If you’re like me, when you start cooking seriously, you start digging through cookbooks, magazines, and websites to find recipes you’d like to try. I’m all in favor of that!
But be careful about recipes that require an unusual ingredient. Unless the whole thing will be used in your recipe (say, a bulb of fennel), you may find yourself giving up valuable space and money to an ingredient you are unlikely to use up. We don’t like admitting it, but most cooks have spices or other ingredients that we bought for one recipe and never finished off. Since many of these ingredients (hello, hazelnut oil) are quite expensive, that’s a huge waste.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try the recipes you want. But if a recipe does require an ingredient that you aren’t sure you’ll use, buy the smallest possible amount and do a quick internet search for additional uses. It will save you money and kitchen space.