04 June 2009

Jar Story

I asked for a spice rack for my birthday a few years ago and Angela delivered twofold. She gave me two nice wooden spice racks that held twelve jars apiece; each jar adorned with its own custom made label for the herb, spice, or spice blend it held lovingly inside. I soon realized that twenty-four jars wasn't enough to meet the demands of all my spicy needs, so I purchased some tin containers that I velcroed on the inside of one of my cabinet doors (a technique I learned from Alton Brown). I have a total of twelve tin containers, so that gives me a total of thirty-six containment units for my herbs and spices.

I always buy my dried herbs and spices in bulk, except for those darned grains of paradise. The cost of bulk is so much less than buying prepackaged, it sometimes feels wrong to get them so cheap. It doesn't hurt that The Sunspot has the best bulk section around, so my needs are almost always met, except for those darned grains of paradise. But anyway, I need the spice jars and tin containers so that I don't have a bunch of loose plastic twist tied bags piling up in my cabinets full of herbs and spices; that was getting out of hand.

Over the years, my glass jars have begun to show signs of their age, not the jars so much as the lids. They have flip top lids, one side flips up for shaking and the other flips up for pouring. To my chagrin, the flaps have begun to break off from overuse on the ones I use the most. I decided it was time for some new jars, so I met with Ang at The Sunspot a few weeks ago and we looked in the Frontier catalog for some replacement jars. They didn't have the exact same jars I had, but I found some that I thought would fit the bill. She ordered six for me, so I could see if they would fit, since each shelve of my current spice rack holds six. If they did fit, I would have her order me eighteen more.

Just as I was hoping, the six fit perfectly and she ordered me the rest. I picked them up on Sunday and am in the process of making labels for my new jars. I've also taken this opportunity to shake things up a bit. Since my tin containers are smaller than my glass jars, I am going to transfer some of the higher volume herbs and spices that I use from tin to glass. I'm quite excited about it. I'll post a picture of my new look spice racks once my project is complete, but in the meantime, you'll just have to settle for a picture of my fancy new jars. Aren't they pretty?


  1. What a fun story! I love the precarious pyramid stack of glass (yikes!) jars! They're pretty. Think of how colorful they're going to be with the goods inside. P.s. Whats a grain of paradise?

  2. I was nervous stacking the jars with a three-year-old running around the house, but it made for a cool picture.

    Grains of paradise, or alligator pepper, look pretty much like regular black peppercorns and they pair really nicely with apples and have a pungent, peppery taste. I was turned onto them by (you guessed it) Alton Brown, who uses them in his apple pie recipe. That apple pie recipe is also the reason I now have a pie bird.

    I got the grains of paradise from The Sunspot, but they could only get them prepackaged, no bulk option, unfortunately. So I paid a pretty penny for them, but it was worth it since it was done in the name of pie.

  3. Okay! I'm learning all kinds of things and I'm loving it. Johnny Apple Seed, Apple Pie...hmmmm.

  4. Hey, Eva! All this talk about apples is making me hungry. Hurry home so we can make Nonna's apple pie together like we've talked about!



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