August 2004

Herb Mix

I just got a package in the mail from an address in Amsterdam’s red light/drug district, and on the customs declaration the description of the contents was “Herbs Mix.”

“Oh, goodie,” I said to the postman as I was signing all the forms, “I’m so excited. When did you take over the route from my regular postman? He doesn’t make me show ID.”

“Aw, I’m just a special substitute,” he replied, as he stepped back out onto the sidewalk.

We both waved at the tourists across the street who were videotaping the neighborhood. See, the way they were dressed was a dead giveaway these guys were tourists.

And then I raced back in here and tore the package open to reveal three small jars of different herb mixes, one of which Rina had mixed with olive oil and served with my pickled Spanish mussels the first time we cooked together. Now I have the herbs…and if not the proportions, at least the names of what’s in each jar.

Well, the names of what’s on the labels.

OK, just kidding. It was my regular postwoman.

And I didn’t see anybody videotaping.

And the jars smell like you’d expect from the labels.

Speaking of herbs, here’s a branch of the California Laurel at Saratoga Springs:

Umbellularia californica

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