[Sca-cooks] spice storage

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 7 13:57:08 PST 2006

Margaret wrote:
>I need a better storage solution for my spice cabinet. I have square glass
>jars, plastic Penzey's bags, bags from the Indian grocery store, small
>plastic jars (Penzey's and otherwise), large Penzey's glass jars, and a
>few random boxes, all overflowing the cabinet and gradually taking over
>that corner of the counter as well.
>The people who design spice racks have no comprehension of how large one's
>seasoning collection can be.

Too true!

>What do other people do to keep their herbs &
>spices in order?

I got a couple inexpensive ugly plastic two-tiered lazy susans 
(Rubbermaid?) many many many years ago.

One is for spices. The second is for herbs and other seasonings. When 
i buy seasonings from a bulk source, i transfer it into a 
standardized container.

On the Spice lazy susan, those in standardized containers are on the 
bottom shelf in alphabetical order.  If i have a spice in two forms 
(e.g., whole and ground), one container is pushed back into the 
center behind the other. The top shelf is for spices in odd shaped 
containers or those too large to fit on the bottom, also in 
alphabetical order.

Then there's Herb and Other lazy susan. I just don't use as many 
different herbs as i do spices. And besides, herbs are better fresh, 
so these turn over more quickly. Again, standard containers on the 
bottom, odd or oversize on the top. Again in alphabetical order. But 
since there's lots of left over space, i also have on this lazy susan 
things like 2 or three different kinds of Southeast Asian shrimp 
paste (Thai, Singapore, and Malay), tamarind paste from India, dried 
fruit seeds, bottles of flavorings and extracts, etc.

I keep the lazy susans side by side in a nice dark cabinet, 
preferably not on the south/sunny side of the kitchen.

Because i buy spices for feasts, i have some larger bags of spices. I 
keep each as tightly sealed as i can, and put it in a ziploc bag, and 
if i have several smaller bags of the same spice, i put them together 
in a larger ziploc bag. I tend to put the ziploc bag into a second 
ziploc bag to keep the spices a bit fresher. I label the outer ziploc 
bag and stash them behind the lazy susans.

For events, i don't yet have a perfect solution. Currently i use a 
small wooden box made like a crate, and apparently intended to hold 
CDs in their "jewel cases". I can fit three somewhat standardized 
glass spice bottles side by side widthwise, and six bottles 
lengthwise, for a total of 18. All bottles are labeled with white 
stickers on which i've written the name of each spice, and where i 
can find it an herb, in Arabic. The other herbs are labeled in 
English. Again, any odd shaped containers get piled on top of the 
flat lids.

I keep this inside my canvas pavilion, and if it's hot, i cover it 
with something for insulation so it stays out of the light and 
relatively cool.

I'd love to find small ceramic containers - with "Middle Eastern" 
type patterns on them and the names in Arabic and with tops that seal 
tightly enough - to take to events.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list