Storing Spices and Herbs

Over the years I have done a lot of research on this subject.  I think this article from gives a good summary about the expected shelf life of spices and herbs.

What about dried herbs and spices? According to the experts at the Spice House in Evanston, Illinois, the shelf life of these dried products varies quite a bit depending upon the type of spice and the form it’s in. For example, peppercorns may last 4 years, but poppy seeds will barely last a year. As you might expect, whole spices will hold up longer than ground spices. As dried spices and herbs age, they oxidize and lose flavor. However, that doesn’t mean they’re dangerous or spoiled; it just means that you need to use a greater quantity to get the taste benefit you got from a smaller amount of fresher product.

I think a good rule of thumb in checking for freshness is if the smell is there then the flavor will be there.

To prolong the shelf life of your spices store them out of sunlight and away from heat.
Transfer your spices to glass containers. They will help preserve the freshness of you spices longer than plastic containers.

March 2015

Opal’s Chicken & Rice Recipe

From Mom’s Recipe Book.

My cooking skills are limited to heating a frozen dinner in the Micro Wave. I know cooks are always looking for new recipes to try so I though I would start adding some recipes from mom’s recipe books.

Opal’s Chicken & Rice.

1: Cook a 3 pound chicken without salt until tender. Remove from bone.

2: Melt 1/4# butter in a casserole and stir in 1 package onion soup.

3: Add 1 1/4 cup pre-cooked rice (raw) cover with broth and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minuets.

$: Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for 1 hour. Add broth as needed

February 2015

Cooking Texas Style

It has been years since I made gravy from scratch. I usually buy the gravy mixes. Being an old bachelor it’s easier. The other day I was wanting to fix some gravy to pour over hash browns, but I didn’t have any white gravy mix. I didn’t have any bacon grease to put into the white gravy mix.

So I started searching the Internet to see if I could find a recipe for making a country style breakfast gravy without bacon grease. I ultimately tried substituting vegetable oil, but gravy made that way is not nearly as good.

In my search I came across this blog with a lot of recipes for Texas style food. So If you have a hankering for some good ol’ Texas comfort food? Here’s a list of recipes. The blog was the Home Sick Texan. He has recipes for everything from appetizers, to preparing vegetables, and everything in between.

November 2008

Wilted or Blemished Vegetables

  • If fresh vegetables are wilted or blemished, pick off the brown edges. Sprinkle with cool water, wrap in towel and refrigerate for an hour or so.
  • Perk up soggy lettuce by adding lemon juice to a bowl of cold water and soak for an hour in the refrigerator.
  • Lettuce and celery will crisp up fast if you place it in a pan of cold water and add a few sliced potatoes.

April 2008

Low Calorie Pasta Dish

This recipe is supposedly a favorite of John Ashcroft, a for Governor of the State of Missouri.

  • Sm. shell pasta, cooked until tender
  • 1 can light cream of mushroom soup (lowfat variety)
  • Skim milk (enough to alter the consistency
  • Chunks of imitation lobster


  • Broccoli or Asparagus (cooked, broken into slightly larger than bite-size pcs.)
  • Season to taste

Cook the pasta until tender. Add the rest of the ingredients.

February 2008

Herbs & Spices can be Benificial to Your Health

What did the human race due to find cures for ailments before the day of Drug companies? From the beginning of time man has looked to nature for cures when someone was sick. At some point in history, some of those who sought to find cures from nature were probably called “Witch Doctors”.

Read the rest of this entry »

September 2007

The Difference between Herbs and Spices

Frankly I had never given this much thought until a few days ago. I was surprised at some of the information I found. For instance I had always thought of Thyme as a spice, when in fact it is a herb.While there are some similarities between herbs and spices, there also are subtle differences.

Read the rest of this entry »

June 2007

Changes to

Over the next few weeks or so I will be experimenting with different themes, or skins for the Spice Rack blog. What that means for those who don’t know. The blog may look different as I experiment, until I settle on a look or style.

I’m partial to blue. I think this theme looks pretty good, if I can figure out how to change all the Green text to another color.

I’m also interested in your feed back so please feel free to express your opinion.

June 2007

Wall Mounted Spice Racks

I wrote about using a in cabinet spice organizer the other day as one way to organize and store spices.

This blog Article is rather timely I think. The title of the Article is “Attic Clutter to Useful Spice-Rack“. The article is about a ladies problem in how to store her spices. This lady faced the same problem that a lot of people do.

Her Pantry was poorly designed, and she had limited cabinet, or counter space for spice storage. Then she remembered that there was an old wooden spice rack stored in the attic. She dug it out. Her husband did some work on it, and her storage problem was solved. Read the rest of this entry »

June 2007

Storing Spices

I think we have a very good article at Condells about storing spices. I don’t think there is any argument that the way you store your spices will affect their shelf life. On the other hand most people try to store spices in a way that make them easily accessible. I doubt any method you use will shorten the shelf life to less than 6 months, but that is just an opinion.

Based on my experience people tend to store their spices where they have a little extra space to store them. Sometimes that is in a cabinet drawer, or it may be setting them on a shelf in a wall cabinet. Unfortunately that requires cabinet space, and may make the spices hard to locate. Especially if you are using a cabinet shelf for storing spices. Read the rest of this entry »

June 2007