Spice Wrangling: Home Improvement Project

This has got to be the 2nd lowest bang for the buck home improvement project ever, after the truly out of control compost bin I built a couple years ago (which is even now falling apart, and will soon need replacing): Behold! spices being organized!

Yes, I, an adult-level male human, spent something like 8 hours building 6 little wooden boxes and painting them colorful primary colors, just so our spice collection could be better controlled.

We cook and bake a lot in the Moore family. Over the years, we’ve acquired a very wide variety of spices and specialty seasonings. You want to make gumbo or tikka masala? Got you covered. Red Hatch chile sauce or humus? Good to go. Pastrami rub or gyoza? No problem. This, in addition to all the normal stuff needed for cookies and cakes, roasts and burgers, burritos and stir frys, and so on. Also, you need not just oregano, but leaf, ground and Mexican (essential for guacamole) oregano. Not just chile powder, but Hatch chile powder, bulk chile powder, some hot, not so hot, and a couple varieties of whole dried red chiles – because you need them! You do!

Further, we’ve reached the point where we end up with 2, 3 or more containers of things, because, when we looked, we couldn’t find it, and so bought another. I’ve got multiple smoked paprika bottles (good for pastrami rub) because the previous bottle got shoved to the back or moved to the counter, and I missed it.

Here, we see about 75% of the extant seasonings. I threw a ton away after determining that they were at least 6 years old, maybe much older.

So, cute little boxes with cute little labels. Aaawww! Sheesh. There’s more to do, but my manliness demand I chop wood or dig holes or something man-ish before I spend any more time consolidating spices into cute bottles, labeling them, and placing them in the right little box.

Here’s some details:

Bottom shelf. Baking stuff, mostly. We own about 10 different extracts – they’re in the back. Vanilla, almond, lemon, lime, etc. The little red box pulls out separately; it holds half-sized bottles and other shorter things. Yes, I printed cute labels and afixed them. I’ll do some tequila shots later to wash the shame away, promise.
The Savory set holds all the common stuff, as well as bullion (vegetable, chicken and beef. We also keep beef and chicken stock on hand.) I went yellow because I had an old can of yellow spray paint and why not?
Top shelf. Labeled exotic with quotes, because it’s mostly completely normal, for us, anyway, it just gets used slightly less often.Rubs for barbeque, Indian and Asian spices, gumbo file, that sort of thing. Bags of dried chile on the top, along with other bulky stuff.

So, let’s see: still got a couple thousand bricks to lay out front. Let’s do that!

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

2 thoughts on “Spice Wrangling: Home Improvement Project”

  1. Organizing. Very manly. My husband’s job is 90% organizing, or doing the electronic version of those boxes.

    Although his spreadsheets don’t have much color… I’m going to have to suggest some primary colors. ^.^

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