I am so frustrated with my spice cabinet. I can’t even begin to describe how much. I have encountered this a great deal several times in the last week. I have a small galley style kitchen. So while my love for spices is grand, my space for them well is quite frankly not so grand. I am trying to come up with a way to organize my spices and do so efficiently, so I can find them, and so that my spices don’t grow old and lose their flavor.
Before I go into why I find them frustrating on why I hate to store them, let me say I hate the variety that I have. I have a medium sized moving box of spices, excluding the wonderful salts that I have. I know this because I moved twice in 2009. I packed everything up twice. I am beginning to wonder why I need so many spice blends. I am not talking about spice blends such as chili powder, or say curry powder. I think I have a problem with purchasing or acquiring odd ball spice blends like ‘Penzey’s Black and Red’, or the ‘Penzey’s Fox Point’ seasoning. I am beginning to wonder if I should just buy single herbs and spices, and not blend. This is going to be my plan of action, at least until I walk into a spice store and find something so spectacular I will want to have it in my home.
Storage, the physical storage, this is the part that causes me much heartache. So something that works to my benefit is where I buy my spices. For the most part, my spices come from two places. About eight years back I started to purchase spices from Penzy's, who has fabulous spices and they are often less expensive than what they are in a grocery store. In 2008 I found The Spice House in Chicago. I love The Spice House, again very good prices, and the freshest spices imaginable. So why this is important, is that they come in standard sizes. Everything comes in similar sizes, so I am not combining square containers, large plastic containers, and then goodness knows what else.
The organization of spices is where I begin to fall apart. A couple of years ago I tried putting all of my spice jars into a drawer. For me, this wasn’t the most successful plan, as all of my jars are round. So everything rolled around in my drawer, and after opening the drawer a few times, I couldn’t read any of the labels. So now I have some tiered shelves in my spice cabinet that works ok. Since it is tiered I can read all of the labels, but I have too many spices, so I have to double stack everything. It is a pain. Last night when making some taco soup, I pulled out a lot of things before I got what I needed, and I was adding bits and pieces of blends trying to purge my cabinets of the spice blends.
My question to you is how do you organize your spices? What spices must you have? What can you live without? I am so frustrated by my having too many spices in too little of a space. Do you have any thoughts?
Write your suggestions below, I will be anxiously waiting to hear what in the world do you do with your spices.
The Spice House