Cooking by Instinct (with a little help from my spice rack)

May 9, 2008

I never really thought I cooked by instinct but I think the addition of my new spice rack has brought out my “creative cooking instincts.” Apparently I get this from my dad’s side of the family. I love cooking a variety of ethnic foods so I have a somewhat large assortment of spices which I had in my two spice racks, the cupboard, the drawer and where ever else I could find room. I really wanted something a bit more convenient and user friendly.

I saw what I wanted in an upscale cooking store but after looking into the cost I decided to find an alternative. It took a bit of research and time to find what I needed but I am ecstatic at the results. I found the metal backing board at IKEA. It’s called Imperativ and at the time came in three different sizes. We had to cut ours to fit our space, which I don’t necessarily recommend because it was a pain. The spice tins took a bit of research also because I wanted square ones and the ones at the store were round and were also a bit expensive for the number of tins I needed. I found what I was looking for at and could hardly wait for my shipment to arrive.

It didn’t take me long to fill the 37 tins that I purchased. And although I still have some spice blends in the drawer and the cupboard, most of what I need it quite handy to get to. I now find myself creating my own concoctions based on what I have on hand and what spices appeal to me at the time. Often I will open a spice tin and smell it and see if it “smells” like it would be a good fit for what’s in the pan so far. Sometimes I start with a combination I already know works well from recipes I’ve tried before.

The only problem that this has created is sometimes I make something I absolutely love and there is no way I can replicate it because I didn’t keep track of what and how much I put into it. I suppose there are worse things. Maybe one day I will learn to keep track of this information – just in case.


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