Keto Cooking with Carol: Spice Organization

Earlier this week I ventured somewhere I hesitated to go with the intention of organizing and cleaning out. Can you guess where it might have been?

It was my spice cupboard! Wow! What a mess!

With both my husband and I cooking since his retirement (and mine), we both use spices and put them away. Both of us do this liberally and arbitrarily. The spices have a designated place in our kitchen but beyond that there is no organization within the space! To a person who is usually very organized, this can frustrate me beyond my limits! Usually, the frustration is short lived and does not extend once the cooking is done.

But, as I made my grocery list this week, I wanted to try a Tandoori Chicken recipe. Since starting a Keto diet, we’ve been eating very well, using fresh ingredients and spices (fresh or dried) according to directions. The Tandoori Chicken recipe called for a spice called Garam Masala and is most often used in Indian cuisine. The website from where I got the recipe, fortunately, also gave directions on how to make your own Garam Masala blend. If you are interested in Keto Diet recipes, I would highly recommend visiting Castle In the Mountains! We have made several of their recipes and they are yummy!

This is how I got my head deep into the cupboard where the spices are kept in our kitchen. Innocently, I started pulling out spices to check off my list so I knew what I needed to get (if anything). The Garam Masala consists of a mix of seven different spices. I had all but one – cardamom! I was almost sure I would not find the pre-blended spice mix at our local grocery store, so I added cardamom to my list.

Mean while I ended up with a kitchen counter that looked like this:

We definitely do not want for a variety of spices! But, I noticed we had a problem as a result of our disorganization. We had duplicate supplies of some! The duplicate spices included cumin, allspice, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. We also had several forms of common spices: whole cloves and ground cloves as well as whole allspice and ground allspice. There were unopened spices like the Old Bay seasoning that I probably bought for crab cakes (we used to live in Maryland and occasionally want for a taste of blue crab). And, there were containers of hand-mixed and purchased dry rubs we use when my husband smokes meat.

The double supply bothered me, but I knew how it occurred. Either my husband or I had looked for a spice in our sea of spices on the bottom of our Lazy Susan and came up empty. Of course the spice was there, just hidden from us in the disorganization of the cupboard space. Another was purchased.

I honestly do not know why I got into this the other day. I knew the spice cupboard needed attention but right before grocery shopping?! I must have been nuts or really energetic at the time!

The cupboard got a thorough cleaning and reorganization of everything in it, including the spices. I honestly do not expect it to last long but for now, it looks good!

Then, I went shopping. Believe it or not, the grocery store had Garam Masala! So, I bought it! I was done playing with spices!

The Tandoori Chicken recipe is still waiting to me made. I keep forgetting it needs to be marinated for a long period – perhaps tomorrow! Today, however, when I went in my cupboard to retrieve spices for a new Keto Chili recipe, I found my work had paid off. Just by looking at the recipe, I knew we had the spices listed. I also knew exactly where to reach in and find them. For now.

How do you keep your spices organized? Let me know in the comments!

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