Spice Talks7 mins 24.7K 7 mins 24.7K
Old Sally was making her morning tea. The Queen of Spices, Cardamom is always the first one to wake up in the house and she gets herself ready to make her contribution towards Sally's tea . Slowly King Pepper woke up followed by all of their kith and kin. Once Sally was out in the drawing room reading the newspaper Pepper asked, "What is the agenda today Cinnamon?"
Cinnamon looked at his notes and started to announce"Lady Sally is going to prepare French toast for breakfast, for which I will be ready. Sugar, you be in line. For lunch, I heard she is making a cucumber salad, cooked rice, potato fry and lentil curry. Evening sack will be prepared by The Lady's daughter Liza and that will be french fries. I will call out the names of who will be required today- Rice, Salt, Turmeric, Chilli Powder, Toor, Cumin, Red chilly, Mustard, Hing, Oil, Channa and Sir Pepper, a little of you also will be needed today. Brinjal is taking care of everything in the refrigerator. We have a new addition to our family. We lost Red Chilli yesterday. Sally has bought a new one. We need to welcome her. Dinner plans are not known yet. Will keep you posted Sir."
"That is great. Even though some of you wouldn't be needed today like always I want all of you to be prepared for any unexpected turn of events. Keep yourself fresh and alive", said Pepper.
"Sugar, can you please stop attracting ants towards you ? Lady Sally is finding very difficult to get rid of them. We shouldn't cause trouble to her.", requested Cardamom.
"Oh, I don't do anything to attract them Ma'm. They just keep finding their way towards me. It is not my mistake they find me charming, is it now?", Sugar replied winking at Cinnamon.
"Enough with your bragging now. Be ready", Cinnamon ordered.
"Do we have anything else to discuss Cinnamon. I hear Lady Sally walking down the stairs so let us hurry.", Pepper inquired.
"We have an issue, the Lady did not cover the lid of Salt properly yesterday, so she has lost some of her energy and feels damp."
"Oh, she will be alright. We can arrange for a dance performance by Cloves and Cashews for her.", said Cardamom.
"That is a good idea sweetheart", said Pepper.
Lady Sally came in to make her toast. So everybody went silent and maintained decorum. She finished eating, cleared the dishes and was soon off to reading her books and newspaper. She wouldn't be coming again for another two hours. Oil was on guard at the door to signal everyone if Lady Sally or her daughter suddenly pops in.
The stage was set and everyone got ready for the entertainment with Salt in the front. The good dancers from among the Cloves and Cashews prepared themselves and discussed their steps. Everyone from the Dal family began soft drumming against the surface of their boxes and the raisins played melodious music. Cashews and cloves danced gracefully forming pairs. Slowly Salt began to cheer up and by the end of the show she was up and about.
In between every meal preparation, it was resting time for folks in the Kitchen Kingdom. Pepper and Cardamom usually sat about watching over everyone. Some have hobbies. The Dal family, Cashews, Cloves and raisins practiced music and dance. Turmeric, Cumin and mustard are a gang. They always got together and gossiped about the happenings of the house. Rice was friendly to everyone and sorted out issues if any, between folks. The flour family kept to themselves and did not quite mingle with others unless it is absolutely necessary. They were always a mystery to the rest of the folks. Mustard and Fenugreek never got along. They had something to fight about every day. Today it was about who is greater. Cinnamon had work to do most of the time, checking on any issues, his accounts of how much everybody is contributing, alert on any discussions in the house about the day's menu and taking notes. He always had Bay leaf to help him. Both of them were the eyes and ears to the King and the Queen. Some like Tamarind and Chickpea were too lazy to do anything and spent all their time sleeping unless they were called for.
Oil gave out a low whistle. Sally was coming in to prepare lunch. She emptied the Red chilli to the empty container. Everybody looked at it with enthusiasm. The chilly, new to her surroundings, showed some obvious nervousness. As Sally took one ingredient after the other to prepare her dishes, Cinnamon kept an eye on everyone to make sure everything was going fine. Everybody stayed still in their boxes. After a couple of hours when Sally and her daughter finished their lunch and went off for siesta, the kitchen kingdom started buzzing again.
"Let us all give a big round of applause and welcome Chilli to our Kingdom", announced Pepper.
"Everyone took to great enthusiasm in welcoming the newest member. "Where are you from?", asked Cardamom."I am from Guntur", answered Chilli."Oh, that is nice. Cinnamon will walk you through the routine and procedures of the household". They left Chilly with Cinnamon and went on with enjoying their break.
"Did you notice Liza's new hair do?Doesn't suit her that well.", commented Mustard.
Oh, I like it. What wrong do you see Musty?", asked Cumin.
"She spends too much time grooming herself. I feel like I am of more use to her face than I am in the kitchen", Turmeric added. The three of them had a good laugh.
Fenugreek was hearing all this and said"Don't you have any better work Mustard?. And you call yourself great?"
"Why don't you mind your own business?", snapped Mustard.
"Will you guys stop your never ending brawl?, begged Cumin.
"Aaaaa", someone let out a loud shriek.
Everybody's attention turned to where the noise was coming from.
"There is a row of ants near me", cried Jaggery.
"Your box is tightly closed, it won't do any harm. Stop creating a scene now and let me sleep", said Sugar irritably.
"How long before the Lady comes. Only she can clear this off. I am so scared", Jaggery was almost in tears.
"There there don't worry Jaggu, The Lady will be here soon and she will take care of it. Even otherwise you are safe. Your box is not open", consoled Rice.
Everyone heard Oil's whistle and the commotion came to a sudden halt.
Eliza came in to make tea and snacks. Every time some part of them or their kin was used, boiled, roasted or cooked, all of them felt sad and sorry. But they all have come to understand the meaning of this sacrifice. When the dishes come out delicious and the kingdom is filled with tempting aroma all the sorrow is forgotten.
Eliza took the tea and snacks she made to the drawing room.
"How lucky is ginger, I heard it is very cold in the refrigerator. It is freaking hot here in the Kitchen", said Mustard.
"Cinnamon!!", called out Pepper. "What do we have for the evening?."Everyone gathered around and listened intently as Cinnamon spoke"The lady has decided to take Eliza out for dinner.
"Yay, that is wonderful", cheered Pepper.
Cinnamon continued, "Tamarind, Turmeric and Wheat flour are celebrating one month anniversary today."
"Let us begin the celebrations soon after The Lady and Eliza leaves.", said Pepper.
Everyone was so excited. Very rarely do they get such relaxed evenings and they were very eagerly looking forward to it. After a while, Sally turned out the lights in all the rooms, left a dim yellow light on in the kitchen and both of them left.
The Dal family started playing fast numbers and everyone jumped about in their containers and danced their hearts out. Even the flour family joined the party. They had a ball for three continuous hours. Cinnamon heard the gates opening and signaled everyone to stop. They obeyed, feeling disappointed. Sally came in and did her last minute check before she went off to bed.
Pepper asked for everyone's attention one last time for the day"Let us all be happy that we served the household to the best of our ability today. Remember cooking is an art and we play an indispensable part in making it so. Most of us have lost a part of us in the process but that is the sole purpose of all our lives. Cheers to all!", with that speech the King and the Queen retired to sleep.
Mustard and Fenugreek were still fighting. "What is up with you two?I want you both to give it a rest now. You heard me?", commanded Cardamom. They fell silent.
Sally did not clear off the ants so Jaggery was still nervous and could not sleep. But for her, everyone dozed off happy and exhausted.