By Jo from Riverside, RI
If you're in a pinch and the spice is old but still has a bit of vigor left, just use more than the recipe calls for but do taste testing as you go so you don't overdo it. If worse comes to worse and the spice is not salvageable for cooking, don't just throw it out! Depending on the spice, you can always use it for crafts or mix it with fresh potpourri to add bulk to the potpourri or mix it in with mulch for the garden. I am sure you can come up with other recycling ideas too.
By Deeli from Richland, WA
I went to the local discount chain, and purchased 3 spice racks, all the same. They hold 16 spices (all filled, no choice of spices), swivel, and cost $19 each. I emptied all the duplicate spices (more on that later), and filled the now-empty jars with spices from my cupboards.
According to my internet research, freezing spices is the best way to store them. The amounts on the available in the rack, now, are generous enough to be useable, but not so much they lose their potency too quickly. Store the remaining spices in either labeled, sealable small freezer bags - or better yet, vacuum-sealed bags you make yourself in just the right size (this is what I did.) Then organize them in a plastic shoe box in the freezer so they can be pulled out for re-fills as needed, won't get lost in the freezer, and still will remain fresh for a very long time.
Now my spices are getting used, I have more room in my cupboard, my counter looks nice, using them is convenient, I am a more efficient cook, and cooking just got easier. And a silly bonus: I even look a little like a "pro" in the kitchen.
Is there any solution to keeping cooking spices from becoming damp? Is it just this time of the year - with all the humidity - or does this mean that the spice is "old" and needs to be thrown out?
Toni from USA
You can buy these amazing little canisters called Dry Spice (www.dryspice.com) that you just drop into your spice jars and it removes all the moisture. I had many spices that were all stuck together, I had to break them up with a knife. After I put these canisters in them they turned into powder again. Amazing! It also keeps the flavor & smell very fresh.