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Old 07-26-2005, 12:00 PM   #11
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I really find I go through phases with certain herbs and spices, for example this summer has been the "summer of thyme". My list this week would be:

-Lemon pepper
-Ginger
-Oregano
-Basil
-Cinnamon
-sage (ground)
-Black peppercorns
-Maldon sea salt

I know that spices/herbs can be pricey, but if your local grocery store has a bulk section you may be able to get smaller quantities at lower prices, or ask a friend or two if they'd like to go to a warehouse-store type place (which are also often cheaper in the long run, aka price per/gram) and all chip in on spices which you'd divide between yourselves.

p.s.
It really doens't count but I find honey to indispensable in the kitchen for seasoning.
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Old 07-26-2005, 12:01 PM   #12
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Do you have a bulk food store near you, that sells bulk spices? You can pick up small amounts of spices, which are fresher for a fraction of the cost.
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Old 07-26-2005, 12:25 PM   #13
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Some of the most important to me are garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, and thyme.

It just about takes a bank loan to buy all your spices at once, so I would suggest buying a few at a time, starting with your favorites.

Barbara
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Old 07-26-2005, 12:51 PM   #14
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Fortunately there is a little market just four blocks away that sells bulk spices, but your lists have been very helpful in getting me started on an "essential" list!

Oh, and I see lots of thyme one here: I have a big gorgeous pot of fresh thyme, simply because I liked the smell and it was on sale at the garden center, but aside from chopping into an omelet, I've never used it. Suggestion?
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:01 PM   #15
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Assuming you have S&P, and perhaps some form of chile (name your poison-- hot sauces, ground cayenne, flakes, whichever you're most likely to use the most), I'd say the next two would be Cavender's Greek (has sage, oregano, and garlic) and Lawrey's (a childhood comfort food basic) as far as blends go. The Montreal chicken seasoning mentioned before tastes a lot like the Cavender's, a little chunkier. For pure herbs, a must for me is sage, but in reality, Cavender's will provide enough sage for most purposes. If you make a lot of tomato sauce, you'll want some dried oregano. To me there are a few herbs not worth buying dried, period: basil, mint, parsley. I'm not a "super taster" and to me they don't taste, period.
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:08 PM   #16
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ramydam:

I've noticed that if you look at the prices in the spice section (where spices are sold in jars), and then check the prices in the "ethnic spice section" (where spices are sold in plastic bags), there is a huge price difference. Very often I can buy spices for 1/2 price if I get it in the plastic bag. (I keep my older jars and refill and date as needed)
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:22 PM   #17
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We frequently use a Greek seasoning called Cavender's (with a low-sodium version, too). It's made in Harrison, Arkansas, (yeah, right, where all the Greek population hangs out) and just goes on or in about everything. Not very expensive, by comparison, either.

The price of spice is awful. A few times we've talked ourselves out of some essentials because of that. So, thanks, JKath for the tip - we'll check out the bagged section next trip.
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Old 07-26-2005, 03:31 PM   #18
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Not a problem!

Also, spices online can save money as well.
I forgot to mention my favorite of favorites!
I put it on my beef and chicken before I grill them - I LOVE it!
Here it is:



http://oldewestportspice.com/mesquite.php
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Old 07-26-2005, 04:06 PM   #19
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Garlic FOR SURE! Thyme, cumin and black pepper or chili powder.
If I had to have an all purpose blend, I like "Joes Hot Stuff".

You should also search out where you can buy herbs by weight instead of the 3, 4 sometimes 7 dollar an ounce shelf spices, like McCormick. I buy bulk herbs from co-ops, health food stores, sometimes Wholefoods. You can buy a little and they will be much cheaper.

I also keep a pretty wide selection of pastas and rice to go with my garlic ;-)

bryan
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Old 07-26-2005, 05:05 PM   #20
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salt and pepper (of course)
onion powder
garlic (any works for me)
montreal steak seasoning
basil
oregano
cinnamon
nutmeg
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