Making Spice Out of Life

We live in a small but neat housing development. Each unit has a front yard, a rear patio, and some have terraces as well. My wife and I love it; we are in a quiet area, but in walking distance of most of the major stores and business centers. Nearly every week there is some special event or activity taking place within a short walk, yet when we get home we are in a quiet neighborhood with only the local bus and train to remind us we actually live in a major metropolis.

Since we both love to cook we keep our kitchen well-stocked at all times. And one of our favorite hobbies is to grow our own spices and seasonings. We began doing this as a lark one year when a friend had some extra oregano plants and gave up a few, which we grew in a pot out on our patio. They did so well that we later got some more pots and added some other spices that we use on a regular basis, like parsley, basil, rosemary, chives, and lavender. Before we realized it our back patio had become a regular “spice garden” in which we grew nearly all the spices we used for most of our favorite dishes. We then decided to take advantage of this hobby and dry and store many of these spices for the fall and winter. We also used many of the spices to specially season the various types of pizzas we made at home using the Ronco Pizza and More oven we got from Groupon. Storing our dried spices was made easier by using containers from Groupon’s list of kitchen cooking and storage products. And we made various spice teas using our blender and electric kettle for our guests.

While this began mainly as a hobby we soon discovered that it had resulted in its own unique character. A spice garden has its own unique personality that is reflected not just in its appearance but also in the way you maintain it and arrange it. Most of the plants can also serve as decorative plants, so – for example – a rosemary bush can serve as a border plant as well. Chives can accent the corners of an area, and oregano and tomatoes can climb along fences or trellises. Other spices like mint and lavender can provide a delightful aroma to the area. Sitting out on a pleasant evening in a spice garden can be as pleasant as eating meals prepared with those spices.

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