A Cautionary Tale: When Sage Explodes

So first, let’s all take a moment to admire this platter.

Let’s also take a moment to agree that blue and white dishes are the dining room equivalent of a little black dress. They are always so right.

And now, about the sage.

This spring I went overboard. I planted things everywhere.


I gave zero thoughts to order or planning.

I was so thrilled that winter was over and I was no longer house bound, not to mention that for the first time in four years I had a yard, that I didn’t foresee my small herb garden running amock. As weeks passed it produced more tarragon, lemon thyme, Thai basil, rosemary and sage than one family could ever possibly use. I gave some away to neighbors. I ignored it. I gave more away. I cooked with vast quantities only to venture outside a few mornings later and jump in alarm at how those tiny plants growing like Jumanji.

Now fall is slowly descending, and a few recent chilly mornings reminded me that I needed to DO something. I couldn’t let all those herbs bite the dust once the frosts hit. So l decided I would harvest it and dry it in my microwave.

This wasn’t a hard process, although it was time consuming. But I watched The Gilmore Girls and Jane helped, and the kitchen smelled super awesome. I had zero troubles until… the sage.

No one told me that drying sage is the equivalent to putting a tiny organic green bomb into your microwave. 20 seconds into”drying” and one of the leaves exploded, a rush of flames that spread over the paper towel and made my microwave window look like a cheerful crackling wood stove. I grabbed it, and in a panic, threw the whole flaming mess into my sink to hose it down.

But did I learn? Did I think “maybe I shouldn’t try that again?” No. No I did not.

I repeated this flaming-sage ordeal at least three more times.

Downside: scorched knuckles.

Upside: Demon/Spirit-free microwave and everything smelled like Thanksgiving


In other news, I’ve stocked The House of Mabel with new items. I’m having a crisis-of-hording because recently I stumbled across some glorious green and aqua pottery items AND I’m selling them. This basically goes against my thrifting-ten-commandments (thou shalt not let any turquoise pottery slip through your fingers), but this etsy stuff is teaching me to let things go.

It helps me to envision my house so full of boxes of pottery that I have to squeeze through a small path of them just to get to my kitchen. Then what if sage was exploding inside my microwave? One of the sparks might fly through the air and get onto those stacks of boxes, and well, we all know how that ends.

My brain’s OCD thought process is serving as antique-crowd-control.

I also found this lovely framed crewelwork. Hello fall landscape reminiscent of fall and Amy Sherman Palladino.

And since I adhere to the “everyone needs weird stuff in their house” rule: I listed this vintage toothpick holder that is SERIOUSLY giving me Willy Wonka vibes. No? Just me?

So Happy Monday.

But for serious you guys, don’t microwave your sage.

Hang it upside down as God intended.


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