Okay. You see all those little metal tins of spices, all those glass McCormick jars of herbs and spices, and all of those big plastic jars of herbs you got at the supermarket or grocery store, or worst of all, those 99 cent spice jars? Well, they pretty much all suck. Stop buying your herbs and spices in those places, and listen to what I have to say.

You want to buy high-quality herbs and spices for your home use. Two reasons for this: One, the flavor is more intense and you use less, and even though the price may seem expensive, usually buying in bulk is cheaper than buying those tiny containers in the store. (Besides a pound of dried basil is an awful lot of flavor.)

Two fairly good sources are health food stores and, believe it or not food warehouses like Sam's or BJ's. The former usually has bulk herbs and spices (Frontier is an excellent brand), the latter has restaurant quality stuff in large jars. Again, prices in the $6-20 per pound range may seem expensive, but you probably paid $2-$4 for an ounce or two. I prefer the health food stores with bulk containers because I can buy smaller amounts that will keep better. Another good place for good spices are ethnic groceries in your area.

Some other suggestions:

So please, for your own sake, and the sake of those you love, season well.

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