spices, why you rub me the wrong way

I always laugh at myself when I am “winging” it in the kitchen because I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to spices. All my friends are always saying “oh just add some this and that, and its a staple.” Okay, first of all, I don’t even no how to pronounce CUMIN. It it Que-min or Koo-min.

Spices are hard for me. I have a couple things that I use all the time, which are:

  • Salt
  • Pepper (my favourite being the ‘smoked pepper‘ from Williams Sonoma)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder

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But anything beyond this, I don’t
know. For example, I have paprika
and hot chilli powder, which happen to look the same. I cannot taste the difference between them. I use what is called for in recipes (which is why I have both), but never really know what else I can use them for.

 

Oregano, which I also pronounce as OR-a-Gan-oh, which makes everyone chuckle a little, is weird to me too. How does that compare to dried basil and dill. They are green and leafy. I always wonder which is better on beef, chicken or poultry.

Curry. Curries. All the curry in the world. I happen to be married to a beautiful Indo-Canadian who does zero cooking, but heĀ once explained curries as the lighter the milder which has stuck with me. I find the same works for thai curries. But again, why are there two regional curries in the freaking first place.

To my husbands displeasure, I buy most of my spices through William Sonoma. I like them because you can open them in the store, smell them, and ask a bazillion questions. Also, they are cute and easy to stack. I find that I can smell, touch, etc, has helped me buy new stuff, but I’m still a little scared. Additionally, anotherĀ brand I like are the organic Whole Foods ones called Organic 365. These are my back up for two reasons; first William Sonoma doesn’t carry all spices and second they are up the street from me.

On a similar note, I had one small spice win, I was able to re-create Cactus Club’s blackened chicken (and steak) spice rub. I made it a few times and tastes exactly the same (I just avoided adding the sugar & it was still perfect). Thank you to the genius who put this on the internet. #gratitude

I honestly don’t have a solution here for myself or anyone. But if anyone can please explain CUMIN for me, that will be enough for me to feel like I have moved one step further to understanding spices.