Spices are an essential bit of the pantry and if you like to keep a good stock of food in the house then keeping a good stock of spices is pretty sensible as well.
I was running low on a couple of spices I use quite a bit the other day and I was reluctant to buy them from the supermarket in tiny little pots at inflated prices, so I decided to have a look on line and see what the prices were if I wanted to buy a larger quantity.
When looking I came across "The Spiceworks", based in one of our nearest cities, Hereford (about 30 minutes away). They had a great range and came out much cheaper than the supermarket, so I ordered a few things from them to try them out before I place a much larger order (to be honest I'll probably go into the store in person, I'm not one for shopping but a shop full of spices sounds too interesting to pass up!).
I ordered Cinnamon (which was £2.99 off eBay but only £1.76 direct from their site for 100g) and Ras El Hanout, which is a Moroccan spice mix I've been using a lot lately on meat. I love the taste of it rubbed into chicken, pork or lamb before cooking, it's got lots of different flavours in there with roses petals and lavender flowers, great way to make a normal meal taste a little different.
The parcel turned up on Friday and it had to be the best smelling one I've ever received! te spices smell amazing and I can't wait to use them.
What spices do you keep in your pantry/food store and what quantity do you keep?
What couldn't you do without? Any you grow yourself? Any special mixes you keep for making meal times a bit more interesting?