The cozy mystery book series guide to kitchen staples originally appeared in Judy Volhart’s cozy murder mystery Swiss Cheese and Sibling Rivalry (Whine & Cheese Cozy Mystery Series, Book 4).
Buying herbs and spices can be expensive. The seasoned cook (pun intended!) will already have a well-stocked supply, but if you’re just starting out, here’s my recommendations based on what I use most.
First and foremost, invest in a good-quality, light-tasting, extra virgin olive oil. It’s pricey, but it will make all the difference. I’ve learned this from experience, after tasting many overpowering, lower quality, less expensive varieties. Also, don’t skimp on the olive oil. The recipes in my books already use as little oil as possible and there should be no need to further scale back. It’s a “good fat”, which our bodies need to function optimally, so you can enjoy small quantities without feeling guilty. I know what I’m talking about; I’m an ex-anorexic.
I will assume that everyone already has salt and pepper, so let’s move on to the very basics.
oregano or “Italian seasoning”
garlic powder (not garlic salt)
cayenne if you like spicy foods
If you have nothing else other than the above, you should still be able to become a very decent cook.