A few months ago I had the opportunity to replace all of my spices at a very reasonable price. My local "bargain" store had received a truck load of spices. I was curious, just how long do dried spices last? I was fairly certain they didn't last as long as some had been in my spice collection. I googled the McCormick Spice Company website to find out. Let's just say many of my spices were WAY past their prime. When my son was home at Christmas, I was telling him my spice story and he recounted the number of houses that some of the spices had residency.
I feel like some of my spices are what could be called "single use spices". They are used in one recipe and tossed in the drawer and forgotten.
Remember those clippings I mentioned in my first post? One of those clippings, "Spice Advice" from the February 2002 issue of Better Homes and Gardens gives some spice substitutions, an alternative to buying a spice you might only use once.
Instead of.... Use...
Ground allspice... Ground cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves
Ground anise... Crushed fennel seed or a few drops of
Ground cardamom... Ground ginger
Chili Powder... Dash hot pepper sauce, plus equal
measures ground oregano and cumin
Ground Cloves... Ground allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg
Ground cumin... Chili Powder
Ground ginger... Ground allspice, cinnamon, mace or
Ground mace... Ground allspice, cinnamon, ginger or
Dash ground saffron...1/4 tsp. ground tumeric
"Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I'm taking with me when I go." Erma Bombeck