Scenes from a kitchen: spice alphabet

photo 2Is it possible for a cook to have too many spices?  I think not.  Feast your eyes on the glory of my alphabetized spice collection….from A (aleppo pepper, allspice, ajwain seeds) to Z (za’ater), all stored in extra-extended drawers in the kitchen island.

For too many years, I had a disorganized, plastic-bags-piled-in-boxes spice array, shoved into a corner cabinet in my 1950s-era kitchen.  Using any spice required shuffling through the whole mess, in an attempt to find epazote, or whole cumin, or juniper berries.  Fortunately, my new kitchen’s generous allotment of drawers allows the spices to spread out in all of their alphabetical glory.  Drawer storage keeps everything away from light and heat (no, a spice rack next to the stove isn’t the ideal spot).  I can pull open the drawers and, at a glance, determine if I have what’s needed to make everything from lamb tagine to file gumbo.  (In fact, it’s fun just to open the drawers and look, even if I have no plans to make anything.)

photo 1Wide-mouth, round glass jars (Libbey Vibe 4.5 oz jars, $20/dozen on Amazon) make it easy to grab a pinch or judge the amount remaining in each container.  The glass jars are easy to clean and non-corroding (unlike some inexpensive metal containers).  Self-adhesive clear Avery laser labels, printed boldface in an easy to read font, won’t rub off or fade.  The jars are easily rearranged to admit new acquisitions.

With half a drawer of space to spare, my collection continues to expand!

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