Wednesday, June 17, 2009
About two and a half years ago I decided to overhaul the kitchen. Since a multi-thousand dollar renovation was not in our immediate future that meant I reorganized all our cabinets and counters according to our day to day usage. I set up a baking station with a cabinet for all my baking ingredients and supplies nearby, another for cooking near the stove, etc. It's been working very well so far and about once a year I go through the cabinets and tweak whatever hasn't been working or has changed.
One of my projects at that time was placing all our spices into these magnetic tins that we could keep on the fridge and eliminate the toppling over of spice bottles from the cabinet. I'd seen the idea on several blogs in various incarnations. It was fabulous - until the powdery spices got caught in the rim of the slide around spice container and then the containers would only open via fingernails (my method) or knives (Mr. Maricucu's answer to everything). We made do but I really wanted to try something different.
Last year I found these twist top threaded tins at Specialty Bottle and bookmarked them. In typical Marielle fashion I finally ordered them about 3 months ago and only now got around to modifying them. The tins are larger than the kamenstein tins I had used previously (4oz vs. 2oz) and I glued on 1/2" wide by 1/16" thick neodymium magnets to the back using E6000 (an industrial adhesive). Neodymium magnets, also known as rare earth magnets are super strong and you'll realize that as soon as you try to pry one off the stack.
I wiped off the bottoms with rubbing alcohol as the tube of E6000 warned against washing with soap since it might leave a residue. I then glued on the magnets. Make sure to do this in a ventilated area as the E6000 is pretty strong stuff. Also, don't wave the magnets near your cell phone, laptop or fancy computerized sewing machines. They're magnets and will wipe out everything in a jiffy. Let the adhesive cure for 72 hours without moving or touching the tins. Then realize you've done this on your cutting table which also means no sewing for the next 72 hours - lovely. I wasn't very precise with the adhesive application but in this case more is better.
Finally, after curing wash the tins with warm soapy water and dry them immediately to prevent rusting since the tins are aluminum. I printed labels using a clear plastic dymo label cartridge. Once the tins are dry, fill them with spices, stick on the label, put them up on the fridge and stand back to pat yourself on the back. Then recoil in horror as you watch one of the heavier spices slide slowwwwwwly down the fridge. Then quickly realize you'll need to glue on a second magnet to each tin. No biggie, once that is done, they work just fine.
As I mentioned the tins are a bit larger than my previous version but not so big that my spices will get old. I fill mine about 2/3 of the way with most ground spices. The threaded tin also means easy access. A solid lid means the spices will stay fresh. Originally I kept the tins on the front of my fridge but I only had 26. The new tins were larger, now we're up to 40 and I wasn't crazy about the busyness, not to mention the 40 tins would not fit.
So I moved the tins to the left side of the fridge and they look much better. In case there are some OCD souls like me, the stats. Rows of six tins with some odd placement at the bottom to accommodate clearance for the trashcan lid. They are a bit spread out but from experience I know I need hand clearance around each tin and Mr. Maricucu's hands are a bit bigger than mine. Oh and yes, that tilting tin is driving me nuts just looking at the picture.
Oh and if you think the OCD quirk doesn't run in families think again. My younger boy's setup:
Of course, my dad also likes creases in his jeans and dreams of the day when someone will iron his bed sheets like my grandmother used to do, so I can't say I'm the originating generation. My mom will not sit down after dinner unless every single dish, spoon and cup is washed. I'm just saying that I come by this honestly. All hail my obsessive-compulsive peeps!