In the introduction to ''60-minute Gourmet'' Pierre Franey gives several hints for those who wish to cook in a hurry and without frustration. His first and most important admonition is to outfit your kitchen with the best equipment, the cost of which is within your budget.
The following is a list of herbs that Pierre considers essential for a spice rack in any kitchen, particularly for the cook who wants to prepare imaginative meals at a moment's notice. Check through the list and see if any of these need to be added or replenished on your spice rack.
Allspice, whole or ground; Basil; Bay leaves; Caraway seeds; Cayenne pepper or hot ground red pepper; Chili powder; Cinnamon, ground and/or in stick form; Cloves, whole and/or ground; Coriander, seeds or ground.
Cumin, seeds or ground; Curry powder; Marjoram; Mustard powder; Nutmeg, whole and/or ground; Oregano; Paprika; Black peppercorns and ground black pepper; White peppercorns and ground white pepper; Hot red pepper flakes and/or whole dried hot red pepper pods; Rosemary; Saffron, in stem form or powdered; Tarragon; Thyme; and Vanilla extract.