Sacred Spice: A Holiday Poem
with Stephanie Bullen
Chief Flavor Advisor
Over the past ten years our customers, employees, and franchisees have become an extended family. Like any family, we have celebrated joyous occasions (marriages, births, and anniversaries) and stood together in trying times (through Colorado fires and floods, Hurricane Sandy, and deaths). Sometimes, we even find out that someone in our Savory Family has a hidden talent. A few months ago, we received an email from our Oklahoma City Savory Spice Shop owner, Deb Blakley. You know you’re going to get a pleasant note when the subject line reads, “A gift for you.” What we didn’t know, until then, is that Deb has a hidden talent for writing poetry.
In the spirit of the holidays, we wanted to share this gift with our Savory Family. Thank you to the owners who pour their hearts into their stores, the passionate employees who keep the shops running, and our incredible customers—our biggest fans, best advertising, and an integral part of our Savory Family. We wish you a very joyous and delicious holiday season.
A note from Deb Blakley:
My son Able and I are the proud owners of the Savory Spice Shop in Oklahoma City. In the two and a half years our shop has been open, we have made many, many wonderful friends here in OKC. Our customers are like family to us and we love to have them stop in for fresh blends and some warm conversation. I have always cooked and baked for my family but didn't fall in love with spices until studying in preparation for opening the shop. The more I learned, the more I came to value and understand each different flavor and blend of flavors. I love how different they all are and the delicious tastes that emerge when they are combined and dance together. I freely admit that all three of my children are better cooks than I ever was. That's fine with me; having someone else cooking delicious meals is a perk of owning a spice store, to my way of thinking.
Besides being a spice merchant I am also a musician and a writer, poetry being my favorite genre. I sat down the other day and tried to put on paper some of the magic and music that I find in the wide world of herbs and spices. I think of spices as secret gifts of the earth that enhance our lives and brighten our days with health and fragrance. I am delighted to have this opportunity to share the result with you. Peace and Happy Christmas.
Fragrant and beautiful Star Anise
Pepper worth fortunes, crossing the seas,
Garlic to heal you and Cumin to shout,
Cinnamon, sweet as a kiss on the mouth.
Cloves, for preserving and also for pain,
Nutmeg, the bringer of fortune and fame,
Cardamom, Sesame, pale Ginger too,
Swirled into curries, stir-fries or stews.
Comfortable herbs of Basil and Thyme,
Sage and Oregano, Tarragon, Chives.
Parsley, helping the others to blend,
Rosemary, Lovage, Marjoram, Mint.
Set them to simmer for tincture or tea,
for poison or poultice, or visions to see.
Powerful Turmeric, worker of wonders,
Allspice from islands of sunshine and thunder.
Bark, root and berry, leaf, seed and flower,
pick, dry and sort them, sweat them for hours.
Born of Creation and blessing us twice,
with health and with flavor, sweet sacred spice.