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Help me spice things up with the hubby!

My sweet husband is constantly asking me what I want for Christmas. Even though I give him a suggestion or two here and there, he never seems to remember (or write it down, for that matter).

The other day I was browsing the Smitten Kitchen blog and was oooohhhing and ahhhhhing during the tour of her kitchen. When I saw the way her spices were organized, I knew that’s what I wanted for Christmas! If you’ll notice, she has them arranged in a very OCD type manner in little tins with easy to read labels on the outside. The way they are organized seems to me that they would be easily accessible, easy to organize, and a cinch to dip in and get the measurement you need.

So, I tell my hubby “I know what I want for Christmas!”. I show him the picture of the spices all neatly arranged in their little tins. I also show him the comment that would lead him directly to the website where he can purchase said tins. His response? “Those look great. Why don’t you go ahead and buy them for yourself as your Christmas present from me.” Whaaaat??

I decided to compromise. I decided that I would by the containers myself, but he has to provide the spices. I do wantribrub.jpg something to open on Christmas morning and he shouldn’t be able to get off that easy now, should he?

I do know my husband well though, and know that without things written down exactly like you want them, he’ll feel lost and confused when shopping for presents. What I’m asking from you all is a list of your all time favorite spices. I have the essentials and quite a few non-essentials. What I’m looking for are the herbs and spices that you use in your meals that might not be so common. What might I be missing?

Now, I beg of you, please don’t leave me hanging. I’m opening myself up here, asking for your help in making sure that I have something under the tree on Christmas morning

Chef.

I’d love your feedback and comments. I hope I can send my dearest love off to the spice store armed with a great list of herbs and spices that will help me to get more spicy in the kitchen.

 

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Comments

  1. Do you have…..anise seed and fennel seed? What about fennel seed way ground up – fennel pollen/dust?
    Those are some of my goodies! Plus I have a little jar where I throw used vanilla beans (to get used again):)

  2. I thought you might enjoy the "before" picture too, as the fact that they were right out in the middle of the kitchen and a total eyesore was a big part in me organizing when I am otherwise abominably lazy. (Like our clock, which took us three months to change the battery.) http://www.flickr.com/photos/smitten/50993640/

    Essential spices? I cannot live without my cumin seed, both whole and ground, ditto with coriander, whole and ground, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne and white pepper, but I do like Indian cooking a lot, where they are played up heavily.

    I tend to skip the garlic and onion salts, opting just for powder and salting things as I need to, so I can get more use out of each. Also, if you have any seeds like sesame or poppy, it’s actually best to keep them in the fridge because the oils inside can turn rancid more quickly at room temp.

    Oh, and finally, make sure you get a lot more tins than you need. You’ll always acquire more spices in your cooking, and it’s so great if you don’t have to run back to the store (or the internet) to get more each time.

    Sorry for the super-long comment!

  3. I love to use celery salt (especially on anything with tuna) and marjoram (sp?).

  4. Karen Beth says:

    I love and cannot live without the following:

    Garlic powder
    Onion powder
    Garam Marsala
    Rubbed Sage
    Oregano
    Nutmeg
    WHOLE cloves
    Sea salt (does that count?)
    Herbes de Provence

    Those are my faves. NEATO gift to request!!

  5. You all are awesome… thank you! I now have some good ideas. I have several of the spices you all mentioned, but there are some I don’t have that I know I just need! :)

    Deb – I love the before picture. It seems very familar to me. Have you been sneaking a peek in my pantry?

  6. This is about 9 months too late (and I know that an American and an Estonian cook way differently:), but my most used spices are caraway seeds (for beetroot, rye bread, sauerkraut), paprika powder, chilly flakes (I prefer them to powder), cinnamon, vanilla sugar/extract, cumin seeds and coriander seeds (I use pestle & mortar to crush them), Maldon sea salt flakes, black pepper (whole peppercorns or coarsely ground), nutmeg, cardamom, dried oregano. I do have lots more, but these are the ones I reach for most frequently.
    Any chance you post an update about your spice rack now? Please? Mine are all in one drawer in small glass jars. I’ve labeled all the lids, so it’s easy to find things. Obviously this isn’t as stylish as Deb’s solution, but it works at the moment..

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