I do not generally pay much attention to the exact date when leaves emerge in the spring, but this year is an exception. Who did not enjoy the unusually warm temperatures that dominated winter and carried over into an early and dry spring? Bushes have been in bud for the last month and some finally popped open on the weekend when the mercury reached 24 C. It wasn’t an April Fools joke and it would be interesting to know if anyone can remember a time when leaves appeared earlier.
Springtime always reminds me of cleaning and how our tool shed and workshop needs a major re-organizing. Angela and I use both, yet somehow the duty of tidying up all the tools and paraphernalia falls on me. It doesn’t seem right, especially since I spend more than my fair share of time in the food-prep area. In fact, Angela must be one of the luckiest women when it comes to action in the kitchen and I am referring to stuff that should not really be discussed in public. However, I will divulge a couple of late-night secrets that hopefully will not be too offensive for sensitive readers with good taste.
As stated, there has been a lot of nocturnal activity in our kitchen lately and it all began with a new passionate pursuit. It started with some intriguing research on the Internet, a few photos and explanations and then some videos. That’s when a little voice in my mind said, “Hey Wayne. You can do this,” and I totally agreed.
Well, my wife was not as easily convinced. In fact, she was not interested at all when the subject was initially broached. She felt my suggestions were a little too radical and I should not expect her to do things that are outside her comfort zone. Variety is the spice of life and she struggled with the idea of messing with a recipe that had been used for generations. However, she relented and is now getting used to a little more – actually a lot more – spice in our lives. Without a word of exaggeration, she actually admitted that she likes some aspects of it, especially before she goes to bed. It certainly works for both of us (maybe more so for me), but there is also a downside (more so for me) that I must explain.
My wife, my lucky wife, happens to have the cleanest stovetop in all Maple Creek. However, I don’t think she recognizes that or appreciates it for that matter. Thanks to putting a little more spice in our lives, her electric smooth-top stove now shines like new and it’s all thanks to the late-night buffing it receives.
However, it has been a month since a lifestyle change occurred at our house and to be perfectly honest, I am getting a little tired. That’s right – I am tired of being up late and sweating over a stove when I could be sleeping. My fingers are turning yellow and I have no one to blame, except myself. In fact, stains are beginning to appear on the counter that cannot be removed with the most powerful household cleaner. That’s what actually happens when a person tries to spice up their life with turmeric.
The yellow and somewhat pungent spice is found in curry and mustard and gives any product to which is added a vibrant and unmistakable colour. Aside from having the ability to stain almost anything it contacts, turmeric also packs amazing health benefits which I only learned about recently.
The properties of the tuber are so numerous that I felt a home-based trial was necessary. Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin has bioactive compounds that provide powerful anti-inflammatory effects. It is a very strong antioxidant and has been linked to improved mental functioning and a lower risk of brain disease. It appears to be a good tool when comes to lowering the risk of heart disease since it improves the function of the endothelium – the lining of blood vessels.
Most incredibly studies show it can reduce the growth of new blood vessels in tumors (angiogenesis), slow and stop the spread of cancer (metastasis) and also cause to the death of cancerous cells while not harming healthy cells. It is also readily available and cheap, especially in comparison to medical procedures. Therefore it can be a useful tool in maintaining health.
For all the reasons listed above, I began experimenting with concoctions of turmeric tea and other spices. Then I moved on to adding the powder to milk to make golden tea. Both can be quite tasty and enjoyable, especially when flavoured with honey. My wife prefers the golden milk before she goes to bed because it seems to help her fall asleep.
The downside is turmeric quickly stains most anything it contacts with the exception of glass, porcelain and stainless steel. It is also hard to get off a stovetop when it boils over. I have repeatedly learned this lesson after Angela goes to bed. While heating up a cup of golden milk, I often tend to get distracted reading a newspaper and end up going to bed an hour later after scouring and buffing burned milk and turmeric off the stovetop. However, in the big picture it’s just an annoyance for anyone who truly wants to spice up their life.