It wasn’t that long ago—maybe a hundred and fifty years—when merchants combed the spice gardens of India and the Middle East, gathering the essences that are so readily available today. To purchase something as exotic as vanilla from Madagascar, cinnamon from Shri Lanka or ginger from China would’ve fetched a king’s ransom. Nowadays, you might very well pay that for artisan spice blends in gourmet shops. But you don’t have to. Now you can blend your own. You probably already have most of the ingredients on-hand.