Monday, October 5, 2009

The Mother of All Spice Racks

I have basket upon basket of zip bags filled with smaller bags of herbs and spices that I have picked up at ethnic grocers. I had to buy another spice rack with jars; my collection was getting out of control. I spotted a rack at a yard sale and thought that it would be just the thing that I need, but when I got home I realized that the quantity of bagged spices that I own far exceeds the number of little jars and the volume of many of my zip bags is far beyond the size of those bitty jars. So, I have filled many of the jars with things that I do not use very often, so it doesn’t help as much as I had hoped. I have found that jelly and pickle jars to be about the right size, unfortunately I have never seen a spice rack with jelly sized jars.

The miniscule jars all had labels on them for things like rosemary flakes and thyme flakes (flakes??). I wonder how it was decided to include some herbs or spices and not others. There is a jar labeled pickling spice, not exactly something that there is much call for these days. I’ll be making new labels, because not one of the labels says panch phoran (Bengali spice mix), garum masala, fenugreek, star anise, Sichuan pepper, smoked paprika, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, or coriander.

I think it is time to design my own spice rack, it would have a row or two for small jars, and then four or five for jelly sized jars and two rows for pickle sized jars. The rack would be about three feet wide and four feet high and the depth of a large pickle jar deep, about five inches. Each shelf would have a very small lip to keep jars from sliding off. Maybe a large CD/DVD shelf without the slots would do it.

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