Today my neighbor texted to ask if I had any dry mustard powder she could borrow. No I don't have any dry mustard powder, do I look like Martha Stewart to you? If it's not salt, garlic, or cookie-related, I don't have that spice in my kitchen, tyvm. But then, wait, maybe I do. Who knows what's going on in that cabinet? So I decide to rummage through the 30 or so bottles I had in there just to see. You know what I found? Bay leaves. Jars and jars of bay leaves. At least six jars, not kidding. And I don't EVER use bay leaves to cook.
So where did they come from? Some sort of secret government conspiracy to stock each home in America with excessive jars of bay leaves? Actually no. My father-in-law buys them. Every time he comes to visit, he buys another jar. He loves to cook and even though it is very hard for my very territorial self to cede one square inch of kitchen to his rule when he is here, cooking is how he shows his love to us, especially my kids. So I curtsy as I hand over my spatula, and though I may sigh as I think of the mess I will later yell at my husband to clean up, I do it because I love him and I want to and I have no choice.
And for some reason, a lot of things he makes have bay leaves! Bay leaves, of all things! This is an ingredient I will never understand: you put it in just to take it out? Why? Where I come from, that was called wasting, and you ate it whether it was tasty, edible, digestible, or not. Deal with it. Now we have an entire food or spice or herb or whatever it is whose sole purpose is not to be consumed??? Ok, fine. Just don't ask me to use it.
But he uses them, and every time he comes, operating on the assumption, I guess, that I must've used up all the bay leaves he bought the last time he came since I didn't have any before he bought them, he buys another jar. Hence, the six jars we currently have.
But of course, Corona. And with my in-laws living an ocean away, my father-in-law has not been here for a very long time. And with the time difference and trying to keep everyone here sane and scheduled and masked, it's even tricky to find time to talk or FaceTime with them. And it is hard.
But it seems that maybe, by the grace of God, we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It looks like effective vaccines will be available soon. Hopefully, this terrible virus will ease its grip and give everyone a chance to breathe and step outside and hug each other soon. And then, my prayer will be that my in-laws get on a plane and get over here and stay in our house and take over my kitchen and I won't even complain about the mess this time. So I'm going out to buy some bay leaves tomorrow, because we really need another jar in my house right now.