You still buy your spices in little jars? And already ground? Oh, whatever will we do with you?
Grinding your own spices is the easiest thing ever in the world of anything, and it’ll net you some fresher, spicier spices—and save you a few bucks to boot.
I’m not saying you have to spend hours over a mortar and pestle. Sure, I’ve got one, but I also have this amazing new space-age ultra high-tech modern marvel: the $15 coffee grinder. Because we also grind our own coffee beans daily (with a mixture of cacao nibs and cassia chips), our second grinder is set aside just for spices. I don’t want to taste rosemary and cumin in my coffee.
So what should you be grinding? Cumin, coriander, mustard, cloves, and dried herbs (drying your own yet?), absolutely. Buy your spices in bulk from a place you trust. Penzeys (yes, I talk about them a lot, but their prices—and spices—are killer), your favorite natural foods store, whatever, just make sure you like the stuff. The point here is to have spices that taste good, better than those McCormick bottles.
Buying bulk sesame seeds? Throw them in a food processor and make your own super fresh tahini for cheap yet delicious hummus.
And you are storing your bulk poppy seeds in the freezer, aren’t you? Ugh, this is worse than I thought! Poppy seeds have high oil content, so they go rancid quickly. Take out a little jar at a time and just leave the big jar in the freezer. If someone asks you why you have a big jar of poppy seeds in your freezer, tell them the Austrian-Hungarian-Gypsy-or-something girl told you to.
Now go eat better food!