Time to organize the back-up spices… I buy all my spices in bulk from Atlantic Spice Company.   They have really great spices, really great prices, and really great service.  I’ve been buying my spices from them since moving back here.  (I used to buy them at their sister company San Francisco Herb when we lived out west.)  I buy in 1 pound lots – which can be a lot, sometimes  (have you ever seen a pound of bay leaves?!?)  I refill the jars and containers and the backup goes downstairs into the dark and cool basement.

Problem was… they weren’t really organized very well.  I almost kinda knew what was down there, but… almost and definitely aren’t quite the same. I knew I was getting low on a couple of things, but…

So today I tackled them all!


It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought – and I found a few things I’ll have to order in the next month or so…

What’s really fun is there is probably aren’t too many dishes we can’t make because we lack an herb or spice.  There’s three kinds of paprika (Spanish, Hungarian, and smoked), Greek oregano and Mexican oregano (they really are different!) more chili varieties than can be listed (I especially like the chipotle and the ancho),  berberé from Ethiopia… allspice and cardamom, fenugreek and fennel, Saigon cinnamon and Chinese Five Spice.  Hot curry, mild curry, and everything to blend my own curry.  Herbs d’provence and all-purpose Italian.  Coriander and cumin.  Peri Peri from Mozambique and hand-ground wild boonie peppers from Guam that are sent to us from our sister-in-law’s nephew, Jay.  Whole nutmeg – with grandma’s nutmeg grater) whole cloves, ground cloves, anise seed, star anise, and four different gingers.

And salt and pepper, of course.  (Kosher salt, Himalayian pink salt, Hawai’ian black salt, Hawai’ian red salt, San Francisco Bay salt, Guerande grey sea salt, Morton table salt and white pepper, cracked black pepper, coarse black pepper, fine black pepper, whole black peppercorns, whole green peppercorns, tellicherry peppercorns, and a 4-pepper blend.)

Some of the herbs and spices are probably a year or more old, but I definitely don’t worry about it.  We really do use all of them at one point or another and really haven’t had an issue with them.  It’s all good.

Tomorrow I’m making Gumbo.  I bet I have all the spices I need…