Maven Moment: The Spice Cabinet

Maven Moment: The Spice Cabinet

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Sometimes it may be difficult to dwell a low-waste or zero-waste lifestyle when you end up in possession of belongings you’re undecided the right way to expend. That was the case for me with gadgets from Mom’s spice shelf.

My mother at all times had a shelf in her kitchen cupboard the place she stored her cooking necessities: oils, sugar, flour, and a number of jars of spices. I can nonetheless see them there; some had been on that shelf for years!

When Mom handed away, I didn’t know what to do with all of her little jars of spices and herbs. How outdated had been they? Would I have the ability to use them up earlier than they went dangerous or misplaced their taste? Since I don’t prefer to waste something, I took them house to see what I might do with them.

I checked to see which of them I nonetheless needed to make use of for cooking (those that appeared contemporary and weren’t previous the expiration date). For the remaining, I’d have to consider what I needed to do earlier than throwing them away.

What To Do With Expired Spices & Herbs?

One apparent selection for expired spices and herbs is the backyard. The aged man who took care of the backyard in entrance of my mother’s constructing used pepper to maintain away pests like squirrels. And I might compost the inexperienced herbs.

Before I discard something and ship it to a landfill, I’ve gotten within the behavior of looking for “one other use for …” on the web. So, I attempted this for Mom’s outdated spices.

Some of one of the best concepts that I discovered are to stud an orange with cloves to make an old school pomander, simmer spices with citrus peels to make a pleasing house aroma, and my favourite: add just a little cinnamon and ginger to your sugar scrub for some zest and perfume.

How Can I Avoid Wasting Herbs & Spices?

Thinking about spices made me surprise how, as a single individual, I might improve my cooking with herbs and spices and never be wasteful by having to discard any spices that I couldn’t expend.

One method to keep away from buying a number of jars of spices is to purchase a spice mix. Think “curry spice” or “Italian medley.” And once I purchase a bunch of contemporary herbs, I freeze what I haven’t used so that they don’t spoil. I can then take out as a lot as I want and put the remaining again into the freezer. The frozen herbs work properly for soups, stews, and even pasta dishes!

Another resolution is to grow your own and simply choose what you want. I’ve basil and scallions rising in my kitchen proper now. Starting in late spring, I’ll have lavender, thyme, and cilantro in our library’s community garden. I choose as a lot as I need to use and depart the remainder of the plant for others to get pleasure from.

I believe that if we’re considerate in our use and buy of delicate and perishable gadgets like herbs and spices, we are able to additional cut back our carbon footprint by not losing product or the water and vitality utilized in rising and transporting the meals that we eat.

Feature picture by monicore from Pixabay. This publish was initially revealed on April 27, 2019.