Herbie’s Newsletter Autumn 2020

February 27, 2020 posted in Food

Our Best Wishes

The start of this New Year and new decade has been memorable for all the wrong reasons, and our hearts go out to all those who have been directly and indirectly affected by the extreme weather and terrible fires.  A fire that started in the same road as our factory mercifully went in the other direction and left us with just ash to clean up.  Others have not been so lucky.

Herbie’s Spices Retail Area

Over the past few years, some of you have gradually found our little retail counter at the door of our Charmhaven factory, where you can tell us your wish list and we will hurry to the dispatch area to bring what you want.  This year brings exciting changes, as we do a little re-shuffle of our space and create a proper retail area where you can browse, ask questions, and take your time. We look forward to welcoming more of you as word gets around.  We’re just minutes from the freeway, should you happen to be driving between Sydney and Newcastle!

Our Indian Adventure

Our year began with another trip to India with a happy group of seventeen lovely travellers.  Exploring just the south of this fascinating continent gave us a good experience of the regionality of Indian food, from the peppery Chettinad to the French-inspired Pondicherry cuisine (home of our delicious Vadouvan curry blend), and the coconut-rich seafood of Kerala.  Is there another Indian adventure in the pipeline?  Well, maybe; if you fancy a trip in March/April 2021, let us know.

Aloo Gobi Spice Blend

Our Indian sojourn in 2019 was to the north in autumn.  Seasonal food was abundant, and we encountered aloo gobi everywhere we went.  (Aloo = potato, gobi = cauliflower.  Look, you are speaking Hindi!)  We all came home wanting to cook this delicious vegetarian dish, without too much bother, so Herbie did his thing and came up with an Aloo Gobi spice blend.  The recipe is conveniently on the back of the pack.

Golden Grill Spice

We were sad to see the demise of Healthy Life stores in NSW; they had been customers of ours for many years, and they had asked us to create a turmeric-rich blend especially for them.  Rather than let a perfectly good blend fall into oblivion, we have given it a little tweak and re-named it Golden Grill spice. Have it with vegetable stir-fries, grilled white meats, and in your autumn soups, to add the goodness of turmeric to your diet.

One Pot Wonders

Also new this season is a simple little $25.00 kit in a pale green box, that we have called One Pot Wonders.  For those time-poor times when you need something in a hurry, have a few of these little stars in the freezer.  And on a cool autumn day, set aside a bit of time to cook a few of these delicious meals for later.  With packs of our Tagine Spice blend, Herbs de Provence, Curry Mix with whole seeds, and Italian Herbs, you have a world of flavour at your fingertips!

Box of Ideas

Speaking of kits, naturally we have our brand new Box of Ideas for this autumn.  Lavender, ajowan, peppermill blend, Turkish spice mix and American Spicy BBQ are featured this time, with lots of easy, tasty recipes to share with friends and family.  In the autumnal russet-red box, it’s $25.00 plus postage.

Labels & QR Codes

What’s happened to the labels?  Yes, you’re not imagining it: the labels definitely have a different background colour.  Here’s the reason:  the new labels are actually the original shade that we started with in 1997.  Over the years, the shade gradually crept to the almost-dull yellow of 2019, until we suggested to our printer that the original pale cream background be re-instated.

What’s that funny square filled with squiggles on the back of our pack?  It’s called a QR code, and here’s how you use it.  Scan it with your smart phone and it will take you to more information about that product on our website.  You’ll find more details and, at this stage, recipes for most products.  (Give us time and we’ll fill it with even more good things!)

Postage Calculations

A great many of you take advantage of our website to order your spices.  It’s the way of the world, ordering whatever you want online, and many online stores offer free shipping.  Does anyone really believe that shipping is free?  A 500g Express Post bag costs over $12.00 at the Post Office – a little cheaper for us as we buy hundreds at a time and get a little discount.  Now let’s face it, someone has to pay for that postage.  If a vendor offers free shipping, you can be pretty sure that shipping is loaded into the price.  We prefer to give you the honest price of each product, and show you that the postage is added at the end.

Our postage is calculated at a flat $8.80, plus 22 cents per pack (incl. GST).  It’s   impossible to have a perfect system with online orders – sometimes we are a bit ahead, sometimes we lose a bit.  If you order just one pack of spice, you are possibly going to pay more for postage than you do for the spice.  Think carefully whether there might be one or two other spices you could use, to make the postage more reasonable for what you’re spending.

Upcoming classes: We’re visiting old friends at The Essential Ingredient in Surry Hills at 11.30 on 8th March, and other old friends, The Sydney Seafood School, for an evening blending and cooking class on 20th April.  Why not join us? To book, just click here: Sydney Seafood School and use promo code/voucher HERBIES for a 20% discount.

Happy Spicing

Herbie and Liz

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