Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How Old Are the Spices in Your Cupboard?

First of all, I need to insist that you sing the title to the tune of, "How much is that doggie in the window?" I hate to be so bossy, but it's more fun that way. Trust me.

I've become a major fan of The Spice House in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. I've gone through several jars of Milwaukee Iron and am slowly replacing all my spices with goods from their aromatic shop on Wells (they do a good deal of mail-order business for those of you reading from the sticks).

Pantry Bosses say to replace your spices every year or so. I think of myself as a gourmet but am fairly certain my mustard powder predates my preadolescent child. I use it so infrequently that I can't bring myself to throw down cash annually. Clearly there is a meeting point. Also clear: do not allow me to feed you things made with mustard powder.

Am I alone here? Please raise your hand if you replace your spices each year.

Further reading:
Spice Island's guide to replacing spices
You couldn't possibly be outdated, could you?
Mark Bittman = your pantry's keeper


Unknown said...

I actually do weed out my spices - I let Christian make "soup" with them every so often - he concocts a big pot simmering wtih all sorts of aromatics! it is quite fun (until he asks me to taste it) and always quite pungent!

April D. said...

I love Spice House. Have you tried their powdered ginger? Orange zest? Spiced sugar? Mmmmm!

Katie Fairbank said...

K - that is a fantastic idea! I recall someone once telling me they allowed their children to make whatever slop they wanted out of condiments, spices, whatever, the only rule was they had to taste it THEMSELVES - the kids!

A - I can never stop snacking on the candied ginger tasters they have at the register. that place has been my goto spot anytime I need a gift.

by spiced sugar do you mean their vanilla sugar? I love that stuff!

April D said...

It's like cinnamon sugar, but it has all sorts of spices like cardamom (sp?) and cloves - very sophisticated blend.