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Moving out...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I'm moving out of my grandparents' basement in a few months and I'm trying to get together lists of what I'm going to need. I've put together a cutlery list (very short) and a cookware list (also very short), but I have yet to put together a first grocery list. I know that the first time is going to be on the expensive side (I plan to save a rather large amount of money for all this before I go about moving into an apartment), but I'm not exactly sure of EVERYTHING I'm going to need.

So here's my question for the day. If you had to compose your entire entire rack/cupboard/shelf of herbs and spices from scratch and not forget ANYTHING, what would you get? I'll be buying from Dean & Deluca for this because I really like those little tins that they have and it'll make taking the already ground spices out easier (I hardly measure anything anymore with actual measuring devices). Would buying one of the sets be my best bet?

I know that I will be cooking at least once every day...I figure that stocking the spice rack now will provide me with some peace of mind later on...I won't get home from the grocery and realize that I don't have a key spice.

So what spices do you find yourselves using the most? Which spices do you use only occasionally yet wouldn't want to find yourselves without? For example, I am now loving saffron. I don't use it often, but I never want to be without a little of it just in case I decide to pull it out for something a little different.

Help me out here so that I don't forget anything.
post #2 of 12
I'm a Penzey's girl.....good value for great spices/herbs, not only that but they are 1 mile from my home and in my stomping grounds.

Depending on how you list is:
southwest seasoning.....penzey's makes a great blend**
sweet curry**
hot curry
paparika (sweet, hot, smoked)
pepper corns**
poppy seed
sesame seed (white, black)
5 spice
cinnamon (Vietnamese and Chinese)**
salts (kosher flake, sel gris, fleur de sel)**
California chili flakes
Cream of tartar**
mustard seeds (brown and yellow and ground)**
horseradish powder
wasabi powder

oregano (both mediterranean and mexican....there is a huge difference)**
Parisian blend (again a staple great Penzey blend of herbs)**
*I use fresh basil or frozen that has been ground into a paste with olive oil
thyme....loads of thyme, I'm out and I miss it**
rosemary (I have cracked and powder....still buy fresh often)**
*I only use fresh parsley and cilantro

Orange zest (a must in my kitchen, and it's top notch....I used to have alot of naked oranges in my I just use Penzey's zest)**
Vanilla beans (Mexican works for me)**
Vanilla extract (single strength)**
and not found at Penzey's vanilla bean goes in everything...well almost everything....

* I have lavendar, saffron,at least 6 salts, apple pie spice,some obscure things I've had for a long time and not used.....the things I star are important basics in my kitchen, when I personal cheffed 4 days a week each kitchen would get a Penzey's makeover......each cook has a flavor profile they prefer.

now the condiment list goes on and on.....numerous viniagers, mustards, oils,sweetners (honey, cane syrup, sorghum, maple sugar/butter/granuals, etc), fish sauces, soy sauces, oyster sauce, jellies, jams, worchester sauce,
chili sauce, etc.....and the list continues. These are the components that make dressings and sauces.

Then you get into baking staples.....AP flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar, powdered and brown sugars, extracts, etc.....

Then dry goods.....beans, rices, grains, noodles, dried fruit, nuts, cereals
Canned goods....
My 24 year old is moving the first of Aug to a different apt with a different roommate, it'll be interesting to see what he requests.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #3 of 12
I have to agree with the Penzey's comment. Get place to get spices and dried herbs, and if there is not one close to you, you can order online. One of the great things about Penzey's is that they have all these "gift" baskets that contain a variety of spices. Something to look into. But here is my list of stuff I could never be without:

Chile Powder*
Chipotle Powder
Cumin (definately ground and whole if can afford it)*
Coriander (whole)*
Anchos (whole)
Garam Masala
Vindaloo Seasoning
Tandoori Seasoning (all these Indian spice blends available at Penzey's)
Five Spice Powder
Garlic Salt*
Garlic Powder (or granulated)*
Onion Powder (or granulated)*
Dried Oregano*
Dried Thyme*
Dried Mint (only for use in making hot tea)
Italian Seasoning*
Blackening Seasoning or Cajun Seasoning (either bought or homemade)*
Ground Cinnamon*
Cinnamon Stick*
Cloves (whole)*
Allspice (whole)*
Ground Ginger*
Curry Powder
Curry Paste
Bay leaf*
Cream of Tartar*
Table Salt*
Kosher Salt*
Sea Salt (this is one that can wait until you recover from the initial cost set-back)
Ground Pepper*
Dried Mustard*
Mustard seeds (at least yellow, and maybe black also)
Ground Cardamon
Green Cardamon seeds (again this one can wait)
Whole Nutmeg*
Chile Flakes*
Celery Seed*
Celery Salt*

The Starred (*) items are ones I don't think any basic kitchen can be without. The others will just round out your spice shelf nicely.
post #4 of 12
I'm a little baffled by your question. You indicate that you are a fairly active cook now, so why don't you build a list with your own current style of cooking?

I actually think it's ridiculous to buy nutmeg, cinnamon, etc in July, if you only bake in December. If you cook mexican or chinese only once a year, do you need the chipolte/ five spice sitting in the pantry getting old & stale, awaiting 7-8 months till you get ready?

Kosher Salt, Black pepper, parsley, thyme, basel and granulated garlic & onion (not powdered) for back up; is my idea of the basics. Anything else I buy small and plan on replenshing often.
post #5 of 12
My absolute basics would be:

Kosher salt
Black peppercorns (and a pepper grinder)
Whole allspice
Whole coriander seeds
Whole cardamom seeds
Cinnamon sticks
Whole cumin seeds
Red pepper flakes
Dried oregano (Mexican and Greek)
Dried thyme
Ground turmeric
Refrigerated grated ginger
Pure vanilla extract
Whole dried chiles -- something like guajillos or arbol, or Thai bird chiles
Whole nutmegs and a nutmeg grater

and that's about it. Oh yeah, and a spice grinder (aka small coffee grinder, that you can get for under $20). I figure if I needed anything else, I'd get it when I needed it. And others, like basil, cilantro, and flat-leaf parsley, I buy fresh (at least the last two keep really well).

But, to repeat what others have said: get what you need for the kinds of food you like to eat. No point in laying out lots of $$$ for a blend you use once or twice a year when it's easy enough to make it yourself.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #6 of 12
Perhaps Stephanie, it is not so much moving out as moving in. It is probably wise to built your pantry as you go along. That would save a lot of waste, even if your shelves do look a little bare. I am all for having backup supplies, of everything, but would not go out and buy a list of spices. Investing in really good salt and pepper grinders would be my priority.
post #7 of 12
Salt, pepper, vanilla. :)
post #8 of 12
It's actually entertaining to read others lists.....some of the spices I don't use are on both Pete's and Suzanne's....allspice, tumeric (got it don't use it...actually have some fresh from the Melissa event), cardomom (only use for chai) celery seed, um don't use um.

Forgot about granulated garlic.....I blow through massive quantities in addition to fresh.
And I buy green curry paste elsewhere.

Just by reading their lists you can tell they make alot more Indian food than I do.....

and as to Kuan's special 3, I figure he's just a sweet toothed minimalist.
ditto the coffee grinder....I pick up spares at estate sales for around $3.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
This kind of stemmed from something that happened yesterday. I went to mix up a rub for my pork chops and realized that there is NO celery salt in this house. None. We have celery seed, but no celery salt. How can you NOT have celery salt?

And I have an electric coffee grinder that works wonders for spices...and coffee. Whole cloves, allspice, and whole peppercorns go into the thing and come out exactly like I want them to. It's also a pretty good way to put together rubs.

Also, since a lot of people are recommending Penzey's, can you also recommend a supplier for widemouth jars? I don't like those small shaker jars that spices generally come in because I like to take what I need on a pinch by pinch basis. I'll need something a little wider across the top. :)
post #10 of 12
That explains it!! I never have owned celery salt!!!
post #11 of 12

Good advice and interesting lists here..we're Penzeys people, too.

However, the advice to build as you need is good, too. These materials don't have an unlimited shelf life. If you don't use 'em, you lose 'em in eight or ten months. (Does freezer storage prolong spice life? I don't know, but would think so.)

If there's a Whole Foods handy, they have nearly everything mentioned in (small) bulk containers and you can grab what you need for a project. We do have one close, and we're gravitating to that for specific, immediate spice needs. The Penzeys is about fifteen miles away.

Container Stores are good for bottles of all kinds and, in fact, Penzey's has bottles, too.

About the celery salt problem - and I fully realize that you cannot have a valid Chicago hot dog without celery salt - couldn't you just grind up some of your celery seed in your spice grinder and mix that with some table salt, or throw in some kosher salt and give it a quick grind to pulverize and mix it? Or is celery salt more complicated than that?

Mike ;)
travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #12 of 12
Or is celery salt more complicated than that?

nope...that's what it is.....salt and celery seed

Seems to me that there was a thread with metal boxes for spice kits on the site approx 6 months ago....really inexspensive too.

Whole Spices have a longer shelf life than herbs or ground spices.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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