This Sunday is a holiday you may have never heard of before… National Herbs & Spices Day! Culinary artists would never dream of neglecting these important elements in everyday cuisine, but the rest of us might fail to let these superstars shine in our home-cooked meals. Well, not anymore!
Here are some ideas for “celebrating” this day – in the kitchen and in other aspects of our daily lives, as well.
1) Start an herb garden – even just one plant!
Anyone with a roof over their head can start an herb garden. Some of the fancier varieties include a wide scope of different and exotic plants (Pineapple sage? Vietnamese coriander? Yes, please!), but getting your first garden up and running doesn’t have to be complicated. Basil plants are pretty hardy and produce a great yield with consistent pruning — they can be a great starter. Just find a balcony or a windowsill and get planting!
2) Re-organize your spice cabinet
When was the last time you cleaned yours out? If you can definitively say “not in the last year,” then it’s time to prioritize this task. There really isn’t much health risk in using old spices (unless you’ve allowed moisture to get into the bottles and mold starts growing, ick), but dusty old spices mean significantly less potent flavor and aroma — which are what we look for in spices in the first place! A good general rule is to replace ground spices after 3 months and whole spices after 10 months.
3) Bring new flavor into your work out and down-time routines
You know what else can go stale? Our routines. While we might not have much control over what our work or commute routines look like, the other parts of our lives that we enjoy may have some wiggle room. If you’ve found yourself in a rut with performing the same old treadmill slog every day, try something new! Book a spin class or take the pup on a long hike in a new location. The same goes for the weekend — try something new and stimulating to look forward to each week.
4) Spice up your relationships
Our friendships and partnerships can go through rocky, dull periods, as well. Identifying these lulls early means we can work on improving them before they grow into deeper crevices. Introduce new activities into your hangouts with friends and family. Make a pact to not talk about the news or anything saddening while at the dinner table, and instead talk about hopes and plans and dreams. These little changes can keep things moving in the right direction.
5) Revitalize your wardrobe
Kick things up a notch in your closet, too! Spring is in full swing, but that doesn’t mean a round of spring cleaning isn’t possible. Donate the clothes you no longer wear to homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, or halfway houses for people in recovery. And when you purchase new pieces, make sure it is as sustainable as possible — this means spending a little more for an article that will last you longer and longer.