An excerpt of the soon to be published Che Sera Cookbook:
When shopping for herbs and spices, get anything that looks good to you, or anybody with you, or the odd bystander in the spice store. Buy lots of colors, shapes and textures- you can find out what to do with them later, and if you don’t you still have the raw material for amusing home décor. Nothing looks better on your kitchen wall than a lot of glass jars full of great looking stuff.
Note: you may want to avoid buying some things which are too hot to serve as anything other than say, paint remover. This is precisely what sales help is for; don’t be afraid to ask for assistance in weeding out the more lethal items and hope this is not one of their “bad” days. If it is, buy stuff anyway, it will cheer you up some; probably nothing will help them.
Should you feel I have been too vague about suggestions, my guideline is:
1. green stuff
2. yellow stuff
3. red stuff
4. leafy substances
5. things that have shape
I don’t bother with labels. It astounds my friends and makes cooking look much more difficult than it really is. People are sure I am psychic. If you want to give this impression but are sure you will put curry into your tapioca, simply label the bottom of the jars. It is mistake proof and you sill still appear to be a culinary genius.