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Thursday, February 22, 2007


One time when I was about 13, I was making dinner for the family and needed some spices. Our spices were always in that little cupboard above the stove, so I climbed on a chair and proceeded to hunt for the correct bottle. My sister was in the kitchen with me, and a sudden gasp alerted me to the fact that my apron had caught fire! :0 Because I had the stove on and also a long apron, when I leaned over to find the spices, I caught myself on fire!

I jumped off the chair and tried to get the apron off in vain- it was tied in a knot. After several agonizing seconds, the flames were extinguished with dirty dish water!

Aside from a very valuable lesson about aprons and the stove, I learned not to store spices above the stove for several reasons (some I learned later in life):

1. Spices deteriorate quickly in temperature extreme.
2. Spices knocked to the back of the cupboard were virtually unreachable.
3. Spices in the front row were visible- nothing else was.
4. Searching for a spice could cause another jar to be knocked off, into a pot of something below.
5. Critters (insects) could invade the spice cupboard with little detection.

So when I was married and we moved into our house, I had in mind to do something different with my spices. We have an island, and the island contained five small drawers. The middle one is good for rolls of waxed paper, aluminum foil, and take-out menus. The other four drawers were converted to hold spices. The drawers were not deep enough, so I asked my dad to take the fronts off of two drawers and make a tall, false front for the one (kinda like buildings used to be, with very tall fronts and nothing behind them). The end result was two deep drawers that still looked like 4, and great room for spices.

Another benefit of this plan was the easy accessibility to the spices while cooking, and the visibility of everything at a glance. I bought some white file labels, cut them in half, and with my permanent marker (thin line, of course!) I labeled the spices. It is also good to put the date of opening so you have an idea how long to keep it, though some of the spices here are used up long before they would go bad. Extra jars are left unopened in a different cupboard.

To the right, you can see our apple bin, and to the left is a leaf from the roses my husband bought me. I love yellow roses, but I don't get them very often because I am actually allergic to them!

You can see my Indian Spices in the little envelopes in front, and my nutmeg grinder and nut in a baggie.

1 comment:

runningtothecross said...

Hi Amy!

I just saw a comment you posted on Candy's blog (Keeping the Home) and I was actually intrigued by your name "motherofmany"! I love to see how many children families have so I popped in to see your blog! And I read about your spice incident!

Yikes! What a tragic way to discover where not to store your spices! I remember as a young adult, catching some bacon grease on fire and I put out that fire with my robe! That robe from then on had a swirly pattern on it from the electric burner! Oh the things we learn as young people! I just wish I knew a little bit more about raising many young ones at one time! I came from a family of 3 children, so my mother really has no advice for me except to stop having babies! But that's not going to happen until the good Lord decides I've had enough! We are expecting baby #7 in Sept. When the baby comes we will have 7 children ages 10 and under!

I must go so I can keep my 8yo son on task, he is doing his handwriting.

Come by and see my blog sometime, I just started it this month!