10 October 2018

End of Year Spice Top-Up

With starting the Christmas baking, a trip to Hindustan Imports was on the to-do list for today. We were right out of glace cherries, slivered almonds, coconut and sweet basil. I also had vanilla beans and bay leaves on the shopping list.

The bay leaves and basil have been put away already!
The total came to $55.30 and I brought home:
2 vanilla beans ($2.90ea) $5.80
2 x 1kg shredded coconut $12.60
2 x 1kg glace cherries $24.00
100g sweet basil $2.20
500g slivered almonds $8.50
50g bay leaves $2.20

Well worth the 25 minute drive to keep almost $80 in my grocery budget!
If I'd bought them from the supermarket (I've just checked the price at colesonline.com.au) I'd have paid $133.78:
2 vanilla beans $8.00
2kg shredded coconut $30.24
2kg glace cherries $50.00
100g sweet basil $23.50
500g slivered almonds $17.39
50g bay leaves $4.65

For long term storage I keep the cherries, almonds and coconut in the freezer. It allows me to buy in bulk without worrying about losing quality while I use everything up. Mind you, most of the cherries and almonds will go in Christmas baking. We use a lot of coconut in baking and muesli so while 2 kilos sounds a lot, it won't last that long.

I've already put fresh bay leaves on the pantry shelves and in the flour canisters. Bay leaves help repel pantry moths, and therefore weevils and when I cleaned the pantry I composted the old bay leaves, so they needed to be replaced. I also have bouquet garni kits on the list for Christmas gifts and to go into the cooking hampers..

If you've ever wondered if it's worth either making the trip to Hindustan (if you're in Melbourne) or shopping online, it is. Shopping online is easy, and they do offer free delivery on Melbourne orders over $90.

If the thought of spending $90 on herbs and spices, flours, lentils and legumes is overwhelming, consider sharing an order with a friend or two to take advantage of the free delivery.

This will see us through to the end of the year, and I'll do a bulk shop as part of my once-a-year shopping in January to top up all the herbs and spices.

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