Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Stills: Food

Happy New Year everyone!


This year is going to be about identifying problems and finding efficient solutions. Not surprisingly, some of my 2010 goals are organization and follow-through. For the last five years my large book collection has been cataloged and shelved in Library of Congress order. I have no trouble finding my books.

However chaos still reigns wherever there is no system in place, or the system fails from lack of follow-through. If something has a place and you are not inclined to put it there, the system is probably too complex or at least not convenient enough. One of these failed systems was our spices.


Growing up the food we ate was exceedingly bland because my mother, who had lived through the Great Depression, thought the handful of spices we owned were so expensive we must use them sparingly. As we saved them for special occasions, they lost their potency. I did not enjoy eating and couldn't fathom why most people thought it was so pleasurable. When processed mixes like Hamburger Helper and Shake 'N Bake came out I thought they were a godsend!

As an adult--and nearly a life-long vegetarian--I use a wide array of spices in my daily cooking. I had successfully kept the store bought jars in alphabetical order on two lazy susans on a shelf in the pantry until I got married. Since we hang out together when we cook, in our narrow kitchen this always required one of us to move out of the way to get into the pantry, which is at the other end, the farthest from the stove. Spices might accumulate next to the stove, or if they did make it back to their place might not end up in the right order depending on who was chef. We would end up buying duplicates (and sometimes triplicates!) because the original one could not be located.

So for Christmas, a new solution: magnetic canisters from Concept Kitchen stuck to the side of the refrigerator.


I printed labels on magnetic paper from the office supply store. The canisters have both a sprinkle and pour mode, or you can just take off the lid and use a spoon which actually fits inside. They are within easy reach of the stove and there's no doubt where they go. This has opened up a shelf to house other foods that had once cluttered the counters. So far I'm pleased with how the system is working.

What organizational challenges are you planning to tackle this year? For more food photos, visit Sunday Stills.

15 comments:

dibear said...

What a great spice system! I have lots too. :)

Kateri said...

That is the best spice organization system I have ever seen. I will need to figure out how to incorporate something like that into our kitchen when we remodel.

Kathy said...

Yes, Yes! That's what I'm talking bout...
Now that is a grand idea!
wouldn't work in my kitchen with the stove being to far from the fridg. but I LOVE that Idea!
Was in Ikea the other day and picked up some great little jars for spices and labeled those and kind of cleaned up my spice area.
Love organizing..Your going to be glad you took the time to do that!
xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Tracey said...

What a cool way to store spices! Of course, mine would be knocked down by the cats...and probably the people carelessly walking past. But it's cool just the same!

Brenda said...

what a great idea. I don't think I would want them out either, as they would get knocked all over! Some new designs for kitchens are putting in metal backdrops. I don't like the look, but to have the metal on either side of the stove, then to have the magnetzied containers right there! Great organizing!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

How clever! What a great idea! My fridge is too far from my stove to make that work for me, though. I'd waste too much time walking back and forth and probably spilling or dropping them in the process. I have a perfectly situated shelf to the right of the stove and I keep all my spices on the stair step plastic shelves that fit right inside.
WHen we bought the house the previous home-owners had these awesome spice drawers that attached to the bottom of the cabinets and just swung outwards. All the spices laid on their sides and was so convenient.
Too bad they took them with them when they moved. And I've not been able to find any like them at any stores since. :(

Good for you and your organization plans!

~Lisa
ps, Did I just notice on your Twitter that you had a SCORPION in your house????
Oh Lordie! We used to have them in our house all the time when we lived in Rio Rancho up on the mesa, northwest of Albuquerque. We've seen none here thank goodness. They'd probably freeze solid and die ever winter. lol!


~Lisa

Shirley said...

I know for sure that wouldn't work for me, it's much too organised! Cool idea. My spices are all in a box that I can slide out on the pantry shelf; I plan on upgrading to a wooden or plastic drawer system ....someday...

Dana and Daisy said...

that's very clever! love that idea!

Regular Guy said...

What a great idea. I'll have to run this one by Armywife.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Great idea! I threw out a bunch of old spices at the end of the year. I apparently wasn't using them fast enough ;-).

Lori Skoog said...

You are too clever! We should all do this!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

magnetic canisters - I think that's a swell idea.

Ed said...

Welcome Back!!! Interesting you have Sage in your rack..:-)))

AareneX said...

Thanks for the nice comment on my blog--and I **love** the spice organizer!

Callie said...

What a great idea! And the canisters make a nice design on the refrigerator. I like the idea of having extra shelf space. Neat!

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