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Herbs & Spices - How many do you have?


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As I was taking the traditional what's in your fridge photo for my food blog it suddenly occurred to me that spice racks, shelves & drawers are equally revealing as to what & how we cook.

So I took some pictures of my spice drawer and my spice pot. I use the pot because when I buy spices at market here in France they come in little bags. Its easier just to put them into a ziploc than it is to find a jar.

I didn't do a count, but I suspect that I'm pretty typical of we eGulleteers.

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I've shown you mine. now show me yours.

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Looks like you have a few more than I do, but a similar eclectic selection!

Here's my spice rack.

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I also have a few seasonings stored in the freezer (homemade curry powder from Malaysia, Aleppo pepper, lime leaves, curry leaves).

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Coincidentally, one of my summer projects is to put my spices in order. I've accumulated a lot of random spices since I've tried my hand at Indian food, and from making a few dishes from "Cradle of Flavor." So I have things like whole nutmug, green cardamom pods, turmeric, and garamasala. The yellow labels are from Kalustyan's, a fantastic shop here in New York for hard-to-find spices and ingredients, including galangal and various leaves. I was just there the other day and picked up some grains of paradise because I saw it mentioned on Good Eats and wanted to try it out.

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(I'm also proud of the hooks I mounted on a vertical pipe using hose clamps from the hardware store)

Edited by marvelous_marvin (log)
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I've shown this before, but....

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There are 42 spice containers in use in this cabinet, and three emtpy ones. I do have more spices, that aren't shown here, but I'm not at home to take a picture of them. I suspect I've got around 55 or so in total. ( I should mention, my cottage spices look just the same, except in the smaller tupperware spice containers. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I've shown this before, but....

There are 42 spice containers in use in this cabinet, and three emtpy ones.  I do have more spices, that aren't shown here, but I'm not at home to take a picture of them.  I suspect I've got around 55 or so in total.  ( I should mention, my cottage spices look just the same, except in the smaller tupperware spice containers. :biggrin:

Your organization puts me to shame. I'm impressed and envious.

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Hmm. I move around a lot, and I'm normally only cooking for one, so my spices are made to take up little space and travel well:

Photo%2045.jpg

The two empty ones have since been filled. The boxes (there are 2) are the watchmaker's canisters from lee valley, and the names are written on the bottom, in case I forget what's what :) There's also the handy side effect of forcing me to refill the ones I use pretty often, so they stay relatively fresh.

Kate

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Hmm.  I move around a lot, and I'm normally only cooking for one, so my spices are made to take up little space and travel well:

Photo%2045.jpg

The two empty ones have since been filled.  The boxes (there are 2) are the watchmaker's canisters from lee valley, and the names are written on the bottom, in case I forget what's what :)  There's also the handy side effect of forcing me to refill the ones I use pretty often, so they stay relatively fresh.

I love these! This is the perfect cottage/camping spice travel kit!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hmm.  I move around a lot, and I'm normally only cooking for one, so my spices are made to take up little space and travel well:

Photo%2045.jpg

The two empty ones have since been filled.  The boxes (there are 2) are the watchmaker's canisters from lee valley, and the names are written on the bottom, in case I forget what's what :)  There's also the handy side effect of forcing me to refill the ones I use pretty often, so they stay relatively fresh.

A few week old thread, but timely for me as I'm moving into a new place (and smaller kitchen :-/) and trying to figure out how to store spices. Eskay -- I have some of those watchmakers' canisters from Lee Valley, but they didn't seem to seal very well. Do you find that yours make a tight seal?

(They're no worse than the magnetic ones they sell at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, though, if I recall...)

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Hi matthoffman, and welcome!

eskay, that case is fantastic. Where do you keep it when you're not traveling?

I just counted: I've got 99 in various locations, most in Penzey's jars in two dining room sideboard drawers. Plus the surplus in the freezer downstairs.

Yikes. I'm a bit stunned. I'm sure that at least some of it needs to be tossed....

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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:blink: Wow, everyone is so organized. My spice cabinet is Such a mess, I am shamed and jealous. But, When I need something, I know right where it is in this jumble of seasonings.

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I had always believed that spices needed to be kept in a dark place away from heat, but it seems most on this thread are kept in the open. Am I incorrect?

Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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A few week old thread, but timely for me as I'm moving into a new place (and smaller kitchen :-/) and trying to figure out how to store spices.  Eskay -- I have some of those watchmakers' canisters from Lee Valley, but they didn't seem to seal very well.  Do you find that yours make a tight seal?

(They're no worse than the magnetic ones they sell at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, though, if I recall...)

I wouldn't call it airtight, but the lids stay on pretty well. They're in no danger of falling off randomly, and I usually go through or replace any given one about every half a year, so I'm not super concerned about them getting old or drying out. I'm not sure I would store them sideways though (like I've seen with those magnetic deals)...I can too easily see myself grabbing one and onlly getting ahold of the lid.

Hi matthoffman, and welcome!

eskay, that case is fantastic. Where do you keep it when you're not traveling?

I just counted: I've got 99 in various locations, most in Penzey's jars in two dining room sideboard drawers. Plus the surplus in the freezer downstairs.

Yikes. I'm a bit stunned. I'm sure that at least some of it needs to be tossed....

Thanks :smile: Right now I'm still in school, and my program has me alternating school and work terms every 4 months, and I'm usually in different cities so....I'm always travelling really :laugh: Let's just say there's a lot of making do with what I've got in my cooking technique. As for storage, they just sit in the cupboard in their boxes.

Kate

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I wouldn't call it airtight, but the lids stay on pretty well.  They're in no danger of falling off randomly, and I usually go through or replace any given one about every half a year, so I'm not super concerned about them getting old or drying out.  I'm not sure I would store them sideways though (like I've seen with those magnetic deals)...I can too easily see myself grabbing one and onlly getting ahold of the lid.

Good to know. I suppose with small containers, it's less likely to sit long enough to get stale.

If anyone's interested, I found that wrapping bottom part of the watchmaker's tin in teflon tape (or "plumber's tape", usually $1 at a hardware store) makes the seal much better. I may go that route for storage -- and since they only hold 2-3 oz each, I'd be throwing away a lot of the surplus. Which probably needs to be done anyway.

Hi matthoffman, and welcome!

eskay, that case is fantastic. Where do you keep it when you're not traveling?

I just counted: I've got 99 in various locations, most in Penzey's jars in two dining room sideboard drawers. Plus the surplus in the freezer downstairs.

Yikes. I'm a bit stunned. I'm sure that at least some of it needs to be tossed....

Thanks, Chris. 99? You've got me beat...I just counted 75. The wife is clamouring to store them somewhere other than four cardboard boxes on the kitchen counter :). The dining room isn't a bad idea, actually...I may be able to free up some space in there.

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I'd have to count; I know I tossed a lot last year that were old. I still have far too many, though.

Some of the ones I use most often are in test tubes by the stove, but it's hard to find a good, small test tube rack. I picked up a few at yard sales, or have used a toothbrush holder for some.

I know I wouldn't beat anyone here, but I have enough spices that most people who know me consider me a bit crazy.

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I have no idea how many herbs and spices I have but here are a few of them ..the rest are hanging to dry right now my garden is bursting!

first the savory side of the stove these are my "handy" things for cooking

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then the "sweet" side for baking

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also my curry drawer that is for the premixed curry powders I like ..(I do make my own curries for the most part ... but nothing on the planet tastes like my childhood as closely as Betapac curry powder from Jamaica so I always keep plenty on hand!!!)

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why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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