My love of cooking good food comes from my mom. As a young boy, I would stand on a step stool in the kitchen and help my mom wash fruits and vegetables, measure out ingredients and stir whatever was simmering in the pot. When I grew up, I realized that Mom’s cooking was hard to come by, so it was up to me. One of the first things I did was to pick up some herbs and spices. With most people, salt and pepper are all that reside in their spice drawer or cupboard. Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of foods that can stand alone and have incredible flavor by themselves. However, foods like chicken need some assistance. That’s where herbs and spices come into play. A dash of this and a sprinkle of that can turn bland and boring into fragrant and flavorful. If you’ve perused any of my recipes, you’ve seen some of my favorites like curry powder (a combination of nine different spices), oregano (Mexican and Italian), basil (fresh and dried), paprika (Hungarian and Spanish) and thyme.

My suggestion to you is to pick up some herbs and spices the next time you’re at the grocery store. What kinds? Any. Then build a meal out of those ingredients. Need ideas? Check out my recipes or go to your favorite cooking website. Remember, you can easily grow your own herbs. It can be an herb pot on your kitchen counter, a larger container on your patio or a plot in your vegetable garden. FYI many herbs come back in the spring. Heather’s garden is full of perennials like mint, chocolate mint, sage and oregano. If you let cilantro, dill and fennel go to seed, plenty of seedlings will come up on their own. Time to get cooking!

We have over 60 herbs and spices in our kitchen cupboard
and more in the pantry.