Monday, October 22, 2012

Organizing Spices

There's nothing quite like feeling there's a slow brewing rumble,possibly even a war developing in one's own kitchen! 

Yes, I said - a 'war'....(said she with a big wide grin).

True confessions; there are days when I have no clue what I have in my pantry. 

No kidding. 

I never used to have this problem. Not ever. 

But, it has existed for a few years now, and slowly but surely, it's time to end the often, (at the crunch of dinner time fixing and ingredients disappearing) confusion. 

They say you can tell a lot about a cook by opening up and peeking at the goodies within their spice cupboard. I believe that. 

There's one problem however. When "I" open my spice cupboard, I don't always know what's in there either, nor what half of those collected bottles of spice are as a matter of fact! 

You see, there are two cooks in our home, both myself, and my hubby will take the reigns for the family foodie prep. He (as I've shared with you before) has become the food networks prodigy chef extraordinaire. Yes he has. He has a stained apron to prove it. (grin) In fact, he's a fabulous cook! (I love you honey, grinning)

There's a danger, a type of development of a hissy-fitty domain problem though, when two cooks hang out, and cook at separate times in the kitchen. 

My little pantry and spice cupboard problems have festered since my husband decided a food dish is "all about the flavor", thus the increase in spice bottle counts, and even extra bags of spices for when those spice jars run low. Like all that cumin, and cumin seed in there, bags of the stuff to last us an entire lifetime.

There are so many types of spices for use with exotic international types of cooking in our spice cupboard, that I've attempted in the past to segregate the rare ones by placing them on the shelf above the main area from the usual everyday kind, like cinnamon for instance, or parsley. You know, that sort of thing. Well, that worked for a time. And then, "he" mixed all those bottles and bags all up again. Then they seemingly began to multiply, like (for instance) I just discovered we have 3 chili powder bottles. And another bulk refill bag with more chili powder at the back of that second shelf. 

I think there is a danger when one gathers a recipe from the food network online computer site, and then in the excitement (or haste) of wanting to experiment right now, not taking a moment to find out if we have a certain type of spice, or not, well, so why not just buy another? Oh, and the empty bottles, well, there are multiples of those around too, like they're all having babies in there or something. So, I had to perform a kitchen spice addict intervention!  :) (I love you honey...grinning)

What to do? 

Why not re-do! 

So, I re-did every spice container, purchasing all new ones, and filling them up so all would be the same height, and stack-able possibilities came to me in a dream one night. :) 

Our local dollar store was a fantastic supplier for all the spice bottles I would require. That is, they were similar to those in Ikea, but for sale for a fraction of the cost (3/1.00). 

I only bought 21 of them. I figured that had to be plenty, looked like loads when viewing them all laying in a row within my shopping basket in hand.

I was wrong! I had to buy more, like 18 more. 

So, this beckons a loaded question of from me to you; How many spice bottles do YOU have in your cupboards right now? Do you know? 

Go and count, just for fun. You might be surprised!

Today, I finally purchased those 18 additional bottles, and tonight there will be additional spice organizing to complete my spice cupboard intervention task! 

My cherished label machine will be near me, a fresh roll of white tape will continue to produce all the labels I will be requiring to perform this task. 

Oh, I "do" like these spice jars! 

And, I do love all the easy to read labels affixed to them. Oh, and they stack, one on top of another, rows and rows to behold for me when the deed is done. 

There will be a cease fire in my kitchen now, patience and prudence in all matters of organization will allow many cooks to freely express their creative culinary skills, at (often) impulsive tempted timing. 

I'll be heading out next week, spice shopping list in hand, to check out our local "Bulk Barn" for wee bags of necessities to fill all these jars filled to their very brims. 

In the future, if no one remembers to mention a discovered empty spice bottle, maybe that's okay too because at a glance, I'll be able to see through their glass exteriors, and be able to make a notation on my weekly shopping list. 

If foreign spice bottles reappear, it will be time for a kitchen meeting of the cooks, for a further resolve. :) 

Next up? Pantry intervention, but of course. (grinning all the way here...)