mad & spicy

My culinary skills have been developing over the last 15 years (though they’re still very much a work in progress). I enjoy trying out new recipes, and Mike willingly beta tests my kitchen creations. While I did a healthy amount of cooking in New York, our small galley kitchen in Queens was a challenge. While it had new floors, cabinets, countertops, and appliances (as well as wonderful light), space was tight. Nowhere was this more evident that in the area of spice storage. The only place I could store my spices were in magnetic ikea spice containers above my stove. Any moderately spicy cook will tell you that was the worst place for them–spices last the longest when they’re stored in a cool, dark place. In addition, while the ikea containers were great when I wanted to use a measuring spoon, they were not ideal when I just wanted a dash or sprinkle of a given spice.

NY spices

my spice collection on display in Queens, NY

Our new kitchen, while in need of some cosmetic help, is much more usable. It’s larger, with significantly more counter and cabinet space. I have an entire shelf in one of those many cabinets devoted to storing my spices (yes, I did replace them when I moved across country). Since the kitchen is so much easier to cook in (I can use my slow cooker and food processor at the same time), I’ve been using my spices quite a bit. Because they’re tucked in a cabinet I’ve kept them in the original jars. Over the last year, I’ve gotten more and more frustrated with the standard grocery store spice jar. I realized I wanted a spice jar that I could quickly use whether I wanted to sprinkle, pour, or measure a spice. I learned that the few jars I kept from my old NY grocery delivery service, Fresh Direct, were perfect.


My perfect Fresh Direct spice jar next to an ersatz jar

Of course, Fresh Direct doesn’t deliver to San Francisco, and they aren’t able to ship spice jars to me either. I checked out the spice jars at ikea, and none of them met all my needs. The Rationell jars had the functionality I wanted, but too much plastic. The Droppar jars looked great, but the functionality was lacking. The 365 jars had all the function I was looking for, but I knew the tapered shape would prove frustrating after a while. I was starting to feel like the Goldilocks of spice storage.
ikea jars

Thankfully, while picking up a dough blender at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I found the perfect spice jar. It’s primarily glass, with a chrome and plastic top that provides me with all the functionality I was looking for. Online they don’t sell the jar on its own (only in those giant spice racks), but I found in the store the price was comparable to the ikea jars. I printed up labels and transferred my spices to their new home.


spices, before


spices, after

And for those of you who are curious, no, they aren’t organized alphabetically. I use my oregano a lot more than my cumin.

2 Responses to “mad & spicy”

  1. Heather says:

    but are your movies and CD’s still alphabetical my dear? 😉

  2. denise says:

    How did you guess? 😉