we use fresh garlic and onion when cooking. we are so accustomed to the taste of fresh garlic and onion that we could never do it in a dried spice form. my 29mo is addicted to a garlic-lemon sauce that we make with grilled chicken (loads of freshly crushed garlic with a little sea salt, a few drops of cold pressed olive oil, and a good amount of fresh lemon juice poured over). when the chicken in her plate is finished, she just grabs the bowl and drinks the sauce. *shudder*
she always screams out "chicken and saucy time!!!" with great excitement.. but then again, this is the same child who asks for slices of raw onion to eat..
our sea salt and whole peppers are in grinders.
my spices would be:
1- all spice
9- bay leaves
i would like to add a few more, like vanilla pods, marjoram, star anise, cardamom.. but if i HAD to do 9, i would pick the above.
our mint and basil are home grown and dried, and are in big glass jars. the rest are in smaller glass jars. as for herbs and spices like parsley and chilli, we would just use fresh. want a lemon flavour in your dish? add fresh lemon juice.. and so on.