A Home Apothecary
Once upon a time, I worked in supplements. In fact, once upon many times, I worked in supplements, and herbs, and body care products. When I lived in Washington, D.C. in my early twenties, I worked in the supplements and body care department at Whole Foods Market in Arlington, VA for about a year, before transitioning to two different small Mom & Pop health food stores in the district, where I juggled the entire gamut of both stores. Then, when I returned to Asheville, in 2000, I worked several years at a large regional natural foods store in the supplements & body care department, before ultimately working the supplement & herb section at an integrative medicine practice before transferring to being the practice’s medical assistant and nutrition consultant.
So, you see, I have a long and storied history of working with bottles of Vitamin C and tinctures of echinacea. Recently, I found myself frustrated with the storage area for our own arsenal of natural remedies. From herbal teas to natural cough lozenges, everything was sort of lumped together all crazy-like in our walk-in pantry. “Nevermore, quoth I!” (dramatic emphasis is imperative to developing tension in any good story, you see). And so began our quest to build or buy something in which to house our remedies.
We considered a number of possibilities, including building something ourselves, but ultimately decided that something upright and tall and upcycled/repurposed would do the trick. We opted to tuck it into a little nook in the kitchen that you pass en route to the pantry. Several antique and thrift trips later, we found just what we were looking for. An old wooden cabinet, sturdy but not terribly heavy, and with a good number of shelves inside spotted at the Antique Tobacco Barn (oh, SUCH a temptress, that place is!) met all of our criteria.
It was a beat-up white when we purchased it, so we knew it would need a paint coat to make it mesh with our interior (which is largely composed of dark, earthy colors). Glenn found a shade of army green that meshed with the kitchen palette perfectly. He gave it two coats, and then sanded down the edges and bits of the exterior, to make it look worn in. A knob matching our kitchen cabinetry replaced the knob the cabinet came with and it was done!
Those of you that like to organize like I do will understand the immense, abiding satisfaction I now experience every time I open the cabinet (which, incidentally, has been a good deal lately; this cold just doesn’t want to leave!). There’s a shelf for prescription items, one for Glenn’s supplements, one for Huxley’s, one for digestive needs and cold/flu health, one for bulk medicinal herbs, and one for teas. I adore it. A place for everything, and everything in its place!