Herbal Spices: What's On Your Turntable?

Reader Contribution by Ariel Tilson
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<p>A while back I was at my friend’s house trying a recipe for buttered chicken that her sister-in law had recommended. I love cooking with friends because the food always turns out better than when I cook it alone. Before we began our gourmet adventure she pulled out a compact, circular tin. Inside it had seven identical, smaller containers each with a different spice. </p>
<p>I was intrigued by this cute little container and asked her where she got it. As she dished out some salt with a miniature spoon, she explained that her mother had given it to her when she moved into her own apartment. Then she told me what each of them held: <a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/aromas-of-india.aspx”>
<font color=”#800080″>curry powder</font>
</a>, red chili powder, <a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/beyond-curry-powder.aspx”>
<font color=”#800080″>chaat masala</font>
</a>, jira or cumin seed, haldi or turmeric, salt and pepper. It’s called a <a href=”http://www.worldmarket.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3597567″ target=”_blank”>
<font color=”#800080″>masala dabba</font>
</a>, and while you’ll find one in practically every kitchen in India, its contents are rarely the same.</p>
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Photo by escribirconlacabeza/Courtesy Flickr<br />
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/escribirconlacabeza/”>http://www.flickr.com/photos/escribirconlacabeza/</a>
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<p>My friend’s story remindeMad me of the red, plastic spice rack my mom and I got at a garage sale when I moved in to my first apartment. My mom was sure that I needed one. I was skeptical at first, but now I really appreciate it. She helped me fill up the containers with thyme, basil, tarragon, coriander, cumin, ginger and turmeric.</p>
<p>(<a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-health/what-is-the-difference-between-an-herb-and-a-spice.aspx”>What is the difference between an herb and a spice?</a>)</p>
<p>Over the years I’ve added a few more spices to my collection as my taste in food has changed. Not all of my spices get used, however, there are a few that I’ve never even opened and probably contain more dust particles then spices by now.</p>
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Photo by heydrienne/Courtesy Flickr<br />
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/heydrienne/”>
<font color=”#800080″>http://www.flickr.com/photos/heydrienne/</font>
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<p>It’s interesting what the spices we use say not just about our taste, but about our lives as well. Personally, I feel my mother’s love every time I spin the turntable on my spice rack or freshen up the herbs in the container. And even though my cooking rarely turns out as good as I would like, at least it’s always made with love.</p>
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<p>What spices were you given when you first moved out on your own, or what spices can’t you live without now? Leave me a comment and let me know!</p>

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