All I wanted to do was put away a bottle of olive oil. It had lived on the kitchen counter next to the stove for so long, however, that I couldn’t remember if it or one of its ancestors ever had a place to call its own. My effort to gain completely clean kitchen countertops would be foiled if it didn’t take cover.
The cabinet with the canned and boxed items is full and cluttered, and since the oil is used frequently, it didn’t really belong there anyway. It should be with the spices and seasonings since it’s used when they are. Brilliant! Their home, a shelf above the drinking glasses, was already full, though.
A three-level rack held bottles of herbs, spices and seasonings of all sorts. The rack would have to go if the oily little guy was moving in, so I decided it was time for a complete overhaul. We’ve lived in this house for years, and I really think some of those spices moved in with us, contained in that cardboard box that smelled stranger than any other when it arrived.
How many spices do two guys need anyway?
We don’t need many, really. The rack is gone now, and so are most of the old bottles and jars. Here’s what’s left on the shelf:
- Salt, recently moved from the cluttered cabinet in the corner. For some reason, I have two full 26-ounce containers of salt and one that’s almost empty, so I’m ready for any brining that comes along.
- Pepper mélange, a peppercorn blend that comes in a grinder that I use instead of black pepper. (If those pre-ground powdery specks were all I could get, I’d do without.)
- Garlic powder, my go-to seasoning for all meats and veggies. I can’t cook without this one.
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, also used in most dishes I cook. My partner David grew up in a Lawry’s home, but we were strictly McCormick where I came from. (He won this battle, and this battle only.)
- Dried dill, since it was recently purchased and is a key ingredient in my homemade ranch dressing.
- Dried parsley, also newish and also in the ranch dressing.
- Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning, to provide some variety when the seasoned salt is getting tiresome.
- Old Bay Seasoning, because I recently wanted to see what it’s like. It’s slightly spicy seasoned salt with a fancy name.
And joining these fine items are:
- Sugar, also a refugee from the clutter of the corner cabinet, which is finding life sweeter than ever in its new home.
- Apple cider vinegar, a great addition to cole slaws and the cats’ water dish. (It’s supposed to be good for them.)
- Balsamic vinegar, in case I ever decide I like it. I haven’t had much luck yet.
- Olive oil, the troublemaking, good-for-something guy that started this mess.
When you read all of that, it doesn’t sound very minimal at all, does it? Still, I’m not willing to part with anything else. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be trying a recipe soon that will require something new, but I’ll buy the smallest one I can get.
And if I don’t like it, it’s going in the trash. I mean, really? Keeping so many spices that you need stair-stepped risers for them? That’s just way over the top.
Gip Plaster is a web content writer. Previously a journalist, online bookseller and even a corporate advertising guy, Gip now specialize in writing high-quality content for websites — his and other people’s. Visit Gip’s Front Yard (www.gipsfrontyard.com) too.