Monday, February 13, 2006

I've got a nice rack!

Ha ha, I'm talking about my spice rack!

Check it out:

I read somewhere once that you shouldn't expose your spices to light, because that causes them to break down faster. Also, most spices only retain their freshness for six months to a year. This means that yes, while that giant container of garlic powder you picked up at Costco was indeed only a few cents more than the tiny jar at the supermarket, it does you no good because you'll NEVER use it all up in six months. Well, unless you really, really like garlic powder. But for most of us, it's not really a good deal.

Then there is the light issue. Of what are most spice racks made up from? Clear, glass jars on a rack mounted on the wall. This means that the light is getting your thyme and basil!!! ACK! Bad, bad, bad! This is serious stuff, if you are serious about your cooking. Ever wonder why
Dean and Deluca opts to package their super-premium spices in little metal tins? Now you know!

Of course, I can't afford to replace my whole spice collection with Dean and Deluca numbers every six months, so I came up with a cute alternative. I found these little metal tins at Market Spice in the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle last time I was there. They're almost identical to the D & D ones. I bought me a whole mess of the little suckers and brought them home to Arizona. In I dumped all of my spices, then I made up some labels using a fun font on the computer, ran them through the Xyron (see, scrapbooking tools can be multitaskers!) and I had myself a pretty reasonable facsimile of that classic Dean and Deluca look (I think so anyway) without being TOO desperately fake. D & D inspired, let's call them.

Now, how to store my new beauties? The answer came in the form of this el cheapo
Stripa shelf from IKEA. I smacked on two coats of red acrylic paint, followed by two coats of antiquing varnish to tone down the red a little and also protect the paint job. A couple of screws later, there was a darling little shelf in my kitchen that held my tins perfectly.

For some odd reason, this makes me REALLY happy.


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