What I didn’t want for Christmas
was a spice rack.
Spices have never been my thing.
I get confused between oregano and origami.
I can’t remember when to use rosemary,
paprika, tarragon, or turmeric.
What’s the difference between cardamom and coriander?
It’s all a mystery to me.
I got a rack of spices for Christmas a few years ago.
I threw them out after years of neglect and disuse.
But this Christmas
I made bread sauce.
For the turkey.
I love bread sauce,
And this was my contribution to Christmas dinner.
I made it so carefully!
I bought ingredients.
Garlic, cloves, peppercorns and nutmeg.
Sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf.
It took me two hours to make on Christmas morning.
I took it to my son’s house in a large glass bowl.
It joined the other dishes on the groaning board,
Hidden behind a giant turkey and massed roast vegetables.
It was consumed without comment.
No-one said: ‘This bread sauce is beautifully spiced!’
So I explained that I’d made an effort,
Racking the shelves of Waitrose for fresh bay leaves,
Grinding nutmeg on Christmas morning.
After dinner, we opened presents.
My daughter and partner gave me a spice rack.
She said: This is just what you want, Dad!
We weren’t sure you would like it,
But after that bread sauce!