Last year I wrote an article that discussed some of my common “spice of life” staples. I simply must have caraway seeds, nutmeg, chili paste, basil, oregano, garlic, and other like items on hand. If I don’t grow them myself, then I insist on buying them in bulk and preserving them in a mason jar with my Food saver jar attachment. However, today I thought I’d share with you one of my sources which I utilize for buying spices in bulk. It won’t do you any good to mention my name or anything. They undoubtedly don’t know me as well as they would recognize spice residue on their packaging floor. However, I know that I appreciate the peace of mind and savings that I get from them.
When it comes to paying $5 to $10 for just a smidgen of spices, I truly do appreciate the prices that I can pay for spices by the pound. Simple go to: Sahuaro Spice Co. They are located in Phoenix, AZ. Their number is 602-272-8557. You can see a great deal more about them at www.sahuarospiceco.com These spices are quite fresh—none of this remnant stuff. Vacuum sealing isn’t necessary, but I prefer to divide up what I’ve purchased, and then vacuum seal what I won’t put in my spice cabinet right away.
Keep in mind that when it comes to comfort food, the aromas of the food can be just as comforting as the consumption of it. The rule in my kitchen is IF I CAN add a spice (that won’t deter my husband from eating something) then I will. Why have plain Jane when you can experience gourmet goodness? I find that spices are the number one change that I make to recipes that I adapt. I’m convinced that spicing things up a bit is why I can get away with using so much “pantry food” that others might not feel comfortable with.
For example, a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg goes in nearly every chicken soup or stew that I make. I especially find the two flavors comforting in a yummy chicken and dumplings recipe. I also like the addition of poppy seeds to various chicken recipes as well as the underappreciated spice, coriander. Pork loves to be spiced up a bit too, especially as a rub on both sides before putting it in the oven. I like to peruse multiple recipes of the same dish and see what types of spices folks put in them. My finished dish ends up being a collage of all of the other recipes and with rave reviews. I’ll never forget the day that I discovered that roasted, pureed pears and rosemary tasted great on pork chops!
While some may have “wheat, beans, rice, sugar, and oil” on their long-term pantry list, I have things like capers, onion pearls, liquid smoke, Chinese Five Spice, and yellow curry on mine. I think the spices in our lives can truly make the difference between surviving and thriving.
Growing your own spices can’t be easier. I do NOT have a green thumb by any stretch of the imagination. Thus I was shocked to see that last year’s herb garden which I had put in my front “flower garden space” had started smiling lush colors of green at me as early as last week; fresh rosemary, parsley, and thyme. I couldn’t believe that they survived so effortlessly through our Utah winter. I love the aromas as I walk out my front door. They are beautiful foliage that has purpose in life. So my suggestion, grow it or buy it in bulk. Liven up those plain old dishes with something special.
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