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I’m developing a hateful relationship with dried spices. Sure, I’ve spent years honing my dried spice collection in my thrift-store wall rack. I’ve traveled to Penzey’s Spices in Connecticut and another in Asheville. I’ve bought low-quality, high quality and questionable quality dried spices. But now that I’ve finally grown a few of my own herbs, it’s hard to imagine a good homemade meal without fresh herbs. Why did I buy pesto all these years when I can easily make it (though it’s just as expensive to make yourself if you use pine nuts)? And it’s no wonder I spent years hating dill when I was never using fresh dill. And dried cilantro–I can’t even talk about how gross that is. Freshness in herbs makes a difference in your cooking like using fresh butter; it’s essential, and when you are using few ingredients you must splurge for the better quality. I know I’m sounding really food condescending right now, but basil, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, mint leaves, and dill (all easy to grow in spring-summer) just have to be fresh. It’s decided. That isn’t to say that a few dried spices don’t come in handy every once in a while. Mace, for instance. Or celery seed. Especially chili powder. BUT–

If you read this blog, despite my inconsistent updating, and you are on the verge of cooking a magnificent meal, please for your own happiness get some fresh herbs when you refill your grocery to-do list.

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