I have always liked to sprinkle a bit of vanilla powder on top of my lattes at the Essential Baking Company, so a couple years ago, I bought some vanilla powder at the PCC and a little spice jar, and had some downstairs in the coffee kitchen. It was consolidated into the rest of the spices when we "moved" a couple years ago, and has never made its way back downstairs.
Several weeks or months ago (I specifically remember doing it, but not when), I remembered the vanilla powder, and restocked our supply at PCC, in preparation for the new coffee habit we were going to develop. I bought in bulk, and evidently, at the same time, restocked our supply of garlic powder.
You see where this is going.
This morning I prepared a beautiful latte (I've actually been cheating a little—just heating my milk up on the stove instead of steaming it, because it cuts down a lot on the time and the spatters of milk along the walls, the ceiling, and the beautiful espresso machine), scraped a little fresh nutmeg onto it, and remembered the vanilla powder upstairs. Up in the kitchen, I pulled the vanilla off the bottom shelf from among the latter letters of the alphabet (yes, I alphabetize my spices, more or less), and remembered, when looking at it anew, that the replacement vanilla powder—granted, procured several years after the original—had had a different granule. In fact, looking at the two layered in the bottle (like a rudimentary one of those sand-filled bird bottles you can put together at the state fair), I thought the newer vanilla powder actually looked a lot like granulated garlic. There was a little left over in the spice bag, though, and I looked at the twist tie, and I had clearly written "vanilla" on it. So I opened the container, sniffed it, found the smell to be inconclusive, and shook it into my coffee.
Now, coffee is fairly pungent itself, and so my first couple sips weren't screamingly different from normal coffee. But I wasn't getting any of the admittedly subtle vanilla flavor, so I opened the little bag of overage, wetted a fingertip, and tasted the contests. EW. Definitely garlic. I then pulled the jar labeled Garlic Powder off the shelf and wrenched open its sprinkle top—yep, definitely vanilla—albeit garlic-scented. I briefly attempted to pour the garlic off the vanilla powder in the original jar, but quickly saw that it was not going to be possible to get entirely unadulterated vanilla, so I dumped the whole thing into the compost bin and stuck the jar in the dishwasher. The garlic jar seemed to be entirely full of vanilla—except for the bits of garlic that had adhered to the sides of the jar—but I decided that was enough adulteration to destroy the whole lot, and that went into the compost too.
Being the non-wasteful child of my parents that I am, I attempted to continue drinking my coffee, but the garlic aftertaste, and the garlic-and-coffee burps, finally got to me and I poured it out. I'm very glad that I saw Witch Doctor Dan only yesterday and he worked on my nausea issues. I was definitely testing his work this morning.
I made myself another, smaller coffee (because I really had drunk about half of my first one), and added some sugar and no spices, to be sure and have a completely different coffee experience in my immediate sense memory, and it has been very good. I plan to refill both our garlic powder and our vanilla powder—in two separate trips to the store.
I blame chemo brain.