Number 134: Check your spices
Tonight we bring you another installment of "Object Lessons in Cooking".
This one begins with me deciding to cook up some potatoes and bacon. The plan was simple: laboriously chop - nay, dice - 3 potatoes into a heap of fine cubes, then fry in a pan with the bacon bits. 15 minutes of chopping and dicing later, I have said pile of potatoes ready.
Spices. Yes - seasonings. The eye wanders over the spice rack. Ah ... "Cajun Spices". Think spicy, sour, slightly exotic. Excellent.
Except the spice seems to have settled a bit in the bottle. In fact, the bottle itself looks slightly old. Never mind: nothing that should stop the intrepid chef. A few gentle taps on the side and a generous amount of spice seems to have come loose in the bottle.
I sprinkle the spice over the potatoes. It comes out looking like sesame seeds ... another tap, a bit more spice ... funny: don't remember it looking so ... black ... oval ... a few more dashes here and there ... or having such smooth, large seeds ..... carapace smooth .... chitin smooth ....
I stop and let reality sink in.
So. Object Lesson #134. Check that your "Cajun Spices" aren't actually ... well, a colony of bugs that have been born, bred, and eaten themselves to death in the bottle, an entire generation that lived their entire lives in a spice bottle and died before you even knew it. Check, preferably, before you dump half a bottle of beetle corpse into your potatoes.