Favorite Spices

Favorite Spices – Long Term Storage ‘Must Have’ Spices

Favorite Spices

We all have our favorite spices.

Mrs.J and I have several drawers in the kitchen with nothing but spices – all sorts of flavors. We also buy some of them in bulk – vacuum sealed bags for long term storage. When a spice jar is getting low, we’ll open a bulk bag and refill it as needed.

Spices can really change up the overall flavor of a given food / meal – completely altering it to one’s taste, a particular cuisine, ethnicity…

One thing is for sure with regard to long term food storage and preparedness: Having a wide variety (and quantity) of spices will make even ordinary staples such as Rice & Beans (and many others) more palatable with various flavors!

How To Keep Spices Fresh
Spice Storage Tips:

– Keep your favorite spices in the dark (e.g. drawer)
– Store spices away from stove or other heat source
– Air-tight jars are good
– Vacuum seal or Ziploc bulk storage

Bonus Tip:

– Don’t shake spice over steaming food. Moisture will get into the container, possibly speeding up mold growth.

Don’t get food fatigue. Spice it up!
Lets say you’re having to dig into your long term food storage (for whatever reason). Hopefully you won’t become mired in dull food flavor fatigue…

Think it through. You’ve spent time and money storing extra food for ‘just in case’. Don’t forget about the spices.

One thing I find interesting… even though we have a wide variety of spices, I tend to reach in the drawer for my favorite spices. I need to force myself to try new flavors!


Your Favorite Spices

So here’s the question for you (and I’ll tabulate the results later)…

If you could only store 10 spices, what would they be?

Okay, you can list as few or as many that you want. I’m just curious to put together a list of popular favorite spices that most people might keep extra (just like we store extra food for preparedness).

So lets get started…
Favorite spices?

What are the must have spices (in your opinion)?

PEPPER (peppercorns)

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  1. Including herbs and flavorings in your definition of spices?

    For sweet it’s vanilla, mint, orange peel, and cardamom. Savory are the mixes – curry, herbs de Provence, dried hot pepper mixes. The warm are cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

  2. Guess it’s my Texas heritage, but I’m big on peppers for spicing up foods. Fresh, pickled, or dried and ground up. You can grow your own, along with onions and garlic. Can’t think of anything better to spice up a diet of rice, beans, and wild game.

    Question; Am I the only one that likes to use horseradish sauce as a dip when snacking on jalapenos?

    1. Dennis, horseradish on jalapenos?! now that’s hot…

      I like horseradish on the side with Prime Rib (now that’s making me hungry!)

  3. To Dennis:

    You are not alone. Have had that request from patrons who are from…Texas when I cooked in a friends steakhouse for a few shifts to cover for a fundraiser. Appears to be a regional thing.

  4. Bulk Chili powder 5 year supply check!
    Same for Garlic powder, Cajun, Mojo.
    I find Steak Seasoning an all around great addition. Can flavor a lot with it.
    I grow Green Onion, Garlic Chives, Mint, Ginger, Cumin, oregano, basil, sage, cilantro (coriander seeds) other herbs… Most can be dried out and stored long term.

  5. Oh this is an easy one;

    Turmeric, powdered
    Garlic, powdered
    Ginger, powdered
    Cayenne pepper, powdered
    Bay-Leaves, whole
    Thyme, grounded
    Parsley, grounded
    Paprika, grounded
    Mustard, grounded
    Curry (Red Green and Yellow), powdered
    Those are the top ten

    I make a Thai Pepper Powder, take red dried Thai Peppers, flash fry then (no oil) to give them a slight burn, that grind the TAR out of them, Very hot and yummmmm gooders.
    Also Salt (although not a “spice”), Pepper, a LOT of exotic spices, and not the least is a few Mixes, such as Tony Chachere’s, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, Cattleman’s Grill Steakhouse Seasoning, and a good 400 others.

    I always buy in bulk, one pound runs about 1/3 the cost per ounce as buying non-bulk. (just purchased a pound of Garlic in Vac-Bag for $14.93)
    On storing, I store in 1/2 gallon Ball Jars and vac-seal them, OR I freeze the one pound bags till I need them.

    1. When you say ‘flash fry’ them, we have an oven that has a ‘air fry’ function and it works really good for that sort of thing. Lawry’s Seasoned salt has always been my favorite.

      1. Old Chevy – on a rustic road;
        I actually use a Wok for the fry to “burn” them slightly, gives them a distinct flavor, not sure an Oven would do that.

        1. Yes indeed, a Breville Smart Oven (everything is ‘smart’ nowadays) can definitely toast it, I did it today in fact. You can make the most fabulous french fries on the air fry setting without oil, crispy brown crust and moist inside. Today I nearly burnt beet chips on the air fry setting, look it up! Try this with your peppers: salt them with coarse sea salt/Kosher salt for about an hour in a sieve, not a lot of salt, and rinse and let drip dry and then fry. Amazing!

          1. Old Chevy – on a rustic road;
            Ok had to chuckle a little when I realized your “Smart Oven” is what us OLD folks call a Toaster Over

          2. The model we have is a toaster oven with a brain. It has multiple functions. You should have one. We use it several times a day, hardly ever use the big oven. It has dehydrate function on it. Between it and the Instant Pot we have eliminated numerous other less efficient appliances. I’m not lying!

  6. black pepper, cumin, garlic, oregano, basil, bay leaves, chili powder, sage, allspice, cinnamon.

  7. Only 10? Well some mixes will have to be used: Italian seasoning, taco seasoning, pickling spice, Lawry’s seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, cayenne, cinnamon, and paprika. Also, though not technically a spice: Sodium nitrate.

  8. My top ten include those that I grow.
    These will give me a few blends, too, like Curry powder and Chili powder:


    That doesn’t include Black Pepper which is technically a spice, so I probably should’ve included it. Or salt. Both are necessary!!
    I dehydrate chili peppers to make chili powders for chili seasonings.
    I’m also excluding peppers, ginger (root), and garlic since they’re plants. So, I didn’t list any of the chili peppers. Besides, I am at “10” !!!

    1. I like Modern Throwback’s list. I’ll have to add Cardamom and Bay leaves. Cardamom for my Grandma’s Finnish Coffee bread, and Bay leaves for elk stew.

  9. Allspice
    Peppers (black, red, white, jalapeno…okay cheating)
    Lemon pepper
    Lots more to love, but these seem to be the ones that empty first. luv ya’ll, Beach’n

  10. Interesting to consider history when people sailed the world looking for spices and when found would kill and make war to keep them! Salt worth more than gold and sugar cones locked in sugar chest.
    Rub a steak with plain yellow mustard and sprinkle with garlic salt grill or fry. Simple and good. Let set in fridge un covered for an hour or more if want to. Dries the mustard a bit and adds flavor. Lawry’s is my fave.

  11. Salt today at 54 cents a 26 ounce container 11 can fit in a 5 gallon container with space for 4 one pound bags of rice and 4 one pound bags of dry beans :-)

    A worth while SHTF Trade Item. Might be enough laying around in the first month or two but value increasing after that. Fermenting Vegetables, preserving meats, many more uses.

    Rice and Beans THAT’s for supper, Got Spices?

    1. I purchased a pure salt lick from the local farm supply store. Will just have to shave some off when needed. Should last quite a while.

      1. S.Lynn……re that “pure salt lick”—am assuming it is for cattle or deer or birds or llamas? (all different compositions)?—Try and get specifics on the exact content of your pure salt lick…(it will likely vary). Some of these may have too much of one thing or another for humans.

      2. S Lynn I looked up the cheapest salt lick I could find cost per ounce was about a penny per. Wal Mart 26 ounce salt is 2 cents per and you don’t have to carve it off and hope it’s human grade? Carving off salt seems a bit hard and how do you avoid losing most of it while chopping bits off/grinding?

        I use animal salt licks for animals and to attract critters I like to photo-shoot :-)

  12. Assorted peppercorn
    garlic powder
    chili powder
    crushed red pepper
    minced onions
    creole seasoning
    sweet baby rays bbq sauce
    and a1 steaksauce

    1. Well, I do for fact. We keep a jug of jalapenos on the counter. I’ll fish one out and munch on it several times a day. Great flavor, healthy, and keeps the sinuses open. Not unusual to get two or three plus a small bowl of horseradish sauce to dip them in while watching TV. Low calorie way to stave off the hungries between meals. Horseradish is a different hot than jalapenos and they compliment each other. One burns the mouth and tongue, the other burns the sinuses. Acquire taste I guess, I don’t eat raw fish (sushi). To each his own.

      1. Acquired taste for sure! Not one that I ever developed a taste for nor my DW. We do have pepper for guests but not something we use. I remember eating at a Bubba Gumps restaurant in Hilo and after mistakenly putting a spicy hot shrimp on my tongue immediately breaking into a sweat. The waiter wanted to know what was wrong and I asked him why would they make the great taste of shrimp impossible to taste? Definitely to each their own.

    2. tango, Dennis, me and all
      “Snacking on Jalapenos”
      GREAT for keeping the “worms” at bay, think about it when TSHTF, how are you going to keep the Gut Parasites in check when food starts to go south and your eating everything under the sun, even that 4 month old road-kill???????
      Pickled or Canned Jal’s will do the trick for sure.
      AND at around $15 a gallon…. not bad

      1. NRP and all,

        Interesting observation, and good example of how a simple comment can morph into a learning experience on this site.

        A little internet search reveals that peppers do in fact control intestinal parasites. Also noteworthy, in the U.S., one in four (25%) of deaths are from heart disease, in Mexico it is one in seven (14.7%). Some attribute that to relative consumption of peppers. (Says the man who snacks on peppers and has had by-pass surgery😂)

        1. Dennis,
          So what yer sayin is that the consumption of peppers has nothing to do with heart disease or the lack thereof

        2. You got it right Dennis; the pepper plant produced the hot stuff to kill off bugs, it’s own self defense mechanism. As a result it works the same in our gut, and contrary to popular belief, is good for the stomach particularly ulcers which is caused by a gut bug of sorts.

        3. NRP & Dennis –

          I’ve always been amazed what I’ve learned following y’all’s posts. I remember thinking that I needed to stash a gallon of jalapeños after this conversation and then promptly forgot. Correcting that this week after re-reading your suggestion and Chevy’s confirmation.

          Thanks guys! And thanks to everyone else for some truly great suggestions and reminders of what to get tucked away before it’s too late.

      1. Too bad yall arent here, i could pick ya a couple 5 gallon buckets of the yhings and have more left for Dennis, NRP and anyone else so inclined to feel the “after burn”

  13. Salt
    Black Pepper
    Garlic Powder
    Onion Powder
    Chili Powder
    Ginger Powder
    Turmeric Powder
    Celery Salt
    Parsley Flakes
    Cilantro Flakes
    Chili Flakes
    Dried Lemon or Dried Lemon Salt / mix

  14. Onion
    Montreal Steak Seasoning (my go to)
    oregano, basil, sage, dill and thyme only because I can grow them
    pickling spice for obvious reasons. oops that is 11

      1. We should all be stocking up especially on spices that do not grow well or widely in the US. Many spices are of tropical origin and will be scarce or unavailable in SHTF. Among these are black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric. Also, while many pepper plants will grow here, they are for the most part, annuals in temperate climates. In the tropics, peppers are usually perennials and can grow to large sizes. Also not a true spice, I suppose, are both chocolate and coffee. Both are tropical crops and aint gonna grow in Idaho! Stock up accordingly.

  15. Salt, pepper, garlic, onion. Italian seasoning (marjoram, oregano, basil, sage, thyme), lemon pepper, ranch dressing mix (will season just about everything).

    I grow turmeric, garlic, chives, sage, onion, dill, horseradish, ginger, as well as the lemons for lemon pepper, and I’m working on cilantro/coriander, cumin, oregano, basil, and marjoram. Unfortunately I can’t grow salt, pepper or vanilla.

      1. Joe c I am unsure what your state uses but here in NH there is a mixture of salt and chemicals that I would NOT want to try out. There is quite the movement to chemicals less damaging to bridge steel and the “Environment”.

        Buy a LOT of salt friends, CHEAP and critical to basic survival. WARS have been fought over salt. The word Salary come from the Roman word for Salt as Roman Soldiers were often PAID in salt. Does the phrase “Not worth His Salt” come to mind?

        At the beginning of SHTF there will be enough salt for a month of three. Once the lack of refrigeration makes Fermenting vegetables (Sour Kraut, Kimchee etc.) and Salt cured meats you will be able to trade SAFE in the container Salt (as opposed to something white and salty?) for useful things.

        PLEASE Remember you CANNOT Ferment with Iodized Salt. Good for the human goiter NOT good for fermenting. PLEASE Correct me if I am wrong in this and POST links as I have had Dramatic Kimchee and Kraut FAILURES with Iodized salt.

        Wal-Mart sells 26 ounce salt plain and iodized for 54 cents each. 11 will fill a 5 gallon bucket leaving enough space for 8 one pound bags of rice and dried beans. Rice and Beans THAT’s what is for Supper, GOT Spices?

        Pray for the Republic

        1. NHM
          Depends on how badly a person needs/wants salt and depending on the scenario……how long they wanna live……after post SHTF..
          Nope.never can with iodized salt…..and hoping those salt reserves are stocked…….
          Iodized and canning salts……

          1. I buy the big bags of rock salt, we can get it by the 25# bag, i think i have a couple 5 gallon pails with that sealed in em, got a couple of them with table salt too just for the heck of it,

          2. Of course we ingest chemicals.every day, voluntarily or in-voluntarily every day….what’s the difference?
            Salt mixed with sand, beet pulp, dyes, chemicals……
            .road kill, botulism, flu, starvation, all good things.to consider.
            Lots of things we can throw in for any given circumstance.

          3. NHM
            Sorry, man and I don’t wanna be argumentitive, but what shtf scenario are you living? And I know you mean well…
            It ain’t gonna be all daises, tribe or no tribe. Plan or no plan
            Health smart or not…… survival, instinct,
            Dumb or dead.
            Survival of the fittest.
            Make means with what you have-able to obtain

          4. Joe C, it raises an interesting question, though. Certainly not “safe,” but if you know what chemicals are mixed with the road salt (mostly sand, here) you should be able to filter off the chemicals and come up with something that has at least some use, even if not safe for culinary use.

            The chemicals used appear to be primarily:

            Calcium Chloride (toxic)
            Potassium Chloride (toxic)
            Magnesium Chloride (toxic)
            Sodium Acetate (cleaning agent)
            Calcium Magnesium Acetate (hard water stains)
            Ammonium Nitrate (destroyed by heat)
            Ammonium Sulfate (lawn fertilizer)

          5. NHM
            Sorry, bud
            My sugar went all willy Wonkie on me last night. Prepairing for the predicted ‘massive storm’ that turned into nothing.
            Anyway I ‘think’ where I was going was I was thinking further than ingesting salt.
            For example, tanning hides…..got a couple rabbit hides that I wanna do……someday…..
            But yeah, like Lauren, our state mixes with sand and had used beet pulp in the past.
            Chemicals if used would be a good search

          6. No problem Joe c I was concerned as your post did not sound like you.

            Glad that your blood sugar is again normal and that the bad weather passed you by.

            Some not healthy chemicals used by road crews can be adsorbed through dust and skin contact. I would suggest you stay with well labeled salt products even for furs.

            Edible Salt to day is cheap. As a side note to stay somewhere with in this thread :-) An old Poachers trick is to set up a salt lick for about a week as to get deer and such where you want them. Salt is critical for all mammals and thus they will seek it out.

            Salt the seasoning good for food AND Good for Food Attraction!

            Stay safe buddy

        2. Iodized salt is good for humans to keep from developing a goiter. Stock both. You can’t live with out salt but we get most f it from the food we eat. I’m a low salt person although I do admit to using a pinch with my scrambled eggs.

          If you’ve heard of fraternity pledges dying from water intoxication it happens because repeated drinking of water flushs the sodium out, you take in H2O but you pee out H2O and salt. When it gets low enuogh you become confused or “water drunk”. Untreated it can lead to death.

          On the other hand too much salt can also kill you.

          One of the things I like about my location is we can get plenty of salt out of that great big ocean down the street from us.

        3. NH Michael;
          “Buy a LOT of salt friends, CHEAP”
          You can say that again, got 140 pounds of Canning Pickling Morton Salt delivered to my door for around $40.00
          Guys I have to tell ya 140 pounds of Canning Salt is a LOT and I do mean a LOT, FedEx was cussing me up one side and down the other until “that’s ok, I’ll just refuse delivery” they shut right up HAHAHAHA

          1. Fed Ex are whinners, Any one out there work for Fed Ex? tell em to just do their job. UPS doesn’t whine. And yes salt of all kinds. the different color salts have different micro minerals.

        4. NH Michael, based on my (admittedly limited–I’ve never used non-iodized salt for anything AFAIK) experience with fermenting, iodized salt makes no difference. Can you please explain the difference in fermenting re: iodized vs standard salt, that you say it CANNOT be used?

          I’ve used iodized salt in pickles (no problems, no cloudy brine, no darkening of the pickles) and in saurkraut. Based on my experience (sorry, no links :) ) the iodine has no effect.

          1. Lauren from my experience I had slimy odd tasting results when I used iodized salt. My friends that taught me fermenting never use it. When I tried again with plain salt all was well. So I stick with what works for me.

            My research on it was mixed some saying no difference some saying Don’t use Iodized salt. I find it interesting that Canning Salt is NOT Iodized.

            I am happy you have had success with iodized salt. Price is about the same so no problem and the benefits of small amounts of iodine is good. Could not find studies on how much iodine you would adsorb if you have a Fermented heavy diet made with iodized salt.

            So sorry maybe I should not say CANNOT be used. However if after SHTF and Refrigeration is limited and your diet changes to a fermenting heavy diet I am curious what that level of iodine would do?

            Thanks for your input.

          2. Read the label, you might be using non-iodized. I have a container of Morton table salt, iodine free.

          3. The stockpile is all iodized salt. I’ve never paid attention–just grab whatever is on the shelf. I might need to do a side by side test, just for fun. :)

            But I think I’m going to pay more attention from now on. It may not be the iodine you’re having a problem with. I just read the “ingredients” panel on the salt container. Oops.

            “Salt, Sodium Silicoaluminate, dextrose, potassium iodide, sodium bicarbonate.” Sodium per serving is 590 mg, but a serving is 1.5 grams. Just a little over a third of the container is actually salt!

            Another brand has the same amount of “salt” but slightly different fillers.

          4. Lauren—-Gee Whiz…I will have to read my salt box. I am a label reader, and somehow missed this. Good heads up.

        5. OK. I went to the store and I now have four different types of salt–pure salt (5x as expensive as iodized) non-iodized salt with yellow prussiate of soda, presumably as an anti-caking agent, non-iodized salt with calcium silicate as an anti-caking agent (both twice as expensive as iodized salt), and the iodized salt mentioned previously. All have the same serving size (1.5 g) and the same amount of sodium per serving, so by volume the additional ingredients are insignificant. Now to find something to experiment on. :)

          1. Lauren there is always cabbage to experiment on :-)

            Did you find no tech magazine useful? I am looking forward to your mini hoops inside your greenhouse-compost warming for winter crops.

            I think I’ll try growing potatoes through this winter along with cabbage and beets. To stay on subject spices with out food is not so useful

          2. But that would mean going back to the store…I didn’t even think of the produce aisle, I was thinking about salt (for seasoning) and meat (for my curing experiment). Taking this to the weekend forum.

          3. Lauren: I use the Morton Quick Cure and the canning salt for pickling, meat cure, fermenting and sea salt, iodized, as a table salt. But if you look up salt varieties you will hundreds of varieties and colors.

          4. OCOARR, sure there are hundreds of varieties. This just tickled my curiosity bump, and four is more than sufficient for that.

            (On a side note, I keep reading your name as Old rusted chevy on a road)

      2. Road salt isn’t table salt, it can’ kill you. Salt blocks can be dangerously high in selenium. Edible salt is so cheap anyone could stock a lifetime’s worth for less than what it takes to fill you truck’s fuel tank once.

    1. Lauren, Vanilla pods come from an orchid (Vanilla planifolia). It grows like a vine and is beautiful. When I ran my greenhouse year-round, I grew this plant. It is fairly easy to grow if you can provide the heat and decent humidity (think foliage spraying and a water-filled saucer under the pot).
      Pepper is also a vining plant — I’ve never grown it, but if you can grow Vanilla then Pepper should also be successful in those conditions.

      1. I haven’t been able to get vanilla seeds, and I killed pepper. One 50+ degree night outside and it just flopped over and died. I have a friend whose father grows vanilla and she keeps offering to get me seeds but it hasn’t happened yet. :)

  16. Couldn’t even list a top ten of spices. We have so many.
    Pumpkin spice? Seafood spice? Red pepper?
    All our herbs are grown and dried.
    We go the Amish route and buy bulk blackpepper, garlic powder, garlic salt, Lawreys, etc

  17. We grow our own :
    chives, garlic, sage,rosemary, basil and dill.
    We use cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg .
    We also use Montreal steak seasoning, tabasco sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper .
    Great lists by all . Excuse me while I go have dinner .

  18. Im sure someone already said it but pickling spice,,, mustard seed, cloves, black pepper, hot Madras curry powder, rock salt, preferably with the alae so when i make poki it has the right flavor, #1 and #2 curing salts,

  19. Ken this is a good one.
    I’ve wondered about what others are stocking and what I should be stocking. I have lots of chicken bouillon, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon and chili powder. I need more curry and the wife has a ton of other spices which she seldom uses. I also have a lot of dollar store brown gravy mixes.

    How much of what should be stocked and does it go bad?

    1. me;
      On keeping Spices long term, I have dedicated a portion of a freezer to keeping the spices seems to work well
      AND before anyone says “Well when “Lights Out” yeah so???? the spices will still have a 3-4 year (or more) when thawed, so that’s 3-4 years minimum AFTER TSHTF.

    2. Thats the thing im dealing with these days, what went bad,, lots of stuff that just doesnt keep.

  20. I just ahve to say I love spices! Always have. I get so excited to find out how to use a new one. My most recent find is fennel. There are so many to learn about.

    Garlic-minced is my favorite (does this really count as a spice?)
    Celery seed
    Red Pepper
    Sea Salt
    Id garlic doesn’t count, then I will add Cumin

      1. Lauren;
        Actually I believe that Garlic is a root crop or better yet a bulb (similar to a Onions and Scallions), considered to be a Vegetable, not a Spice nor a Herb….
        BUT, I will agree it’s a Food Group all in of itself. :-)

  21. OK Ken, when you run out of ideas ( 5 yrs reading and no shortage yet!) it might be interesting to see everyone’s favorite non-conventional recipe from the folks on the site…..bet there’s some doozies out there in prepper land

    1. Max & Agent 99 & Ken;
      Are you sure you want to do that???? HAHAHAHA
      Some of the more Crazies here might have some rather “odd” stuff they cook ya know?

  22. I mean Jalapenos & Horseradish or Mustard and Garlic Salt rubs…yowee…can’t wait for the unorthodox to be posted ;-)

  23. Excellent ideas guys.
    How about:
    Garlic Salt
    Oregano (esp. for beans)
    Italian Seasonings
    Dehydrated Onions
    Pepper and Peppercorns
    Paprika (both spicy and mild)
    Hot Sauces (yeah, I know it’s not a spice, but dang it’s good)
    Salt, perhaps Kosher Salt as well.
    Fennel, great for spaghetti sauce.
    Cinnamon, great for baking
    Honey, for food and medical uses (makes a great antibiotic poultice).
    Seasoned Salt
    Crushed Red Peppers
    Bullion Cubes (Beef and Chicken)
    The more we have the more interesting we can make our available food taste.

  24. Joe c I am confused friend, what are you talking about here? Please explain your messages I copied and pasted here?

    Anonymous 08/28/2018
    Of course we ingest chemicals.every day, voluntarily or in-voluntarily every day….what’s the difference?
    Salt mixed with sand, beet pulp, dyes, chemicals……
    .road kill, botulism, flu, starvation, all good things.to consider.
    Lots of things we can throw in for any given circumstance.
    Joe c 08/28/2018

    Anonymous be joe

    Joe c 08/28/2018

    Sorry, man and I don’t wanna be argumentitive, but what shtf scenario are you living? And I know you mean well…
    It ain’t gonna be all daises, tribe or no tribe. Plan or no plan
    Health smart or not…… survival, instinct,
    Dumb or dead.
    Survival of the fittest.
    Make means with what you have-able to obtain

    I am trying to understand your message, please explain OK?


  25. If I were to only be able to live with the top-10 spices/herbs that I listed, I would really be missing some of my other favorite spices. Since I cook ‘from scratch’, I use herbs and spices all the time. And some of these also happen to be curatives for teas or tinctures.

    I happen to love allspice, nutmeg, and cloves. And cloves offer such a medicinal value, too!

    I would also really miss sage. And celery seed! I enjoy bay leaves but could live without having them.

    Having to come up with just 10 is so restrictive, but it really drives home what might actually happen as time goes forward and supplies run out if we can’t replenish them.

  26. We grow jalapenos every year. The harvest really kicks in about now or really soon. I eat a few, but not as many as I used to. I slice them in half and cut off the stem. Dehydrate them, and then dehydrate them some more. The seeds will simply fall off. I then place the very dry jalapenos in a blender and reduce them to dust. Magic Dust. I recommend you use the blender either outside or at least in the garage. You do not want a whiff of the stuff coming out of the blender.

    I mix the Magic Dust 50% with black pepper 50% in a pepper shaker. I use it on potato, eggs, nearly everything. I use lots of it when making venison jerky. I make a lot of jerky. It’s very popular with friends and family.

    I transplanted some wild garlic I found in the wild, many years ago around the perimeter off the garden. It reproduces and flourishes without tending it at all. I don’t think you could kill the stuff. The wife uses lots for cooking and canning.

    We keep a good supply of black pepper on hand. Don’t know if it can be grown locally or not. I doubt it.

    1. PMedic
      That majic dust could be a hell of a defensive weapon,,, just gotta work on a delivery system

  27. I can’t imagine having to choose only 10 herbs since we have so many more than 10 and I think they are all necessary. I don’t consider salt an herb since it is an essential nutrient which we stockpile. I can live without black pepper since we have so many other peppers we grow and pickle or dry for spice and heat so if I had to I would eliminate black pepper but that would be hard since I like it.

    Half of my necessary herb list includes things we buy because we don’t or can’t grow them.
    Basil – grow
    Oregano – grow
    Bay – grow
    Thyme – grow
    Rosemary – grow
    Caraway – buy in bulk and freeze in air tight containers. Experimenting with growing.
    Nutmeg, whole – buy
    Cloves – buy
    Cinnamon – buy
    Vanilla w/beans – buy

    There are many more that we grow like Turmeric, Ginger, Horseradish, Sweet Marjoram, Mint, Cumin, Cilantro/Coriander, Chives, Garlic, Parsley, Sage, Dill etc.. and onions to dry and grind into Onion powder. Since we grow it I had to remove Cumin and Sage from the list and replace them with Cinnamon and Vanilla because we can’t grow that. I think they are all necessary to achieve a well-rounded palette of flavor. Like Pepin says… happy cooking. 😊

  28. We use cajun seasonings (Slap your mama is a popular brand around here)
    Garlic powder/garlic salt
    Red pepper flakes
    Ground red pepper
    Black peppercorn
    Dehydrated onions
    Chili powder
    We love Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauces
    There is a line of seasoning we use called Special Sh*t……..haha……Good Sh*t, Chicken Sh*t,Bull Sh*t, Aw Sh*t and Special Sh*t………we us the Good Sh*t and Special Sh*t alot….they are really good…
    For steaks we use Walt Garrison, we also use this on burgers. This is our absolute favorite. We stock up on this.

    These are our main go to spices…….we use others occasionally, but I never want to run out of these. As you can tell we like spicy stuff. hahaha.

  29. Surprised that no one mentioned Chinese 5 spice. I keep a good supply of it along with everything else mentioned. My spice drawer has evolved into a kitchen drawer plus one of our drum style living room end tables, and a couple of dresser drawers in the spare bedroom.


  30. @Kawartha Kween I do have some chinese 5 spice…………I use it to make pumpkin pies. Not sure what else to put in. lol……….but it is good in pumpkin pie……

    1. @ Texasgirl

      Never thought to put it in pumpkin pie, must try it. May even try it in pumpkin loaf. I use the 5 spice when I make beef pho. Since we live in the boonies, the stores don’t carry anise so it turns out the 5 spice is a great substitute. DH often goes for business lunches at a pho restaurant by his work. He says the 5 spice version of the soup is just like the one he gets there. I also use it in other Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese recipes.

      Forgot to mention that I keep a stash of sumac and harissa on hand as well. The next project is preserved lemons to use in middle eastern fare. What can I say, we love to experiment with recipes from different cultures.

  31. My list
    celery seed
    garlic powder
    onion powder
    black pepper
    Crushed red pepper
    ground red pepper
    old bay
    fennel seed

  32. My top 10 would be, in no particular order, as follows:
    Black Pepper
    I grow as many of these as I can, and others, location/climate permitting. That way if I run out, it only requires a bit of processing to have some more (picking, shredding, making into powders, &c.). Some of them, like the vanilla, I’m just going to resign myself to stocking up on.

    I didn’t list salt as a spice or flavouring agent, as nobody in my family uses it as such. However, it is something I try to store a lot of, mainly for preservation of foods and barter in the future.

  33. Tis going to be interesting to see Ken’s final “List” of ten, hope he goes the extra mile and list all the “Spices” recommended :-)
    AND maybe a list of the items that are not necessarily “Spices” like Salt and Chocolate

  34. My top ten are:

    fennel seed
    ground cinnamon
    fennel seeds

  35. Wow, this article really got me thinking. I used a LOT of herbs and spices. My rack consists of two units each containing 5 shelves. I like to play with lots of spices. We grow many herbs and I just finished dehydrating my supply of parsley, sage, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, elderberries, and basil. Have not done the marjoram or Stevia yet (that is a new one for me).

    I buy elderberrie dried in bulk, along with star anise, cloves, cinnamon, ground mustard, turmeric, bay leaves, and five blend peppercorns. Also the Real Salt is purchased in bulk. I keep five salts, that one, along with Morton iodized (used when boiling pasta so we get iodine), kosher, canning and Himalayan.

    VeRy difficult to choose just ten, but order to using the most would be: Real Salt, peppercorn blend, five pepper blend, basil, parsley, herbs de province, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, mint and turmeric. These are within reach all the time because they are used so much.

    I consider onion and garlic veggies which we grow and use regularly.

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