Kitchen Tool Talk: Three (More) of My Favorite Things, Spicy Edition

Gentle Readers, as you know, The Practical Cook enjoys making Indian food, and other dishes with some kick. One of the key elements is measuring out the ingredients and having them ready to toss into the recipe at a moment’s notice (read, mise en place). But how to accomplish this without growing extra arms?

Kitchen Tool Talk: Spicy Edition

Spice Jars, Pinch Bowls, Metal Spoons

Spice Jars, Pinch Bowls, Metal Spoons

1. Metal Measuring Spoons. Accept no imitations. If you use turmeric, ever, you’ll understand why I specify. I love that my measuring spoons are still attached by the ring they came on. Easy to find, like my own set of culinary Allen wrenches.

2. Glass Spice Jars with Labels. Years ago, I bought spices in the grocery store, like everyone else. I never used that much cayenne (well, I do now), and it would fade into nothingness. Now, I save the jars of yesteryear, and fill them with the far cheaper and fresher bulk spices from Whole Foods or the local Indian store. Commit to replacing your worthless spices with half as much fresh stuff. You’ll be shocked at the difference.

3. Metal Pinch Bowls. Though in a proper Indian kitchen one would have a multi-welled tray designed for holding various spices, I use this set of 6 small metal bowls I picked up at Macy’s years and years ago (thanks NYC) for well, almost everything. They wash, they’re easy to use, and they are perfect to line up next to the stove to grab and season in the approved order.

It’s not just Indian food that makes this items favorites, this picture is from yesterday’s Veggie Chili. If you season your food ever, the above tips can make your life simpler, and spicier. What’s not to love?

How do you manage your seasoning needs? Comment, Tweet, Facebook me.  I’m waiting to hear from you.

Send your pinch bowls and queries to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, Cheese Bread Recipe or Improving the Canned Crescent.



Filed under Kitchen Tool Talk

4 responses to “Kitchen Tool Talk: Three (More) of My Favorite Things, Spicy Edition

  1. I once bought a bag of red pepper flakes in the Hispanic foods aisle at Food Lion for something like 99 cents; that amount would have cost some outrageous amount in a bottle (two bottles actually), in the spice aisle, at the same store. And it was probably fresher and hotter pepper, too! So yes, I am with you on spice alternatives, and reusing old bottles. I’ll even use a labelmaker if need be.

    • The Practical Cook

      That is an excellent tip. If you live near a Food Lion (or a tienda, and chances are good you do), they are great sources for spices. I got a small amount of Mexican cinnamon sticks for 50 cents!

      And who doesn’t love a label maker? 🙂

  2. Another thing I do is recycle old coffee scoops, measuring cups and the like. They’re great for scooping flour, sugar and other items kept in those large glass jars. And because some of the things are actually measuring cups, I can measure the flour (or whatever) with the scoop rather than dirtying another cup.

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