Would you believe that's not even all of them?
And would you believe that only two of those jars are doubles? Its true. I own two jars of basil and two jars of ground cloves.
The rest are completely different, individual, non repetitive herbs and spices.
Why? Because like I said, I'm a spice-aholic. During this time of year all the spices go on sale. Some are even buy one get one free! How can I pass that up? Some people have shoe addictions, others have jewelry addictions....I have spice additions. What can I say? I like flavor.
What may be even more shocking is that I absolutely, completely use all of them. I like to experiment. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Mustard and cinnamon do not a compliment make. I would know.
I bought a jar of molasses for future gingerbread making. I went to put it into my very large spice cabinet when I realized that I had already bought a jar of molasses a couple of weeks ago.
This really doesn't happen to me very often. I'm usually very good about remembering what's in my cabinets. I just thought it was particularly curious that I doubled up on molasses. Who thinks about molasses? Eh. Oh well. Lots of gingerbread goodies in our near future.
So as I rummaged through my spices looking to see what else I might have in triplicate, I thought I'd share a few words on spices.
I have go-to spices. The ones I replenish pretty regularly because I use them so much. Maybe you recognize a few of these.
Cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder. And, of course, salt and pepper (not shown).
These spices are great compliments to each other and all foods. Meats, poultry, veggies, you name it. You can use any of these in any combination and come up with a winner.
Then there are my go-to herbs.
Herbs are great. I love herbs. I wish I had an herb garden to pick fresh herbs when I needed them. I kinda do, but it only contains parsley, mint, and rosemary (all of which are nearly impossible to kill and extremely low maintenance). I have, however, managed to kill all of the following at every attempt to cultivate my own: basil, chives, oregano, and thyme. So I keep these in dried form for when its not convenient to run to the store for the fresh stuff.
Herbs......mmmmm.......they smell good. Great in soups, marinades, sauces, omelets, and chicken dishes.
Go-to baking spices.
Allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla beans, cloves.
Think apple pie. Pumpkin pie. Donuts. Ice Cream. Meatballs. Spinach.
Yes, allspice in the meatballs, nutmeg in the spinach. Classic combos. Try it. Add just a touch. Sprinkle it in. Its super duper.
A few noteworthy gems of flavor.
Then there are a few herbs I just can't figure out what to do with. For example, marjoram. I hear its widely used in Italian dishes. So I add it to stuff like spaghetti sauce and lasagna. But you wanna know a secret.....I can't taste it. I don't even know what it should taste like. I cannot detect it in my food. Maybe I'm not using it right, I don't know, but to me, the stuff is flavorless. Same goes for savory. This one is not quite as absent on my taste radar, but I don't see how it lends itself much to the real flavor of a dish. I could take it or leave it, I guess.
I hope I've inspired you to buy some new spices while they're on sale this season. Stock up, experiment, try something new! I recommend adding some herbs to your repertoire. They'll do wonders for your kitchen.
Go easy on the molasses.