A few herbs growing in pots in your kitchen is not only aesthetically pleasing, it will make your
cooking taste better. Rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, mint and parsley—are all good choices as they
can be grown in small containers, just make sure they are in a warm spot and get about five hours
of sunlight a day. Having fresh herbs readily available to you is economical, also, as fresh and
dried herbs can get quite expensive.
Good olive oil is a luxury, but it can last for several months. Just a drizzle is all you need. A
lesser expensive olive oil can be used for salad dressing, and remember, you won’t be buying
prepared, processed full of gunk salad dressings, so good olive oil is essential.
A little bit of a concentrated flavor goes a long way; Toasted sesame oil, chili oil, also, are great for adding flavor to stir fry’s.
Fat is flavor. There is a huge amount of flavor in fat. Bacon fat, when used to baste chicken or pork, is particularly wonderful with its smoky flavor.
Skim the top off of chicken or beef broth and freeze it. It just takes a little to amp up the flavor
with vegetables or a pasta dish.
You will want to have a spice cabinet of spices you know you will use. The very basics like salt
and pepper should also include cinnamon, chili powder, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, bay leaves,
cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and dry mustard. If you cook a lot of ethnic foods, make
sure to have on hand the essentials to make those foods flavorful, dried chiles, paprika, curry. At
some point your collection will be personalized to your cooking taste.
I love different hot sauces and keep several on hand. Some are hot, some are flavorful, some are
both and I love them all.
Garlic, onions, citrus—always keep on hand, I like to use these all fresh as they taste better.