How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

A Matter of Taste?



When I was much younger, I noticed everything I wasn’t familiar with in my family environment. What I never saw on our table was salt. Other people I didn’t know, patrons in restaurants, for example, or specifically ‘diners’ from an earlier era in our household, had a special relationship with this particular shaker of white flakes. Too many food consumers snow-glowed their food before tasting first.


Ick. Yuck. Ack.

What if the cook had over-seasoned the food already? What if exactly enough had been added? Is a perfect meal ruined? How do you chow down once more salt has been added then is necessary? Necessary for whom?

It’s all a matter of taste I suppose—depending on whose taste buds you’re talking about.

That was then; this is now.

Decisions are sometimes on cloud nine…

Recently, I’ve discovered I use salt more often than ever before. To my defense, I do try the dish before ‘fixing’ it. When I cook, I am more aware of salt, and generally, am stingier with this seasoning since I’ve read about the bad side-effects, concerning the more mature population of our hemisphere. I’m not about to get technical on you—we all know about salt and hypertension. Right?

My taste buds don’t appear to have the same sensitivity to food they once had. Laziness has set in. Must I face the truth? Is more, better—salt, that is? Is this how drug addiction begins? A little today? Great! More next week, and so on?

I’m too tired to strive for perfection at this stage of the game—I never have before— why stress out now? I could use a break. OK? Thank you very much. A little salt won’t do me in, will it?

Hot Pepper Flakes:

Every so often, I like to spice up my soups, stews, leftovers, with a little heat. Enter—hot pepper flakes. Nothing heats me up from head to toe like hot pepper flakes—nothing! I do not need permission for my choice(s) of pleasure. Okay?


I had a stash of hot pepper flakes in my spice drawer and wondered if it was stale. I felt the heat had somewhat degenerated. One evening, when I served pasta at dinner, even my eight-year-old granddaughter agreed there was no UMPH left in the hot pepper flakes. The next day, I purchased a fresh batch. To my disappointment, I tasted no marked improvement in the taste when I brought them home. Why? Oh Why?

How is it my granddaughter has the same complaint as ME? She’s only eight. Why are hot pepper flakes going soft-core? Is the growing season so screwed up; this hint of the future is telling us something: No-taste? No-heat? No-flavour? Forget it?


This past summer, I haven’t been happy with garlic. The taste is not as robust as in past memory. ? I haven’t had that experience in a long tim of wakling out of an Italian restaurante. This is good and bad simultaneously.

Fresh garlic wants to be smashed before it gives up its armored coat. To my disappointment, garlic cloves have become easy-peasy—too indifferent lately who cares

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

18 thoughts on “A Matter of Taste?

  1. I am also a bit stingy with salt when I cook.
    Mex COVERS his food in pepper.
    I think it is to stop me pinching anything off his plate!


    • I have noticed a lot of my friends getting more into pepper to stay away from salt. Ha. Maybe your should poke your finger at his plate first, then it will be too late for all that pepper and you can filch off his plate?


  2. I generally don’t bother cooking, and I always taste what i made or get on my plate before adding anything. But chutney goes on savoury mince as a matter of course 😉
    As for the hot flakes, I’ll stick to my hot flushes for heat thank you very much!! Have never been able to handle too spicy food!!


  3. I have never been a lover of salt, even as a child. I do however, love spice. Curry, garlic, pepper all of it. I notice as I grow older my taste buds have changed though, I think this is simply something we must live with.


  4. I in fact have hypertension. I’ve discovered that the ‘salt substitute’ isn’t bad. But the bottom line I’m taking away from your piece, Tess, is that you need more spice in your life…Yes?!


    • Sorry to hear about the hypertension. I’ve tried salt substitutes too, to stave OFF hypertension. My father had to shake the salt habit and we all went on Mrs. Dash. So many flavours; we never missed salt.

      Oh, shucks, Laurie, I have plenty of spice in my life. Of course, there’s always MORE to be had…


  5. I carefully season a dish, taste, adjust, refine, and serve. My husband then, without tasting it, covers it with salt and pepper. Maddening!


  6. A taste bud after my own Tess. Hello.
    I am nodding my head in agreement with you as I read about people and their salt addiction. Taking before eve knowing if needed is an addiction, right? I prefer my flavors to come from something not as acidic while also being bitter. that being said there are a few things I like saltier than not Fried chicken its a must, I love sea salt or kosher salt in friend chicken, no bitterness.

    On garlic, I have noticed the same thing, Bland. I have taken to slow roasting whole heads of garlic to bring out their natural sweetness and adds a depth of flavor. It helps.

    Great post Tess. I love to know how people are doing without salt, the ideas and techniques.


    • I started with the salt habit first and the next two (garlic and hot peppers) were alternatives to making food taste good.

      Have you noticed this past year, for the first time I can recall, Romaine has been the pits as has been garlic, carrots don’t have the taste they should etc. Thank goodness most celery hasn’t lost it’s taste. Radishes seem not to be as hot. Those hooked on salt are going to use more of it because of all these failings. Have you tried Mrs. Dash, salt substitute? They have MANY flavours now; all different combinations of vegetable flakes. I used to like to use it in rice. Nice to hear from you, Tonij.


      • I have noticed the lettuce situation. I only like leaf lettuce and the only decent type I have found is Bibb. Maybe because its hot house, don’t know. But its more expensive.

        Radishes have disappointed, as have Brussels Sprouts.that are puny with zero flavor. One thing that made a come back in my world are oranges. I eat 2 to 3 oranges a day and have for about 5 yrs. I crave them, think my body must need the C or something and since there are also no adverse effects, I enjoy them When they are good that is. Last year I could not find a sweet juicy orange to save my life.Now this year they are superior again.
        I asked the produce manager where I shop, he looked at me like I had lost my mind

        It is good to see you & your blog again Tess. Honestly, I had been preoccupied the past few months but am able now to focus on just good Ole life again, How wonderful.
        Think I am back in my saddle again ~


  7. I have always been stingy with salt…except on huge soft pretzels. I am a pepper queen…mind you I despise peppercorns. Fresh, fleshy, seedy peppers all the way to habaneros. L.o.v.e. For me, the only time food loses its flavor is when I am sick, or getting that way.

    I have learned a few ppl not to salt my food without tasting. I have been known to dissolve a box (1 pound) of salt into a meal for those who salt without tasting. They feel bad when even the dog will not eat it… xxx


    • Yes, pepper, all kinds of peppers. I favour hot and spicey more than I did twenty years ago. Figured the taste buds were on vacation. I shake my head at eaters who pour on the salt first. Makes me shudder. Good trick, Red. Maybe I’ll steal it. Ha ha.


  8. I love hot pepper flakes and garlic salt. I did find this great salt-free seasoning at Trader Joe’s called 21 Seasoning Salute. It is a great alternative to salt and tastes great on different foods.


    • We have a substitute here, which I originally found in the U.S. called Mrs. Dash. Haven’t had it it years so I’m thinking it’s most likely improved over the years (not that I found it wanting). Mrs. Dash comes in many flavours.