September Journey with Phyllis Buell

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Peppercorns, etc.

I am not a gourmet cook. I like the good old fashioned kind of fare I grew up on. Please, just don’t expect me to enjoy the Tacos and other kind of spicy foods so many of my friends enjoy.

My one enhancement for tasty food is freshly ground pepper. Does that count for gourmet food?

Well – at any rate, I had a little grinder that chopped up the peppercorns and it smelled so good as I spread it over my food. My little bottle was almost empty when I moved, so I chucked it and bought a new one.

I decided to make an omelet the other morning and looked forward to garnishing it with the pepper.

What I didn’t know about this new grinder of my peppercorns was that I had to tighten the lid! When I began to grind it - upside down, on my omelet – the peppercorns began to roll all over the kitchen!

I quickly set it upright, but I had no idea those little black balls could get everywhere I didn’t want them in a zillionth of a second known only to Olympic contest timing.

A half hour later I was sure I had swept, vacuumed and brushed all of them. I wasn’t hungry for the omelet any longer – with or without freshly ground pepper!

Well, two weeks later a couple of them will suddenly appear as to say “ha ha – thought you had me, didn’t you?”

One or two will roll out from beneath a recipe book. They rattle out of a box I am still emptying. I didn’t realize I had a drawer partially open on the counter when they flew out of that bottle and a few are still hiding in there!

This morning I discovered two more of the little guys when I moved a decorative plate on my counter.

That got me to thinking about a correlation between my wayward peppercorns and anything we want to get rid of in our lives.

A habit, worries . . . concerns? Just when we think they are gone – they show up! They were just waiting to surprise us.

Yesterday, the minister’s sermon was on the ninth Commandment. It is “Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

Using a member of the congregation she vividly portrayed how gossip can grow and grow – and how much damage it does to a person, a business or a community.

I smiled as I listened to her. I was thinking of my little peppercorns. They were like the gossip she was talking about. Surely they multiplied a thousandfold when they went rolling everywhere. At least that is what they seemed to have done.

Anyway, I still like freshly ground pepper – but I’m mighty careful to see all of the lids are in place before I use it.

I think there is a lesson there for everyday living. “Let’s keep our lids where they need to be – or something.”

Otherwise – prepare to sweep up peppercorns!

Phyllis Buell, September Journeys