Simple Bites has a post up today about the ten spices you absolutely, positively must have on your spice rack. I realize that they’re being a bit dramatic for effect but still. Absolutely positively??
I have 8 of their 10, and I can barely count a 7th because I don’t remember using it in YEARS. A 6th I use maybe once a year.
My top ten?
- Kosher salt. Yes, I definitely agree with them there. Although I still use table salt sometimes, and sea salt other times, I use kosher salt all the time.
- Black pepper. I have a pepper grinder I LOVE so getting freshly ground pepper is very easy, and so tasty.
- Oregano. We love Italian flavors and I find I use this frequently.
- Hot sauce! I’m not even sure how many types we have, but our go-to ones are pretty basic: Tabasco & Franks
- Greek seasoning blend – love this on fried potatoes on weekend mornings.
- Dill. I absolutely adore the flavor of dill and go overboard using it in potato, egg & tuna salads. Yummm!
- Chili powder & cayenne pepper. I know, kind of cheating to group them as one, but I almost always use them together. Not 100% of the time, but probably 95%.
- Bay leaves. Not so much during the Spring & Summer, but during soup season I use these regularly. I got some huge ones from Penzey’s which have so much more aroma than the ones I’d always gotten from the grocery store.
- Nutmeg! I actually like the taste of nutmeg much more than cinnamon, so I usually reverse the amounts listed in most recipes. I keep whole nutmeg in the freezer and grate it whenever I need it.
- Cinnamon. My husband especially loves cinnamon, so I end up using it often for him. Although, I think I use it exclusively for sweet dishes, never savory.
And what is it that I don’t have in my pantry that was recommended?
- Curry powder – I DETEST curry; something in almost all curry blends literally makes me shudder and gag. It’s so bad I don’t even want to make an effort to figure out what it is (maybe the tumeric?) in order to avoid it if possible. I just steer clear. R hates it as much as me, so there is no push from him for me to ever use it so we just don’t.
- Cumin – before getting married I could have almost lumped cumin in with the chili powder & cayenne pepper above; I used it regularly. Then I learned that my husband thinks cumin makes food smell like dirty feet. Specifically, his youngest brother’s nasty feet. Yeah, I haven’t used it since. Who wants to bring up that horrific smell memory for someone they love?
- While I do own arrowroot, I haven’t used it in forever. In fact, I’d need to check to see if it can go bad before I’d want to use what I’ve got in the cabinet. I don’t really cook stirfrys to use it for thickening so it just sits unused on the shelf. I think I got the bottle from my mom, who helped stock my kitchen when I first moved up here.
- And it’s ground ginger that I use so infrequently, and never in savory dishes. Gingerbreads or similar items are about it.