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Reclaiming The Kitchen







When you're first learning to cook, the spice rack at the grocery store can seem awfully intimidating. And if you follow the impulse to simply "throw a few things together" more often than not you end up with flavors that clash rather than ones that enhance your food.


Spice Families

There are collections of spices that go well together, and then there are those that don't. This is one place that cookbooks can really come in handy, not so much because you want to follow the recipe exactly, but when you read the recipes, you can get a good idea of what spices are often grouped together and which ones clash.


As long as you stay within one of these families you can feel free to mix and match, and you'll probably have pretty good results.



Chili powder (some commercially available chili powder has other spices mixed into it, but basic chili powder is simply red chilies that are dried and crushed into a find powder.) Cayenne (use with caution... unlike basic chili powder, this stuff packs a punch!) Cumin, Oregano, Garlic, Onion.



Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Parsley, Garlic, Onion.



Turmeric, Garlic, Coriander, Cardamom, Cumin, Sesame, Cayenne. A note on curry: curry is not actually a spice, it is a collection of several different spices... usually turmeric, cumin, coriander and sometimes garlic & cayenne.



Ginger, Garlic, Soy Sauce, Sesame, Cayenne.



Rosemary, Sage, Marjoram, Savory, Tarragon.


Salads & Dressings

Parsley, Sesame, Dill, Garlic, Chives, Tarragon.


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