Thursday, September 2, 2010


Is your spice rack/cabinet/drawer a random collection of bottles, jars, tins and bags? Have you purged your spices lately? Are you still using "Italian Seasoning" from the '90's? Ground spices lose their potency, so buy smaller amounts from a bulk spice purveyor, or use whole spices when possible. You can use a microplane to grate fresh nutmeg, and a small Krups coffee grinder (labeled for spices only) to whiz up mixed spices or dry rubs for meat, etc...  It can be less expensive to buy spices in the "international foods" aisle, for example Badia brand or bagged spices from World Market versus well known McCormick.

Love Penzey's, too.

I purged, replenished and replaced over the past year. Still, my spices have been a big jumble of sizes and containers. I'd have to take 10 jars out to get to the sesame seeds or the wasabi powder, way in the back. I always kept them semi-organized though, by separating cooking and baking onto different shelves.

As I set up my new kitchen, there was one big drawer left over. Prime real estate. I didn't want it to become the catch-all, junk drawer. I have enough space here, and I will endeavor to have everything stowed logically.

I unpacked the big tub of spices, and I set up the assembly line. I found clear glass spice jars $3.99 for a set of 3 at World Market...same price for small or large.

...and these nifty preprinted labels at Ace Hardware. (Who keeps a whole jar of M.S.G.??) I have a label maker for the odd spice that they don't list. The jar lids swivel around to reveal 3 sizes of sprinkling holes, and they twist off easily so I can get in there for a pinch, or use a measuring spoon.

The labels can go on the side, or top.

I'm splitting the drawer in half--one side for cooking spices and one for baking. It's great to have everything within reach, and on one level!

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