Spice It Up!

Custom Spice Set

Custom Spice Set

This custom starter collection of spices from Savory Spice Shop in Princeton has got to be one of the best gifts I’ve ever thought of.

When my niece got married last summer, she’d lived in her parents’ home almost continuously into young adulthood. Her Air Force fiancé was living on Guam, so she flew out to get married, then returned home to New Jersey, and had their baby son just after the New Year. Now he’s being reassigned stateside and she’s about to set up her first household on her own, without having gone through the whole wedding planning, gift registry thing. Short story: she needs stuff.

And, having lived with her busy, very hard-working parents, been in school, and worked in a restaurant (as a bartender), she maybe hasn’t had much chance (or maybe need) to cook for herself.

In school, she went through the hospitality program at Mercer County Community College, which included at least one professional cooking course – more than I’ve had! But this is different, and when she said she definitely wanted to cook at home, and owned little more than a set of plates, I got tingly all over. What kind of gifts could be closer to my heart?

I immediately thought of giving her a starter set of spices. I knew she wouldn’t be into anything too exotic, but wanted enough variety so she at least stands a chance of trying something new without having to make a special trip to the market, so I snuck in some mild curry powder. And I wanted to be sure she tried my favorite gourmet salt, the Maldon Sea Salt at the top of the photo.

In order to do this, I emailed Jon Hauge, who owns Savory Spice Shop in Princeton with his wife, Janet. I did some reasearch on the Internet and cobbled together the list below from various sources. I decided that specialty items like extracts for baking, whole nutmeg/grater, smoked paprika, etc. could wait. (And I’ve just emailed her about cookware, too…)

I emailed my list off to Jon (yes, he checks and responds to the email on the website!). We had a couple of email exchanges and quick phone calls, and he put it all together, labeled the bottles, and put them in a nice red oak rack, too. All I had to do was give him my credit card info on the phone, and drive by the shop where his staff (thank you Natasha!), deposited the box in the back seat of my car earlier today. So easy, so reasonably priced, and can you tell how proud this aunt is?

Starter Spice Set:

  1. Allspice, ground
  2. Basil
  3. Bay leaves
  4. Chili powder – medium, pure
  5. Cinnamon, ground
  6. Cloves, ground
  7. Cloves, whole
  8. Coriander, ground
  9. Cumin, ground
  10. Curry powder (mild)
  11. Dill weed
  12. Fennel seeds
  13. Five-spice powder
  14. Garlic (granulated preferred over powdered)
  15. Ginger, ground
  16. Marjoram, dried
  17. Mint, dried
  18. Mustard, dried ground
  19. Nutmeg (ground)
  20. Oregano, dried
  21. Paprika, Hungarian sweet
  22. Pepper, cayenne
  23. Pepper, dried red flakes
  24. Peppercorns, dried black
  25. Poppy seeds
  26. Rosemary, dried (not ground)
  27. Sage, dried and rubbed
  28. Sesame seeds
  29. Tarragon, dried
  30. Thyme, dried (not ground)

One thought on “Spice It Up!

  1. Pingback: A Bride’s First Kitchen | NJ SPICE

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