I hadn't planned on "decluttering" my spices today. I had just received a large Penzeys order, and in the course of refilling and replacing those spices, I realized I had a space problem and started pulling everything out. It wasn't long before all of my counters were covered in spice jars. When you have spices and herbs for cuisines that collectively cover 6 continents, you have a lot of spices.
And, in my case, a lot of them are old.
There's the old sambar powder I made back when I was cooking a lot of Indian food. Um, like two years ago or so. I'm sure I'll make sambar again, but not with this sambar mix! And the methi and awain and charnuska are rather old. As is the galangal powder and dried root. And the salam leaves. And the poppy seeds.
Some of them are "mystery spices". Joe thinks the jar with just a teaspoon of brownish ground spice mix is homemade garam masala. We can't tell, though, because it doesn't smell like anything anymore!
And how'd I end up with three 4oz bags of ground cumin? And why did I order 4oz of cloves from Penzeys? 4 oz! Do you have any idea of how many cloves are in 4oz of cloves? I didn't, but now I do.
Anyone know any good recipes that use a lot of cloves?
One thing I love doing when replacing spices is smelling the old batch and then smelling the new batch. My old whole coriander seeds were practically scent-less by comparison to my new batch! I'm really looking forward to cooking with them. And my new batch of cinnamon... heaven!
Anyway, now my spice cabinet is clean and my remaining spices reorganized in some fashion that I hope will make more sense, my kitchen sink is full of small jars that need a good scrubbing.