Some years ago, I was randomly called to participate in a market research study. They asked me if I would spend 1 1/2 hours giving them feedback on a new ad campaign in exchange for $100 cash. At first, I thought it must be a prank call. Get PAID to give my opinion? Sounded like a dream. Ha. I have always had quite a few opinions and I am not afraid to voice them. That was the first of many episodes with that market research firm and I enjoyed many a massage, facial or pedicure with my easy earnings.

I had similar feelings some weeks ago when I was asked by a woman from the Spice Depot if I would let her know what I thought of her product. At first, I was skeptical. In our world with TiVo, internet and mobile devices that can practically serve as butlers, advertising and product promotion is getting tricky. My initial reaction was protective and defensive.

After some initial consideration, I determined what my stance will be on Whipped regarding product promotion: I am willing to try any product. Heck, what if I learn about something really new and cool and then I can tell you about something new and cool. I am just not guaranteeing that I will write about things that are sent to me because I do not like to write negative things and I do not want to promote things I do not like.

So, there we have it. I received a number of the Spice Depot’s spice blends that are contained in little grinder bottles. Each time you use them, they grind up the spices right out of the top of the bottle. Although this is superficial but one of my favorite things about this new discovery was the name of one of them… JoJo Potato. I don’t know what it means, but I like it.

If I had to choose, I would cook with fresh grown herbs year round. Or, I would visit my local spice mecca more frequently, The Spice House in Chicago. But, in a pinch, if you have to pick up grocery store spices, you are bound to get better results grinding them fresh out of the jar each time.