Monday, July 18, 2005

Missing coriander

The last few days, and nights (especially nights) have been very, very hot and humid. Everybody is tired and grumpy.


Last night I was preparing dinner for myself (The Man was out) and wanted to add some coriander powder to the curry. I reached up to the spice rack, expecting the coriander to be where I left it when I used it last. It wasn't there. All the other spices I use for curry were there, but not the coriander. I emptied the spice rack. While I was about it, I cleaned it and wiped the jars. There was no coriander powder.

I wondered where The Man could have put it, and searched other likely places. But I couldn't find it, and ended up making the curry without coriander powder.

When The Man came home I asked him where he'd put it.

"Coriander powder?" he said. "Do we have any left? I haven't used it for weeks."

"There's still half a jar," I said. "I know, because I used it on Wednesday."

"Well, I don't know," he said. "You must have put it back in the wrong place."

Annoyed, I searched the kitchen. I thought about the thing I do sometimes when I put the milk on the shelf and the sugar in the fridge. What else went into the curry? I checked all the places the other ingredients were kept, but there was no coriander powder.

The coriander powder had vanished.


Today I went to meet a friend, and later The Man went out grocery shopping. When I came home I found the door unlocked, and made a mental note to tell The Man. He has left the door unlocked several times recently.

I made myself a cup of tea. When I opened the fridge to get the milk I spotted something out of place, but it wasn't coriander powder so I ignored it.

I sat down to mark homework at the kitchen table. Every now and again I got up to search a spot I hadn't thought of before. The coriander powder was not in the freezer. Nor was it in the rubbish bin. How could it disappear like that?

A bit later The Man came home.

"You left the door unlocked when you went out," I told him. "That's the third time you've done that recently."

"No, I didn't," he said.

"Oh. It must have been a miracle, then," I said. "The door opened without the key. I hope it doesn't work that way for everybody."

He handed me a new jar of coriander, ignoring my sarcasm. Then he put the other groceries away and went to watch TV.

A while later he came back to the kitchen.

"I can't find my cigarettes," he said, irritably. "Did I leave them in here?"

I looked up from my papers.

"They're in the fridge, next to the watermelon," I told him.

He frowned and opened the fridge.

"You know," I said, "I've got a theory about this coriander business."

"I'm sick of hearing about the coriander," he said.

"No, listen. I've got it all worked out," I said. "You left the door unlocked but don't remember doing it. I used the coriander and now can't find it. Maybe the two things are related. I think there's a coriander thief in the neighbourhood who knows how to pick locks. He picked the lock, stole the coriander, and then left, but he didn't know how to lock the door again. Oh, and while he was here he put your cigarettes in the fridge."

The Man was still frowning. He looked down at the chilled cigarettes in his hand.

"Well, doesn't it explain everything nicely?" I asked.

"No," he said. "You just put the coriander somewhere weird."

He stomped back to the TV.

"The OTHER option is that we're both losing our minds!" I shouted after him.


Now it's nearly midnight and I've given up on homework marking for the day. It's too hot, and anyway I've done enough for one day. I just want to relax for a while before I shower and go to bed.

It's hard to relax, though. It's possible the heat is getting to us, but I still think there is something funny going on. And the coriander is still missing.

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Cheryl said...

Umm, only because I do it myself, I dare to say:

When you couldnt find the coriander you didn't just search, you cleaned cupboards, in the middle of cooking your meal. Might the heat have got to you last wednesday? Might you have got distracted by 'something you ought to do' in the middle of cooking, so that the coriander could be on the bedroom windowledge or on top of the wardrobes?

Can't you just imagine what fun it is, living in my house....

Hope it turns up!

carrie said...

that was interesting to read.
i like your writing style.

Lippy said...

I'm so glad it's not just me who does this sort of thing. Unfortunately I can't blame it on hot weather as it's yet another rainy winter's day in Auckland.

Then again, it could be the local spice thief. You know how persistent they are...

kenju said...

I hope you find the missing coriander soon, so your mind will be at ease. Strange things are always happening at our house too. Messy Boy (otherwise known as my husband) often misplaces things and has no memory of it. So I say, "I guess one of the cats did it", and he says "Maybe they did". This is just a replay of my parent's home, when my Mom used to say "I guess the dog did it". HIstory Marches On!!

Paula said...

It drives me absolutely mad when I lose something (which isn't often thank goodness)--I would obsess over that missing coriander forever!

Robert said...

If you're like me, it's not even the missing coriander that's bugging you. It's just the not knowing. Can drive you mad.

Badaunt said...

Cheryl: The heat is getting to me, oh yes it is. And anything is possible. I have been checking unlikely places. I have checked all around the phone, in case the phone rang while I had the coriander in my hand. I have checked the toilet in case I suddenly had to go while I was cooking and took it in there with me. I have checked outside the toilet. I have checked the bookshelves. I have checked the entry, in case someone came to the door and I left it in or on the shoe cupboard.

The coriander is NOT THERE.

Lippy: It has to be the sneaky spice thief. Even if I'd left it somewhere mad, surely I'd have found it by now?

Kenju: Can I blame the goldfish, do you think?

Paula: I am obsessing. I look for it wherever I go. I looked for it in my friend's hospital room today. It could not possibly be there, but I looked anyway.

Robert: YES.

Mary said...

I like how the cigarettes were in the fridge; makes the missing coriander a bigger mystery.