Is your spice drawer out of order, overcrowed and out of date. Here's a weekend kitchen project to transform your spice mess into a space that's is orderly and attractive.
STEP 1 - Pitch and Purge
Gather your herbs and spices from all corners of the kitchen.
Perhaps the hardest part of this is turfing herbs and spices you good money paid for!
You can use one of the spice company's best buy guidelines below:
Whole Spices - 4 years
Ground Spices - 3 to 4 years
Dried, Leafy Herbs - 1 to 3 years
Or you take their guidelines into consideration (after all it is the spice companies setting the guidelines) and know that evidently spices don't expire but they do loose their potency. Do a sniff and visual test. They should have a strong aroma, not clump and have good colour (not faded).
Be ruthless and discard the hand me downs or spices over a decade old that need to be replaced or released. The ones you use the most will naturally get replenished.
STEP 2 - Perfect Position
Avoid the mistake of putting spices near the stove, above the dishwasher, on the counter, window or on the outside of a kitchen cabinet. The key is to keep them away from moisture, light, air and heat.
Spices will do well in a drawer, on the inside of a cabinet door or in pantry.
Do not freeze spices, however, fresh herbs can be frozen.
STEP 3 - Set up
Store your spices in air-tight containers in a cool dark place to protect them from moisture, fading and oxidation. If you use glass jars, the flavour seems to last longer.
If transferring to new bottles or containers use a funnel or paper roll to transfer the them.
Next, label spices for visibility and durability. If printing labels, download the correct template, experiment with the font styles and be sure to test on paper before using precious labels.
Arrange alphabetically or by usage and use removable white tape and write the purchase date on the bottom.
Save money and grow your own herbs. Use 1 TBSP fresh herbs to every 1 TSP of dried or approximately a 3 to 1 ratio.
If you use fresh herbs add them at the end of the recipe. If you use dried herbs add them at the begining of the recipe for maximum flavour.