Well, I did it! I wrote every day from early October to New Year's Day 2010. Now I will write for fun when I feel like it and see where that gets me. Cheers to all my small-blessing-appreciating friends!

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I like the smooth hardness of nutmegs, also the veining on the inside. We have a small nutmeg grater that was my Grandma's. Curiously, nutmeg grating was an activity at the Montessori preschool my sons attended.   Considering the number of times I have grated a knuckle along with the nutmeg, I am surprised they would have tots doing this. Both boys were enthusiastic nutmeg graters. They had a brilliant idea to open a nutmeg stand, similar to the ubiquitous lemonade stand. David said earnestly, " It will be so nice for people coming home from work who forgot to buy nutmeg at the store."

Obviously nutmeg is a nut. It comes from an evergreen tree native to the Molucca Islands. Like many of the Spice Islands plants, it is grown throughout the Indian Ocean region and in the West Indies. It is grown in Zanzibar (one of the best-named places) and is shown on the flag of Granada.  It was a valuable trade item since Roman times. The Wiki article states that "at one time, nutmeg was one of the most valuable spices. It has been said that in England, several hundred years ago, a few nutmeg nuts could be sold for enough money to enable financial independence for life." According to another source, in the 1800s in Connecticut, scamming peddlers sold wooden fake nutmegs.

Nutmeg is also the source of mace, which goes so well with oranges in baking. Mace is the brilliantly-colored inner coating of the nutmeg.

Apparently nutmeg contains psychoactive substances and has been used as a hallucinogen. However the unpleasant taste of an intoxicating dose of nutmeg, along nasty side effects and toxicity have kept it from popular use. This is why you shouldn't feed eggnog to your pet!  I wonder whether the Montessori school knew about this?

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