Last week's stop motion video on dancing salt was extremely exact, so I wanted this week's piece to have a completely differentenergy. Bold, liberating, spontaneous. I didn't want to be restricted by increments, I wanted to throw, smash and break things! Be free and live a little, you know? When I cook, I have the most fun not when I'm measuring, but when I'm spicing. A dash, a pinch, a touch - a subjective unit completely of my own determining. And once I thought of spices, it was just a hop, skip and a jump to Bollywood.
I'm ashamed to admit, I wasn't very knowledgeable about Indian cinema when I started this experiment, so I hunkered down with suggestions from cinephile friends. I was expecting an uplifting evening with boisterous choreography and gorgeous colors. 90 minutes later, my eyes were swollen with weeping and I was fast-forwarding through the intermission to get to the second half.
It was the same with the spices I explored. All my assumptions went out the window as I sniffed out the difference between Madagascan and Tahitian vanilla, black and green cardamom, ceylon and regular cinnamon. I smashed at least seven kinds of peppers. My spice experiment had another thing in common with my Bollywood film watching: It also made me weep, although this time, it wasn't so much a crushing family drama as a crushed chili pequin in my eye.
And for a preview of next week: You'll see a bad guy. And a hero. And a cheeky proprietress of The Spicy Radish Saloon. Our Veggie Western is shaping up to be something of a showdown.