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Which seasoning/spices to buy?

mari502 Dec 11, 2006 12:39 PM

For Christmas I want to give my daughter some spices and seasonings - they can get so expensive. Which would be the basic enough to be used fairly often, yet be fun ones for her to get?

  1. katiepie Dec 11, 2006 12:43 PM

    I love herbes de provence... very versatile... wonderful on just about everything, from meats to veggies.

    What a thoughtful gift!

    1. s
      serious Dec 11, 2006 12:46 PM

      I would give her a storage system, some organized way to hold her
      spices, things she would gradually buy as she is inspired by recipes. You could than consider giving her a good pepper mill and packet of unground pepper as first addition.

      1. w
        wak Dec 11, 2006 12:51 PM

        Pepper and Pepper mill is good. Maybe that and a big box of Kosher Salt or Sea Salt.

        There are also a lot of spice sets available on-line at Penzys.

        Or for a beginng cook I have seen a big set at Costco which is reasonable.

        1. c
          C70 Dec 11, 2006 12:55 PM

          Here's what I use most often:

          Italian mixed herbs
          Poultry seasoning
          Bay leaves

          I'd consider that to be an excellent starter kit of herbs & spices. To save money, buy them in bulk with some bottles, and bottle them yourself. Toss in a spice rack and that's a super gift idea.

          1. NYchowcook Dec 11, 2006 02:20 PM

            I suggest a good pepper mill and peppercorns. Good fresh pepper is useful everyday for everything. I love my Unicorn pepper mill. The pepper gun to get started; the Magnum for serious pepper needs.
            Good list above, add vanilla if she bakes.

            1. jen kalb Dec 11, 2006 02:24 PM

              Is she currently a cook? does she have a good cookbook or recipes? What kinds of things is she likely to be making?

              Without knowing more, I think the pepper and peppermill suggestion is a good one.

              1. Karl S Dec 11, 2006 02:44 PM

                Btw, it is more frugal to buy the smallest quantities of things you don't use a lot of within a year. Bulk purchases are a waste of money with herbs and many spices because their flavor profiles diminish over time. It's usually best to buy the smallest containers except for things you use with great frequency.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Karl S
                  jen kalb Dec 11, 2006 04:44 PM

                  everybody always recommends herbs and herb blends in these contexts, but I find I have lots of containers of aging and musty dried herbs in my closets - with a few exceptions (bay, sticks of greek oregano,thyme) I mainly use fresh herbs in my cooking.

                2. a
                  Ace_Mclean Dec 11, 2006 03:01 PM

                  I'll agree with the pepper mill suggestion, and consider kosher salt and perhaps a container for it.

                  1. k
                    Kelli2006 Dec 11, 2006 04:35 PM


                    1. m
                      mari502 Dec 11, 2006 04:56 PM

                      Thank you to everyone for your help! This Chowhound website is fantastic. So glad I've found it.

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