My spice cabinet was starting to look kind of empty. I’d finished the last of my cinnamon. I knew I needed to make a trip to the store for my favorite spices. There is a Mediterranean store on the west side of town. I love the store. The people are friendly and very knowledgeable. They offer just about any type of spice you may be looking for. I always cook with spices. I’m a big believer in adding spices to all my meats. My menu usually consists of chicken, pork and beef.
I’ve shopped at this store many times so when I walked through the front door I knew right where to go. When you enter the store you go straight to the back of the store. What you see when you get there is amazing. There are shelves after shelves stocked with the finest spices. It makes me happy just to be there. Since I was out of so many spices I got a shopping cart. If I’m running in the store for a couple spices I never bother with a cart. Today was different. I needed a cart.
There are so many spices to choose from. I would have liked very much to have one of each spice. My budget would not allow for that. It would not be practical for me to do that. I really needed to pick the spices that I would use all the time. The number one spice I use is cinnamon. I have never made an apple pie that I didn’t put some cinnamon in it. It adds to the taste of the pie and makes it delicious. Sometimes I will make toast with cinnamon and sugar on it for a treat. Everyone loves when I make this. If you make a cup of tea experiment by putting a pinch of cinnamon in it. It’s actually very good. If you want to be daring add a teaspoon of honey and you will have a delicacy. I also picked a container of ground allspice. There are so many recipes that call for allspice. It is very expensive in the grocery store so I decided to save money and buy it at the Mediterranean store.
I make a lot of sauces throughout the year. I use spices in all my sauces to give them added flavor. I decided that I needed some hot spices for chili and spaghetti sauce. I found a spice called ground red hot pepper. I’ve used hot sauce before but it’s always been a liquid. Today when I found the ground red hot pepper I thought I’d give it a try. I’m thinking just a pinch will be plenty. I don’t want to overwhelm my sauce with too much heat. Spices are made to enhance recipes.
My next purchase was an old favorite. I use garlic powder in almost all recipes that I have. Garlic has a unique taste and I love it. I never want to be without my garlic powder. I would buy it by the case if I could.
I use garlic salt and fresh garlic when it’s in season and I add herbs to my recipes during growing season when I have fresh herbs on hand from the garden.
A few years ago I started cooking with tumeric. Now I use it almost as often as I use garlic. It adds a golden color to pastas and enhances the taste of recipes. I feel it’s worth every penny of the cost to have this in your pantry.
I’ve been totally out of ground paprika for a couple weeks. That was making me very sad. It was one of the reasons I decided I had to make a mad dash to the store to stock up on my spices. Ground paprika is a must for potato salad, potatoes and all other recipes that call for the seasoning. It’s another spice that’s worth every penny of the cost.
The last three spices I purchased were also a must for my recipes. I picked out ground basil. I didn’t get the finely ground because I like to put a pinch in my sauces and I didn’t want it to be too fine. My sauces don’t need much basil but I do need at least a pinch to add to the flavor. Each and every spice adds a delicious and unique taste to sauces. I’ve been cooking with spices for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a home that spices were not often used. At my house I can’t imagine cooking without all my wonderful spices
I concluded my shopping spree with ground black pepper which is an essential for everyone and last but certainly not least Italian seasoning. I will use it in my Italian sauces. This is the first time I’ve ever bought the Italian seasoning but I’m certain it will be good.
I hope that I’ve given you some ideas for adding some spice to your life. I promise you won’t regret it. Happy Cooking.