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Monday, March 5, 2012

Kitchen Storage

The spice cabinet can be one of the most frightening and fantastic places in the kitchen.

It used to be that I'd open the door and haphazard stacks of containers of all shapes and sizes filled with a wide array of spices would all beg for my attention. The chaos was a tad overwhelming! I have 25 to 30 spices (and I'm not even that adventurous of a cook -- no cayenne and no curry, for example) and that is a lot to wrangle in one small space.

Finally frustrated with the mess of spice bottles of every shape and size, I recently invested in a storage system that I'd already been using elsewhere in my pantry: the ever-handy and versatile mason jar.

The jars offer a consistent size and a stable surface for stacking, plus their airtight lids preserve freshness and keep out pantry pests.

Here's what I did:

  • I used pint jars for the items I keep a large amount of (I like to buy in bulk), all the way down to the 4 oz half jelly jars for the spices I keep just a bit of.
  • Ball sells storage caps, which are perfect and easy to use. You can buy them online, but I find the prices are just as good or better at your local hardware store.
  • I labelled the jars using my Dynamo LetraTag labeller - one of my best investments! You can also use tape and a permanent marker or office labels. Make sure you note any special instructions or cooking ratios that the spice may have.

    Tip: You can find mason jars at garage sales and second-hand stores. But they are pretty scarce and it's probably easier to by a package of them from the store.