Saturday, April 28, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 315: When a man is out of pepper, he is out of life

We had a pepper emergency that morning. We ran out of pepper. You'd think we'd run out of salt by the way SH carried on.

The pepper mill was empty! Oh no!

This is the Magnum pepper mill that his parents sent him for his birthday a few years before and is probably the only present he has ever gotten from them that he has liked.

Who spends $40 on a pepper mill? Better yet, who wants a pepper mill that costs $40? My usually low-maintenance husband, that's who. He is not demanding about what he eats or about the state of the house or about what I wear or look like or about almost anything, but he likes pepper on his food. There you go. That's his thing. So when we ran out, he was not happy. Why hadn't I kept an eye on the peppercorn inventory, he wanted to know?

I shrugged. I don't care about pepper. It's not at the top of my list.

"I had a roommate once who waited until he was out of things - food, toilet paper - toilet paper! before he would replace them!" he said.

We know we'll never run out of toilet paper.

"Maybe I need to implement an inventory replenishment system like I learned in operations management in grad school," I said.

Panos Kouvelis taught my operations management class. I loved that class. I loved the material.

I really liked Prof. Kouvelis. He was so cute with his tidy sport coat and slacks and slick Italian shoes. I had a little crush on him. He was fun. Smart and quirky with this great subtle sense of humor. He wrote this formula on the board one day, then turned and looked at us. "I would say it's all Greek to me, but..." he deadpanned.

I went to the spice store and asked how long it takes for pepper to go stale. "Years," the clerk said.

"Give me a pound," I said.

That should do us for a year or two. No more pepper fits.


webb said...

Interesting. I have actually started buying peppercorns in smaller quantities, because they seem to me to lose their bite over time. Maybe it's my taste buds!

greatbleuheron said...

I have a half-memory (this means I'm not sure I'm not making it up) that the French have traditionally bought pepper in large quantities so they could age it before use, and thereby mellow the flavor. If I'm not making it up, this might fit with Webb's experience.

Class factotum said...

Webb and Heron, I have noticed that the pepper I just bought has a lot of bite. I thought it was just because the grind reset to very coarse, but maybe it is because it is fresher. I kind of like it.

Joy said...

I, too, like pepper, so I can kind of understand SH's sadness at learning that you were all out of peppercorns. However, his snarking about the way you clean the trashcan makes me think that you would be more than justified in stocking that pepper mill with some kind of pepper that would leave his mouth aflame for hours.