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10.13.2011

MY SPICE RACK

When I was growing up my mom had quite the spice jar collection.  She made it herself.  Possibly from necessity - lack of money and not finding jars she liked.  Possibly from creativity - she also scrapbooks.  And possibly from one of her loves - recycling.  She is not a chef who might use some obscure herbs and spices, but she is a good cook.  Her spice rack consisted of old baby food jars, labels removed and lids painted a gold color.  The name of the spice could sometimes be found on a label on the jar.  Other times, it was a mystery what herb or spice resided inside that Gerber Squash baby food jar.  She had an old plastic lazy susan inside the cabinet by the stove which housed those jars.  I used to love to spin it around as a child!  I can still see the jar with coriander seeds in it.  That jar never seemed to decrease in amount.  I'm quite sure that those coriander seeds were waaaayyyy past their lifespan (FYI-spices have an expiration date for freshness).  I too have had my share of systems for spices.  None of them have been necessarily uniform or easy.  Until recently.  When I bought the house I am currently living in, I purposely shopped for a spice rack.  I was tired of 25 years of various and sundry spice bottles from different companies.  Some read DOLLAR GENERAL on them - like the cinnamon I tend to use in Biblical proportions!  Quite tacky indeed:)  New house, new kitchen and now there would be a new spice rack.  Why is it when you are purposely looking for a particular something you can't find it?  After trekking through a half dozen stores, I finally found one that I liked.  It was black, three-tiered, housed 27 jars of spices and spun around (that I wanted as a grand childhood memory!).  The jars were already filled with spices and labeled.  I suppose someone at XYZ Company determined which spices were most frequently used by wanna be cooks everywhere.  It came with coriander seeds:)  Their research must be off or they were just looking for a visual difference for aesthetic value.  I wondered really how much coriander the world uses.  Honestly, I don't think I have ever used coriander.  Of the 27 jars that I can spin around, it is the only unopened and unused spice.  I'm thinking spice companies might want to consider a coriander campaign to bring the uses and benefits of this rarely used and obscure spice to the public's attention.  I am googling recipes with coriander in them and forwarding them to my mom also.  If you too have coriander unused in your house and want my recipes, leave me a comment:)

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