I'm still new to cooking and I try to follow the recipe as it's written. Example : If it the chicken soup calls for bay leaves, I get bay leaves.
DH says that cooking with spices is a waste of money, especially if I buy the spices fresh. I've always heard that spices can have health benefits and can add a lot of flavor, but I can't ever taste the spices in a dish.
I'm just wondering - are spices worth it? Do you use spices when you cook? Do you use fresh spices and herbs? Do you grow your own?
Also - I'm making chicken teriyaki tomorrow night. It calls for fresh ginger. I have ground ginger power, but no fresh ginger. Should I buy a ginger root, or will the ginger powder work (I did google this, and kept reading that fresh and dry ginger are completely different)?
Woah! I've gotten a lot of responses. Thanks for you posts. I did want to add a few things to this post, though.
1. We use things like salt, pepper, and common condiments (mustard, bbq sauce, etc). I do use things like chicken/beef stock, taco seasoning packets, or some special things like soy sauce and Worcheshire sauce. I don't feel like the food I make is bland (but that's just my opinion).
2. My family never use spices in their cooking (besides some of the things listed above). Maybe they had a rub to put on steak or something, but it was always a premade mixture. They didn't have individual spices that they put in the food.
3. I'm sure I could tell the a difference if I tried a bite of something with spice and then a bite of something without. I wouldn't be able to pick it out though. I've always had difficulties identifying flavors in food though. I even have difficulties identifying different cooking wines and oils (vegtable oil, olive oil, etc).
4. I am trying to use more spices in my cooking. I have recently discovered that I love garlic. I use garlic and parsley the most.