Thanks to everyone for the comments on our kitchen remodel and keep them coming. We are still in the planning stages so I'm trying to make note of things other people have done in their kitchens which I think I'd like to incorporate into ours. I am brain storming for ideas to address the challenges of our particular kitchen (which may be different for non-vegan kitchens).
Most vegans we know own a lot of spices. I would say that vegans probably use a wider variety of spices as a rule. I'm not sure why this is, but it has been my experience. We have around eighty different spices and Rob used to love how many spices we have, but now he is getting cranky in his old age and feels like we have too many. I'm guessing this is because we have no good place to store them right now so they take up our precious counter space. He was being helpful while I was outside at our yard sale Saturday and decided to clean and organize the kitchen. I came in to find something and he proudly stated that he had reorganized my spices into what type of cooking they belonged to...what?!!...you know, like Indian, Italian, etc. He segregated my spices! I guess you can't take the south out of the man. Let me explain, I like and have always liked for my spices to be in alphabetical order. Did I mention we have around eighty spices? Alphabetical is the only clear choice. When I need cumin, I don't want to think to myself if that is technically a spice use for Indian cooking or African or Mediterranean or whathaveyou. No, I want to look at the end of the c's and find it...done! I hate to burst his bubble and I appreciate the time he put into changing the spices around (he also put the "most popular" spices in a different location...again, who is to say which spice is more "popular"? Are we in high school here or something?) so I haven't gone back and properly alphabetized them yet, but I will. I swear I use them all. Well, he was right about one thing, we don't need the kelp powder...I will never use the kelp powder.
Part of the issue when deciding what to do with all my beloved spices is the containers. We recycle glass from anything (jelly for example) and use it to hold our spices which we usually buy in the bulk bins or in bulk bags from the co-op (we are still working our way through a co-op purchase of organic oregano in the freezer). This means they are all different shapes and sizes so most of the traditional spice storage options won't help.
As I was checking out other blogs, I noticed a few ways to deal with spices which I need to keep in mind. Here Yellow Rose has a great drawer 'o spices. I have a dream where my spices from Agar to Za'atar could live together in peace. Share your own tip on what to do with all these spices!