My Spice Rack

One fine day, I chanced upon a set of identical spice bottles in a thrift shop. They were made of glass, had clean white caps and had no labels — three features which got me giddy. Glass is clean, non-reactive and ageless — I mean they don’t fade or warp like plastic. All they need is tender handling and frequent washing. The white caps go with the white-coated rack that I already have in the house. And the absence of labels meant I could DIY labels myself.

After a minute of haggling (Filipinas excel here), I got the whole bunch — which have been languishing in the thrift shop for months anyway — for just 80 pesos. Can you even believe that? And off they are now in my home for some little makeover.

spice bottles
First, I soaked the bottles in soapy water, scrubbed the white caps to restore them to their squeaky-clean whiteness, thoroughly dried them and wiped them to a sparkling finish.

I bought some retail spices and herbs — both the common and not-so-common ones. These nifty little packs do not cost much, just under 20 pesos apiece — each would nearly fill a spice bottle. Tip: Make sure, when you’re buying herbs, that you check the expiration dates and that you pinch the packs to see if they have not hardened yet. As you can see, I have here the basic ones — curry, cumin, black pepper, garlic powder, annato seed powder (achuete), turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne and something called barbecue spice which is a blend of 5 spices.

bottled spice
I then put my latent DIY/crafting skills to use and made these simple label stickers made of pink sticker paper and ordinary ballpen. By the way, I was known since my elementary days as the one with the pretty face handwriting. I used to go home late after school as I had to wait for some of my writing-lazy classmates to finish photocopying my notebook. (This gets me into thinking about taking calligraphy sometime, and that lovely chalkboard art thing that I keep admiring over at Pinterest.)

bottled spices
Here is a close-up of a few of the labels I did.

bottles of spices
And so here is my simple spice rack, looking pretty, homely, colorful and… yet sparse. I want to add more, but one at a time. I hope to put them into good use and use them before they go bad. I certainly don’t want them to be just for show and I don’t want to go overboard in this, hehe.

Seriously though, spices are dense repositories of nutrients and antioxidants, not to mention amazing powerhouses of flavor and aroma.

In the next few weeks I will be traveling the world — just right here in my kitchen actually. I promised my husband to cook for him the Indian fish recipe Fish Moilee and the British-Indian specialty Chicken Tikka Masala, among others.

I hope you’ll stay posted!

Other reads you might want:
Advices on Spices
Good use for spices — Marinades

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