herbs & spices


We use a lot of fresh herbs in our cooking and because of that we both have a herb patch in our garden. Herbs are really simple to grow and you don’t need a lot of space, a few pots at your back door can make all the difference (eg parsley, chives, tarragon, thyme, sage and rosemary grow well outside in our cooler climate). However these days most supermarkets carry a decent stock of fresh herbs. There are times that dried herbs will do the job and we keep a small supply.

bay leaf
mixed italian herbs


Spice is essential to cooking to add flavour, but not necessarily heat.  Our own store of spice is quite extensive but this smaller list is a good place to start.  If you are interested to read more then BBC Good Food gives a very good glossary that explains each, as well as some alternatives if you run out. As with other store cupboard ingredients don’t buy in bulk quantities as spice does lose its flavour.

black peppercorns
cardamon pods
cayenne pepper
chilli (powder, whole and flaked)
cinnamon (ground and sticks)
cloves (ground and whole)
cumin (ground and seeds)
curry powder
coriander (ground and seeds)
fennel seeds
five-spice powder
garam masala
ginger (ground)
nutmeg (preferably whole)

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