I was on a mission to find the perfect spice jars.  Since I’m the head chef these days, I have to look at the disorganized spice rack all the time and it’s not very user friendly.  They are all from different stores and brands with different labels.  Some have black caps, green caps, red caps, it’s awful.  So with the New Year here, I decided it was time to get a fresh start in my cabinets hopefully making my cooking experience more enjoyable and efficient.

I had looked all over for spice jars but I couldn’t find what I was looking for.  Crate & Barrel had one for $8 a jar.  No thanks.  I didn’t want anything fancy, just something simple.  All I wanted were small glass jars with non-white lids.  I could only find ones with white lids.  I’m normally a very laid-back, non-Type A person, but for some reason with this, I couldn’t let it go.  I felt a little crazy about it, but I still couldn’t settle.  Even my mom rolled her eyes at me when I rejected the jars with white lids she found at the dollar store.  I have tons of “Type-A” lunatic friends that I tease for their idiosyncrasies.  One day at work we all took one of those online personality tests that rates how “Type-A” you are.  My friends’scores ranged from the mid-50s into the high 80s.  That means they have tons of little crazy quirks from how they eat a banana to needing everything on their desk to be at right angles.  My score was a 12!  That means I usually don’t give a crap about anything.  I go with the flow all the time.  As long as it gets done I don’t care about the method.  If my score was any lower, I think it would read, “lazy sack of crap.”  I guess I know what it feels like to be them now because my score must have jumped 50 points due to the spice jars.  I’m no longer a 12.

Finally after searching and searching, I found the spices jars I wanted.  It was a whole set with 16 jars with black lids full of spices for $14.99.  Fourteen-ninety-nine!  That’s a better deal than the dollar store!  I found them at a store called the Christmas Tree Shops.  The name of the store is plural, but it’s only one store.  Go figure.  This place is really weird, too.  The store façade is very big and has elements of a small English Christmas village with dormer windows, moldings, and a clock tower.  The look is deceiving because it makes you think it’s a somewhat expensive store.  But when you go inside, it looks like a cross between a dumpy Bed Bath and Beyond and a crappy K-Mart from 20 years ago.  I thought maybe I somehow walked into the wrong store, and wrong decade.  And they didn’t even have Christmas trees!  But they sold spice jars with black lids, so what did I care.  Now that I had the jars, it was time to implement my plan.

I bought two sets of jars because I have 30 spices I want in jars.  So one entire set needed to be cleaned out for my already existing spices.  This was getting complicating.  Aya came downstairs and saw me at the kitchen counter with empty spice jars and spices scattered all over the counter.  She just shook her head and laughed.  Now, she took that “Type-A” test and scored in the 50s so she really doesn’t have much room to snicker at me.  Although I was very particular on the type of jar I wanted, I didn’t care how big of a mess I made transferring the spices into the jars.  Number 12 is back!  But then it was time for the labels.  It was suggested that I just get blank address labels and write the spice names on them.  What!?  Are you kidding me?  I’m not going to spend all this effort and slap on a handwritten label at the end.  It’s 2011. So I bought sticker paper and made my own labels.  That way I could have a black background with white text.

I never knew that having a coordinated spice rack would make me so happy.  Now when I open the cabinet, everything is neat and stacked and organized.  It looks so nice that I don’t want to use them and mess it up.  I could really use the number 12 in me now.

3 thoughts on “OPERATION SPICE

  1. just found your blog through a friend and I’m loving it.

    See, when I see “Christmas Tree Shops” I think “shops” is a verb. Like, “This is where the Christmas Tree shops for its matching spice jars.”

    Wait, that doesn’t make sense either.

  2. There is a store that only sells spices called Penzeys (http://www.penzeys.com) and it looks like they have a store near Detroit. Had to share as I love this place! They have tons of spices and much cheaper than at most places…and when you’re ready to branch out into different sized jars they have all kinds (with only black lids) for less than $8 a jar. Happy cooking!

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