■ Store dried herbs and spices in a cool, dark location away from direct heat or sunlight. Keep containers tightly closed.
■ Whole dried spices keep their flavor for up to 4 years; ground spices for 2 to 3 years and dried herbs for 1 to 3 years. Smell them to check for strength of flavor.
■ Refrigerate fresh herbs like parsley, basil or cilantro upright in a glass of water like flowers. Cover with a loose plastic bag.
■ Wash fresh herbs just before using by pushing up and down in a bowl of water; lift out of the water; repeat in fresh water until no dirt appears in the bowl.
■ Freeze fresh herbs and use in cooked dishes within one year. Remove clean, dry leaves from main stems, spread on a tray and freeze. Package in freezer quality container labeled with the herb’s name and date.