spice drawers


Some are in plain sight, like fruits. Others, forgotten inside the spices drawer. Here’s a list of spell ingredients you probably already own and a few of their correspondences.

  • Alfafa: Money, prosperity, 
  • Almond: Prosperity, money, wisdom
  • Apple: Beauty, vanity, wisdom, love, fidelity, fertility, marriage
  • Avocado: Beauty, lust, love
  • Bacon: To increase earnings, forgiveness
  • Banana: Fertility, prosperity, money
  • Bay leaves: Protection, good fortune, success, psychic ability
  • Beans: Wisdom, creativity, divination, protection
  • Carrot: Protection, healing, desire, lust, sexuality, fertility
  • Cherry: Divination, happiness, love
  • Chamomile: Healing, love, reducing stress
  • Chocolate: Luxury, prosperity, money
  • Cinnamon: Protection, healing, love, prosperity
  • Clay: Adaptability, poppets
  • Coconut: Protection, purification, chastity
  • Coffee: Dispels nightmares, removes internal blockages, encourages hard work
  • Cotton: Protection, luck, healing
  • Egg: Fertility, divination, the elements
  • Garlic: Protection, healing, purification
  • Ginger: Luck, sex, healing, to speed things up
  • Lemon: Purification, cleansing, spiritual opening, removal of blockages
  • Lettuce: Protection, divination, sleep, love
  • Milk: Protection, power, success
  • Mustard: Endurance, courage, faith
  • Onion: Protection, prosperity, money, stability
  • Pasta: Protection, money, love
  • Pepper: Love, fidelity, courage
  • Pomegranates: Luck, wealth, wishes, replacement for blood
  • Potato: Luck, money, healing
  • Rice: Protection, blessing, money, prosperity, wealth
  • Salt: Protection, purification, prosperity
  • Strawberry: Success, good fortune, love
  • Sugar: Love, lust, sex
  • Tomato: Protection, love, creativity
  • Vinegar: Binding, banishing, averting evil

I just came out to my dad in the most undramatic unplanned way because I couldn’t resist making a joke oh my god

Dad: *looking at the spice drawer, which is in complete disarray* WHAT IS THIS! is this you?? is this what happens when you’re through with using the spices??

me: NO!!! it was–not actually this bad when I went in here to get things *starts rearranging them*

Dad: *continues to dramatically make a big fuss about how important a tidy spice drawer is*

me: this is homophobic

Dad: how is this homophobic??

me: I’m gay and you’re getting mad at me

Dad: you’re gay??

me: yes?

Dad: *casually sipping his wine* you’re gay now

me: I mean…I have been for a while but yeah

Dad: well that’s okay



me: this is homophobic


Study Potion

I personally struggle with studying. I never seem able to remember anything I read the next day. So I made a potion to help, and it seems to work, so I thought I’d share!

Ingredients and their meanings:

Mint- For Energy and Communication.

Basil- Dispels Confusion, Fears, and Weakness.

Rosemary- For Good Health and Healing.

Cinnamon- For Success, Healing, Protection, and Power.

(Optional) Sugar- for flavor.
How to make:

(It is recommended that you use whole leaves and not spices found in drawers, the only exception to this is the cinnamon and sugar)

Put equal parts of each ingredient (except sugar) into a cup of very hot water and let seep for an hour. Remove leaves and stir. Once you are satisfied that the cinnamon is totally mixed in, add as much sugar as you like and drink.

Notes On My Mother’s Spice Drawer

Two years ago, my family and I moved in with my mother for a couple of weeks while our belongings were being loaded onto a container ship in Oakland. One night, my mother was out and my children were asleep in my childhood room. Dave was in Perth, house-hunting and meeting his soon-to-be coworkers. I had three glasses of Merlot in me and was bored. Naturally I went through my mother’s spice drawer and cataloged them all on a spreadsheet, complete with notes and corresponding expiration dates.

There were 62 spice jars in total. The most frequent brand name was Spice Island. She had two of each of the following: Basil, Black Peppercorn, Chinese Five Spice, Curry Powder, Dill Weed, Coriander, Minced Garlic, Rubbed Sage, Sesame Seeds, Tarragon, Whole Cloves, and something called Singapore Seasoning. There were three jars of nutmeg and four jars of ginger.

There was something called Tuscan Sunset made by a company called Penzeys. According to the Penzeys website, the mix is mostly oregano and basil, with “the added zest of garlic, bell pepper and black pepper.” It is recommended for veggies, pasta, chicken and fish. It is best enjoyed if you have divorced your cheating husband, bought a fixer-upper, and your best friend is a perky lesbian played by Sandra Oh.

The topic of expiration dates is a sensitive one for Mom and me. When I was eight months pregnant, I went through her cupboards and threw out everything I deemed too old for consumption (I was not living there). This angered her, although she did agree with the fate of the bottle of soy sauce from 1984.

Twenty-four of the spices had legible expiration dates, the earliest of which was December 1985, Cream of Tartar. I included a comment next to my spreadsheet entry on Garden Mint from December 1989: Still smells like mint. The nutmeg that expired the year I graduated from high school did not smell like nutmeg but the Confetti Décor from the month Bill Clinton was sworn in for his second term as president looked brand new.

I could not find a date on one jar of nutmeg but it was made by a company that no longer exists. It cost 99 cents, and the label featured a recipe for creamed chipped beef.

My mother cooked me dinner practically every night for 18 years. An average meal was some sort of chicken dish, a green vegetable and a starch. Some nights she’d get home from work at 6pm, toss her canvas tote on the counter, and stir a pot of rice without removing her coat. My dad would have returned home 30 minutes earlier than Mom, made himself a Manhattan and a plate of Wheat Thins and Gouda before sitting down to watch the evening news. My brother and I were either on the couch with Dad or upstairs doing homework. Sometimes the phone would ring and my dad would shout, It’s probably for you, Sandra. She’d answer the phone and check the oven. Dinner’s ready, she would call out. Just prior to serving us, she’d grab a jar from the spice drawer and furiously shake it over the sauté pan.

Rummaging through her spice drawer, I felt guilty, but not because I was snooping. That spice drawer did something for my mother every night that the rest of us did not. It helped.