Here’s a New Year’s resolution that will change your life! Use more herbs and spices in your everyday meal preparations. The first step might be out with the old and in with the new. So go through your spice drawer or cupboard and get rid of the old, dusty spices that have been around longer than a year. Likely these have lost their bright color and aroma. Save the jars and use them to start your new spice collection. The Co-op has a vast assortment of mostly certified organic herbs and spices to choose from and you can purchase only the amount you need. This also saves you from paying for a labeled jar over and over again.
Next consider your general cooking style and stock your spice pantry accordingly:
Basic savory: Bay leaves, oregano, thyme, cumin, coriander, black pepper, red pepper and basil.
Basic baking: Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice and ginger.
Basic Indian: Cardamom, clove, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, whole mustard seed, saffron, turmeric and fenugreek.
Basic Eastern European: Allspice, caraway, dill, paprika and smoked paprika.
Basic French: Marjoram, rosemary, sage, thyme and lavender.
Basic Italian: Basil, cinnamon, dill, fennel seed, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
Basic Mexican: Chile powder (s), cumin, coriander and oregano.
Give your new spices a place of honor in your kitchen. Store them where they are easily accessed so it is fun to choose just the right combination for your recipe. There are many inexpensive spice rack options that anchor on cupboard doors. There are also risers that can fit into deep cupboards so things are more easily seen.