Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Spice Rack

I alphabetize the spices on my spice rack. This will probably surprise no one. I do, however, alphabetize them in a half-assed way, which probably also surprises no one.

Here's how I do it:

I 've got the basics - sweeteners, salts and peppers - up there on the top shelf, then mixes (zatar, steak rub, etc) and then All the As, All the Bs, All the Cs, etc down through Tarragon. The bottom shelf is full of outsize things and Baking Needs.

The rack itself was made by my dad and you can see the nice carving he did along the edges. What you can't see is that the rack has pegs on either side of it for the hanging of things. That's where my candy thermometer lives, for instance.

Okay, all y'all - put me to shame: how do YOU organize YOUR spice rack?


  1. I tried to have an alphabetized system but the Hubbs just puts things back where ever he finds room. So I tried to let go and let that be my system. The result is that the things that get used most often are easy to reach. Not the worst, but I'd love to hear about one that might subtly trick Hubbs into putting the things back where they go alphabetically.

  2. I will admit that I cheat in this regard. Since my dad made me the spice rack to my specifications, I asked for shelves of different heights. This encourages putting things back where they fit.

    I suppose you could do something similar by decanting spices into containers that only fit into specific places, but that seems like a lot of work to trick your husband into alphabetizing!

  3. A little bit of a belated response, as tackling our jumbled spice collection has been on my to-do list for a long while, and finally I decided to dedicate a nice quiet Sunday night to it. The results: http://vermilionink.tumblr.com/post/35560143372/spice-collection-pared-down-so-glad-to-find-a

    This project is not yet complete, as I'd like to order a set of nicer jars and make my own labels, and there is no particular organizational system imposed (yet?). But I did pull a lot of the things we use more frequently to the forefront (excepting things in crappy plastic baggies that desperately need a nicer vessel), which I think will make a world of difference.

    I know Jocelyn would weep with joy if I were to just alphabetize everything, but I'm not sure alphabetization works for me (especially since I don't have one continuous, uniform spice rack, I have a rack and a shelf).

    I tend to gravitate towards grouping things roughly by genre — I like my curry powders and turmerics and garam masala together, my Adobo near my cumin and chili powder for Mexican, and "pie" spices like allspice and clove and nutmeg and cinnamon all together. The paprika is next to the mustard powder because that's how I like my mac'n'cheese, which I realize is ridiculously specific. Obviously, there's a lot of crossover (for example: cumin), but there's definitely a usage-frequency underpinning this very loose system.

  4. Lisa - why do you store in two different places? I totally support grouping by category, (I have salts, peppers, and sugars at the top, then "mixes," then the alpha, then "oversize," but two locations just sounds more difficult! Is one herbs and one spices?

  5. Since then, all the anchor stores and the interior of the mall have changed as a result of business closings and consolidations. Today, the mall has five main anchors: Macy's on the northern side, Old Navy and J.C. Penney on the western side, and Target and Sports Authority on the south side of the mall. The mall also has a large food court made of Side by side Rack, complete with a carousel, in the former Peerless anchor space.