Monday, January 24, 2011

The spice of life

I've been buying spices in bulk for a couple of years now, because I can't bear to spend $5 on a little glass bottle of paprika at the grocery store. But this meant that I unfortunately had a basket full of little baggies twist-tied with spices in them - not the most attractive or organized presentation.

When we moved to Guelph, I decided to buy a spice rack to fill with bulk spices - we found a really cool magnetic system that stood on the counter, which seemed like a good idea because we didn't have much cupboard space (we don't have much counter space either, but it didn't seem like much of an issue at the time). We bought a few extra tins that we figured we'd cram onto the easel, and went home.

I'm not sure how it transpired that Davis figured out that - being magnetic - the tins would also stick to the fridge, but as far as I'm concerned this discovery is right up there with penicillin, flubber, and the theory of relativity. I still remember the dawning look of revelation on his face as he stood there, still holding the tin stuck to the fridge door. We returned the easel set, and bought a bunch more individual tins. And they've been multiplying ever since.

[note also Davis's hercules beetle magnet and the requisite bird on top of the wine rack - well, I assure you it's a bird, it looks more like a blob]

I've labeled the back of each of them and arranged them in alphabetical order - primarily because I'm a nerd, but it also makes things easier to find.

I love my spice rack. Realistically, I'll never run out of room, the tins are just over a dollar each, and if I decide for some unknown reason I never want to eat cardamom anymore, I can just wash the tin and stick a new label on. And most importantly, I can buy spices in bulk without sorting through a bunch of baggies every time I want to cook.


  1. What I like about this system is that you'll learn what spices look like by sight, instead of by label, and that's a good skill ot have. :)

  2. Good point! It's a little more difficult with the powdered ones, but I also think the whole spices - anise, coriander, fennel seeds - are really pretty. I want to buy cardamom pods and cloves and turmeric!

  3. How neat! Thanks for sharing. I love spices and always love experimenting with them.

  4. Bravo to Davis, what a clever idea. The refrigerator door will hold a whole lot more of those cute little tins than the orginal rack would it doesn't take up one tiny inch of your counter space. You have one smart fella there. :)

  5. That's a great idea, I'm going to look out for those tins, I like to see my spices too, love their warm earthy colours :)

  6. Oh yes, I should have mentioned - I've found them two places in Canada, one was like a hardware/small home appliance store, and the other is at the bulk store. :)

  7. This is a great idea. We have a countertop spice rack that we received as a wedding gift, but I think the spices are probably going old. Plus, the ones I need are never in it. I really should start buying spices in bulk because I know they are lots cheaper and fresher. I worry about putting them on the fridge though, because if we ever get stainless, they wouldn't stick! Our last place had a stainless steel fridge and it was so sad not to be able to use all my pretty magnets on it!

  8. I've seen these before - they are brilliant and look cool. Spicerack of awesome. Excellent.

  9. I was conteplating gettign these just before christmas to stick on the back of my stove...but that's THE worst place to keep spices fresh...the thought never crossed my mind that they would stick to the fridge just as well....looks like I'll be shopping soon ;)

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