Week Two: Behind the Scenes
Spicy! Talk us through your spice rack or cook with your favourite spice.
Well, since I’ve already let y’all in to my kitchen, I might as well own up to my shameful spice situation! Here it is: I store my spices in five very different spots throughout the kitchen, because no one cupboard or hidey-hole provides easy enough access to them. Sigh!
I buy quite a few of my spices in bulk, which makes these racks and spice jars from good ol’ Ikea just perfect. Here I keep things like turmeric, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and mustard seeds, among others. They’re within easy reach when I’m cooking and don’t look too shabby on the wall there. You can’t see in this photo, but many of the jars are labeled on the side thanks to my handy label-maker. Ideally I’d have all my spices easily accessible like this (and all bought in bulk), but I think those racks would need to be floor to ceiling to accommodate everything!
Here is my most shameful spice storage area. Located in the cupboard to the left of my sink, this is where all the oddly shaped and less-commonly-used spices typically wind up. In there you’ll find a little of everything: a box of cinnamon sticks, a bag of mace, a jar of Jamaican curry powder I nabbed from the free table at work, and various spice and seasoning blends I’ve been gifted. It’s all just crammed in there and I’m quite ashamed of the disorder. At least it’s well hidden by a cupboard door most of the time… that’s helped make the situation more palatable! I really really need to clean out my cupboards and rearranged everything, but I’ve yet to dedicate the time to that arduous task.
Moving on… a slightly more organized storage site: The drawer to the right of the stove, which is a fairly typical spice drawer. Here’s where all the jars and small containers wind up. Some are rarely used (poppy seeds, caraway seeds, the “pie spice” blend I also rescued from the free table) while others have been refilled with new spices (see the crossed-out label on the cumin jar?). This is also our junk drawer, as you can see, and quite frankly I’m proud it’s really only a quarter-sized junk drawer and not a full one! (Side note: That “everything bagel” seasoning blend from Trader Joe’s is THE BEST. )
Not pictured here is the carousel rack of really really old spices I “inherited” when Steven and I moved in together; it came from his apartment and I frankly shudder to think how old some of them are. But I hate waste, so… there they remain. And honestly, I do occasionally use them. It’s not like spices go bad; they just become less potent. Six giant shakes of “poultry seasoning” it is, then!
Finally, there’s one more cupboard with spices, but this one is high above my sink and functions as storage for the bulk bags of spices that I then mete out into the glass jars in smaller quantities. I don’t feel too badly about this particular spice shelf since it’s difficult to reach without a stool. It seems like a pretty good use of the space.
So! There it is. My shameful distribution of spices. If you have a great idea of how to consolidate everything, I’m all ears!