Once she'd identified herself and described her job at BioLogic, he sat back and looked at her, a speculative gleam in his eyes. "I understand you brought the green salad, Dr, Banister. Can you tell me what was in it?"
Startled, she simply stared a moment. When he prompted her with a formless little sound, she started ticking the ingredients off on her fingers.
"Capers? What are those?"
"Fruits of a plant in the Capparidaceae--the Caper family. They're pickled." She made a circle with her thumb and finger, a quarter-inch in diameter. "I used the fancy ones, about this big."
"And what do they look like?"
"Sort of olive green, a little shriveled, more or less round."
He scribbled in his notebook. "Can you tell me where you purchased the salad ingredients?"
"New Seasons, for the most part. I had the artichoke hearts on hand, and the oil and vinegar. Oh, yes. and the capers. In fact, they'd been in my cupboard a while and I wanted to use them before they got too old."
"Too old? How long had you had them?"
"A year? I don?t know for sure. I remember I bought them when I was going to try a new recipe, then I changed my mind. That had to have been last summer--no, the summer before last. Good heavens!"
"And the artichoke hearts. When and where did you buy them?"
"Costco, in September, I think."
"Do you still have the containers?"
She thought a moment. "Yes, they're in my recycling bin."
His glance was sharp. "You washed them?"
Again he scribbled. At last he stopped and said, "Thank you, Dr. Banister. I haven't any more questions for you right now, but I may want to talk to you again later."