I Am in a Creative Space: Spice Cabinet Stories

Our daily prompt series began by exploring the creativity that lies within us. Then, prompts asked us to look outward and collaborate with the people—family members, friends, elders, and more!—in our ensembles. This week, we’re sharing prompts that encourage you and your ensembles to think about the spaces that you inhabit. These days, we’re limited to pretty specific spaces! But our creativity can expand the limits and boundaries of these walls. The theme for this week’s prompts is:

I am in a creative space.

Today’s prompt is called Spice Cabinet Stories. The definition of a spice means different things to different people. We’re keeping it broad for this prompt. Directions are below. (Editor’s Note: Check out Part II of Spice Cabinet Stories! It’s a whole new activity where you’ll create a character based on a spice and interview it using the Creative Teaching strategy Hot Seating.)

Learning at home activity: Spice Cabinet stories

With adult permission and supervision (if necessary), look at the spices you have in your kitchen or eating space. Here is one example of some spices, spice mixes, and a spice-infused oil a CLI team member had in her kitchen:

Spices: 1) Old Bay Seasoning. 2) Everything Bagel Seasoning. 3) Anise Oil. 4) Crushed Red Pepper. 5) Powdered red pepper. 6) Sea salt flakes. 7) Asafoetida. 8) Anise Seeds. 9) Chaat masala. 10) Idli podi. 11) Cardamom Pods. 12) Star anise.

Pick your favorite spice. Maybe your favorite changes daily or monthly. If you have more than one favorite, select a small group. If you only have condiments at home—like hot sauce, ketchup, mustard, fish sauce—choose your favorite and look at the ingredients list. What is a spice in the ingredients list that makes the condiment taste good? Remember that salt and pepper are also considered spices—very important ones!

Once you select your spice, smell it! Taste it! (But try not to smell too closely or taste too much, or else you might sneeze and blow it all over the kitchen… not that this has ever happened to this writer…) Use your senses to analyze what you see, smell, taste, and feel. Take a photo of your spice, if you are able. Then complete this sentence:

“[Insert name of spice] reminds me of [fill in the blank].”

Maybe the spice reminds you of an emotion or feeling. Maybe it reminds you of a personal or family connection. Write a phrase, paragraph, or poem or create a drawing to illustrate what the spice reminds you of.

Here are some examples:

Anise reminds me of coming inside the house in the winter. Snow forts and blue and quiet. As soon as the door cracks open, it’s bright and warm and Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby are singing “Sisters” and just with a smell I know mom is making pizzelles and Christmas is right around the corner.

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