Nutmeg in the Kitchen

IMG_1252Flour spilled onto the counter top as I watched my mother rotate her thrashed electric egg beater in a massive plastic cookie dough bowl. They whirred and vibrated against the plastic edge. She was always so methodical  as she created. Her hands moving with precision as they reached through the maze of prepared ingredients.

“Michael, I forgot a spice, could you go grab it for me?” She said without a smile, her brow furrowed in concentration.

“Yes mom.” I said, noticing the front of her shirt speckled with brown sugar, butter, and eggs.

“Just grab the Nutmeg, it’s in one of the small containers.”  She turned back to her dough, pulling a slightly battered flour tin to the bowl. I walked through our small hallway kitchen and opened the spice cupboard. A dozen or so spices looked back at me.

On the other side of the stove mom started to hum a tune. I smiled. My favorite thing was to hear her sing as she baked. She’d always move the egg beaters and bowl in time with the melody.

“Found it yet?” Mom asked between breaths.

I knocked over a box of assorted herbal teas. From the depths of the cupboard I all but yelled, “Not yet.”

“Well it’s in there.” She said, now measuring baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into the batter.

Confident that I was now reaching further into the cupboard than should have been possible, my hand brushed against a small container.

“I got it!” I said with a smile. Mom waved me over and snatched the spice from my hands.

Still humming to herself, (it was Moonshadow by Cat Stevens). She opened the container, and shook in the spice.

For an moment I stopped and watched my mom there in her element. She had switched to using a spatula as oats and chocolate chips found there way into the mixing bow. Her elbows worked side to side as the bowl rotated around.  All the while a smell of nutmeg pervaded the kitchen as she created.

-M.E. Inkowl


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