• Personally speaking….

    Just the thoughts and cookings of a software engineer that likes to make foodstuffs from time to time in the bay area of California.
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    December 2019
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Pantry madness: Spice rack

I was searching for a way to get my spices under control. So often, I can’t find a spice, buy a new one, and then find the old one afterward. Such a waste! I had a 3-Tiered Adjustable Cabinet Organizer. Even that just allowed to hide the spices in the deep shelves.

Pantry in progress
Yes, Virginia, there are spices in there. After taking a lot longer than I thought, the spice racks are up. I liked how they were adjustable so I could do a few rows of short spices or not. I can do spices in alphabetical order or group by height or type. Not sure about that yet.

Spice rack
Here they are ready for spices! Now to fill them up! I set them up to the side like this cause I figured I could put something else up on the door. And these racks won’t hang hanging down things that will block the door.

Pantry in progress
Those are all the spices, plus there’s a basket that I bought when I got the spice rack. I’m figuring I can put my bags of dry beans there to keep them together.

Pantry in progress
The box is getting filled with non-vegetarian items for segregation for the omnivore in the house or donation. I started filling it up before I got the spice rack cause I was so tired of not finding anything. And all the expired items are surprising! I checked a few of my spices against McCormick’s “How Old Are Your Spices” application and was amused. The pantry became a combined pantry so there are a few people’s stuff in there.
Pantry in progress
I do worry about how the bottles will do with the door opening and closing. We’ll see with time. Speaking of time…. Time for me to get back to organizing! (Recycling pickup is on Monday.)

While on the McCormick site, I learned a few things about spice storage.

  • Members of the red pepper family, including paprika and chili powder, will retain their color and remain fresher longer when stored in the refrigerator. I never knew! I know not to keep my spices near the oven, but to keep them in the fridge?
  • Spices, ground: 2-3 years. Yeah? I’ve heard 6 months to a year.
  • Spices, whole: 3-4 years
  • Seasoning herbs: 1-2 years
  • Herbs: 1-3 years
  • Extracts: 4 years

Review: Berry Bowl

Is it silly to buy a bowl just for berries? Perhaps. But I impulsed when I was shopping at Food Lion. It was $5.99 and came in two colors.

Berry bowl

It has three parts: lid, bowl, and colander. No, that blue lid isn’t the lid. I just didn’t move it out of the shot. The concept is that you wash the berries with the colander, then drop the berry-filled colander in the bowl. It keeps the berries dry cause the water goes to the bottom of the bowl. Pop the lid on and voi la! At first I tried without the lid because I’m used to that but then put the lid on to keep moisture. And with the lid on, I can put stuff on top like the yogurt container.

I looked around online and found some “berry bowls” for more than what I paid. Not sure if I’d pay more than $5.99. But I’ve been eating more berries so maybe that is worth it.

Before, I would wash off the fruit, put a towel at the bottom of a bowl and then pile on the fruit. Not sure if the berry bowl is better than that though. I like that grapes don’t go bouncing all over the place since they’re contained in the colander. And I like that I’m not dirtying up extra dishes.