)

Crys said...

Haha Suzanne I think I made that meal last month :) Definitely not my finest moment but I get pretty desperate for things the kids will eat and they love those egg noodles :) This post made me laugh so hard and think maybe it was time to throw away some of the spices we got for our wedding!

Bridget said...

Wow, that sounds almost as good as my mom's stroganoff, below.

Bridget said...

Oooh, one of the more ancient specimens in my mom's cabinet is also cream of tartar!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Well guess what Crys, the person who is cooking at our house tonight just informed me we are having . . . hamburger stroganoff! Because the younger kids who live at our house will eat it.

And Craig, are you effectively telling me that the creative cooking I do w/ high-quality fresh ingredients, whole grains, and limited meat is on the same level as the c.r.a.p. mentioned in my previous comment?? OH yeah, that's why I do the cooking.

Crys said...

:)

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