Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cooking & Shopping

I have recently decided that I want to become a proficient cook. Not just the Mom who throws meat and noodles together and calls it a meal, but the kind that uses real ingredients to make masterpieces.

The problem is, you have to know what ingredients to buy. And spices, I'm completely baffled by spices. I will see a recipe that I would like to try and it calls for some crazy spice that only my Mom or Grandma would have. How is it that when I go to their house, they can throw anything together and make an awesome meal. AND they have all of the ingredients.

I'm trying to learn to shop better. Now that we live out in the sticks, my once a week shopping trip is super important. There's no more just running down to the store for that one ingredient I'm missing.

So now, I'm pouring over cookbooks looking for things I would like to try and writing down the crazy ingredients so that I will have them on hand.

But, OH MY GOSH, this is going to be an expensive shopping trip. How can a little jar of spice cost so much??????? Especially when I might use it once a quarter???

Also, since I won't be back in town, I have to try and get all of my Easter Bunny stuff too.

Wish me luck on my shopping trip this afternoon!!!


Farmgirl_dk: said...

So here are my thoughts regarding spices...I have hundreds of spice jars...purchased over the years (yes, many are probably stale)...and what I've found is that I am not very daring in my spice-tastes. I have only a handful that I use regularly:
garlic salt
garlic sea salt with parsley (in a grinder)
garlic powder
black pepper
red pepper
cayenne pepper
garlic pepper
lemon pepper
onion powder
chili powder

All the others...I've used once, if that, in some obscure recipe when I was trying to be a "gourmet cook". The point I'm making here (sheesh, get to the point then, would you?) :-) is that you will find your own taste - maybe you already know it. Trust that taste. If you know you aren't fond of a flavor, don't think adding it in a new recipe is going to make you like it. I've learned this the hard way.
I hate sauces that have wine in them. I love wine, though. But every time I follow a recipe that calls for adding wine, and I do it, I can hardly eat the result. Trust yourself. And don't spend buckets of money on spices you don't have experience with. Have your mom send you a pinch of hers in a baggy to make sure you like the flavor first. :-)

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

So how did the shopping trip go?

seasoning salt
onion powder

These are my favorites!

~big sis said...

Well, I can certainly understand your predicament. When we moved in here we had to buy all of the spices we use again as well. Although we bought them in the order priority. The ones that always show up in our recipes such as garlic, basil, cumin and many others. You know how the other half cooks. Although I do have a suggestion, here we have a store called the bulk barn. At the store you can purchase any variey of spices from a large bin. You can get as much as you want or as little as you want which is what we did when we were trying out a few new recipes and trying to recreate some tastes from our travels. Also if you are putting in a garden don't be afraid to put some fresh herbs in they taste wonderful and not only that it shows the girls where different foods come from.

As to your once a week shopping trip, we found that we planned a menu for the week and put in food that we already had on hand, but would purchase any unusual or random items that were needed for that week. It seems to work well for us.

Well I am being told that writing to you does not constitute work and to get back to it so.... I shall.

But if you want any really yummy recipes or have any questions about the spices give us a shout. The other half says they would be more than willing to help you out.
I hope you had a good time shopping.