After you've gathered your bounty, the fun begins. When new spices visit my apartment, it's time for the almighty spice ritual: fueling up my trusty spice box. With eyes aglaze, I top off all essential spices, then I put any overfill into large mason jars, baby food jars or Tupperware containers.
A spice box is a must for two big reasons. It keeps things fresh, organized and convenient, and it makes the spices look so purty. Sometimes I get mine out just to gaze at all the loveliness sitting there.
While it's fine to store your spices in small jars, it's hard to cook that way. When oil is sizzling, you need to add spices fast. The small jar storage system is too difficult to manage when quick decisions need to be made. Especially for beginners trying to figure things out.
Go all the way and purchase your own beautiful, shiny spice box from an Indian grocer. The box consists of a stainless steel round canister with a tight fitting lid. Inside sit lidless, stainless steel cups, each holding one spice.
Or, put one together yourself. A round cookie tin would work well. Gross butter cookie tins are easy to find at thrift stores or around Xmastime. In addition, save about seven small, wide mouthed jars. They should be able to sit in the tin with the lid closed. The smallest sized baby food jar would probably work the best.
Fill each jar 3/4 of the way with a single spice. Put the jars inside the tin and be sure to pack them in tightly. Otherwise, they will swing inside the tin and erupt into a spicy, powdery mess. For a nice touch, add a little spoon on top for convenience, then put the lid on tight. Store it somewhere flat so the spices don't get mixed up.
>> Keep going: The Spice Basics