Monday, May 13, 2013

Project 13: Labelling the Spices

Well, it's not just changing the labels on the spices, of course.

It's also cleaning the "spice rack."

I was so proud when I came up with this storage solution for my spices during the Fall Cure, 2009. For the most part, it has worked well. But, in so far as staying clean? Well, that hasn't gone so well.

I researched various options.

For stainless steel, this video from the David Suzuki site recommends wiping on with olive oil first, then with vinegar.

All I thought while watching it was, "Wow, that's one heck of a clean fridge she's cleaning."

When I realised that I likely had powdered coated steel, I googled that and found an e-how site. They recommend washing it down with vinegar, polishing tough spots with steel wool, and finishing with a rinse with lemon juice and a spot of dishsoap. I didn't actually see results until I tried dipping the steel wool directly into the vinegar. Then things started to happen! I started at the bottom.

But I was left with a bit of a streaky mess.

I boosted the contrast so you can see what I saw.

So, the I googled "how to clean brushed steel" because, really, I have no idea. And someone somewhere recommended Bar Keeper's Friend. I have always thought it was unavailable in Canada--so, upon further googling-- I was pleasantly surprised to discover that not one but two retailers in the mall closest to us carries it.

(Amazing. Stop and think for a minute--none of the above was possible 20 years ago.)

The BKF site was wrong, though. One retailer did not carry it--never has--but I was able to hoof it to the other one right at closing and pick some up.

I've also been told it is the best cleaner for my old fading fifties laminate counter top. So I bought some and applied it that very night.

Then, I got to work with my labeller.

This is one of the reason I procrastinate. I knew there was a way to do my labels continuously, I just didn't know how. As soon as I knew how, though, I could do it. A lot of the time, procrastination = fear of not knowing how to do it right and so I'll screw it up. I'm sure it's not a rare condition! But pop psychology is so weird at times. Is that insight supposed to be all I need to take that deep breath and just do it? I don't know. Maybe it will. It was this time.

I did think to position the new labels strategically.

I have been using these spices for four years and in that time there have been a couple of serious spills--caused simply by me not paying attention the where I should have put the lid to make sure the hole was closed before I put them back up!  Hopefully, this will help.

I washed the lids and wiped down the tins. I removed the old labels as well as the bar code stickers still on the bottom.

Yes, I stained the wooden table top with that steel wool. I won't be running out of projects any time soon, at this rate!

Unfortunately, this thing on the wall doesn't quite hold all my spices. I wanted a way to remember which was where. I used this site to help me divide my spices into "sweet" and "savoury." I figured I would keep the "sweet" spices below in the jars and most of the "savoury" spices in the tins above.

So, I switched some in the tins with some in the jars. I found I had two tins of ground cloves and that the package of thyme won't fit in the tin but works fine in the jar. I got rid of my white pepper (no one here minds black pepper "spots" in the white sauce) and I lost my cardomom (though I learned how to spell it!) and my coriander no longer smelled like anything at all. So, after a great deal of this and that, I ended up with this:

It looks good, don'tcha think?

Another Anti-Procrastination project bites the dust.


onshore said...

It looks very good! I never realized that stainless steel can be this hard to clean.

Alana in Canada said...

No, I didn't realise it either! I am glad I found a solution that works for me, though!

Paula said...

This is the most attractive spice rack I have ever seen! I want it :-)

Wow, you have been curing your home several seasons already. Now I don't want to feel bad for myself and hope, AT stays around for a few more seasons. :-)

btw, I accidentally downloaded The January Cure calendar from 2014 and kept wondering, when the Art-assignment was to arrive ... I mean we are already halfway through, and the framing takes time .... Oops! Wrong year.

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