Spice Books??


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Spice Books??

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Jun 1, 2010, 1:56pm

Anyone have recommendations for spice books they enjoy?

I'm venturing out this year with growing rosemary, basil, cilantro & oregano. They are doing beautifully but I don't know a thing about growing spices.

Jun 1, 2010, 3:57pm

I enjoy The Herbfarm Cookbook for straight-forward cooking with herbs. It's definitely a good complement to a beginning herb garden.

Jun 1, 2010, 4:15pm

I don't have any book recommendations, but I really like the A Pinch Of website(http://www.apinchof.com/). Lots of random FAQs, recipes, and some gardening info. You can also submit questions.

Jun 1, 2010, 7:38pm

Herbs are no problem, but I think you might have to resign yourself to buying spices in the main. That's OK, because although herbs are almost always best used fresh, spices are mostly dried anyway and keep for ages.

Jun 1, 2010, 7:45pm

That, and most spices tend to be from tropical or sub-tropical plants and can struggle to grow well in temperate climes.

When buying nutmeg, try to buy them whole and grate as needed. The whole (and even the partially grated ones) keep for ages and the taste of freshly grated nutmeg will beat the socks off any powder you buy from the supermarket.

Jun 2, 2010, 11:59am

thanks for the feedback. The apinchof site was interesting, femmily.

My basil is beautiful and we are enjoying just walking by it for the aroma. Fresh basil is lovely. But the when to pinch, how to seed, what to do once it flowers and what else can I grow all boggles me. Mint was growing here as well as a large Rosemary plant when we moved here over 10 years ago. I am wanting to expand on that but I do have a bit to learn from the spice world.

Jun 2, 2010, 3:48pm

If you're looking to expand your herb garden, I'd suggest planting some thyme next. It comes in lots of different varieties and is quite hardy. It generally grows well in the same environment as rosemary.

Marjoram is another nice herb to grow. It has a flavor like a slightly milder oregano and the two look very similar. Sage is good too and very easy to maintain (no need to worry about flowering and pinching). I have a golden sage plant that's still producing well after three years in my herb box.

Edited: Jun 2, 2010, 4:38pm

I strongly suggest Sage! I have found it to be the most hardy and fastest growing of the herbs on my poorly lit balcony :P

I agree that you will likely have to stick to growing herbs and not spices. However, some spices like fennel seeds etc you may be able to grow and dry?

Jun 2, 2010, 5:03pm

LOL!! ok..ok..herbs...Oh I should not type & work! oh my heart!

Edited: Jun 3, 2010, 9:36am

Dill is a great perennial herb (tall bush with feathery leaves). For annual herbs, basil and parsley are probably the most useful. And don't forget chives!

Jun 3, 2010, 9:42am

If you are going to grow mint of any sort, keep it in a pot. If you must grow it in a garden bed, still keep it in a pot, just bury the pot in the garden bed. If it wasn't so delicious it would be an invasive weed!

Jun 3, 2010, 9:56am

Herb and Spice is the best one I've found. Complete description of taste guides and uses for every spice I've ever come across.

Jun 4, 2010, 2:23am

Ha! We are the only people in the world who cannot grow mint. We lack the requisite dripping tap in the backyard. Either it dies of thirst or the cats dig it up.

On the other hand we have two fabulous rosemary bushes - one prostrate - and a bay tree in a pot. Over the years we have grown various things like parsley, chives, thyme and tarragon with reasonable success. You've got to keep up the weeding and discourage the snails (and the cats).

At the moment we have a plentiful supply of those flat leaved oriental chives that Derrick bought by mistake.

Jun 5, 2010, 4:13pm

Your cats are probably trying to hint you into planting them some catnip!