The Spice of Life

Spice_Cupboard_IMG_1638_300pxTomorrow is National Herbs & Spices Day! What in the world would we do without this menagerie of flavors with which to season our food?! At home, it’s easy to season a dish. I open the spice cupboard (we all have one) and I spin one of my 2-tiered lazy susans and select what I want. I can add a little of this or a little of that. Sometimes, I open various spice jars and smell the contents until I find the flavor I’m looking for. I can be completely whimsical if I want. At camp, it’s not so easy…or, is it? It kinda depends on your camp prepping style.

Some campers like to do their prep work at home, packing a minimal pantry with only what they need for the trip. Other campers like to prep their meals in camp, or on the fly, and pack a fuller, more versatile, pantry. The rest of us are probably somewhere in the middle.

I prefer to pre-mix a lot of my dry ingredients and bring them to camp in a container or resealable bag. I also like to pack a few spices for jazzing up a dish on the fly or to taste. If it’s a hunting or fishing trip, I’ll bring a few specific spices for seasoning the “catch of the day.”

Spices pose a unique challenge in the camp kitchen. No one wants to pack a bazillion little bottles with them. Depending on your favorite brand, your spice jars may be glass and may not be able to stand up to the rough and tumble world of camping. Or, if you’re like us, you buy some of your spices in bulk because you use them a LOT.

Following are a few ways to solve this conundrum.

Make a visit to your local craft store and wander through the bead section to see what they have for organizing beads. Many of these storage devices would be perfect for spices provided the containers can be sealed well.

spice_storage_bead_jars

Likewise, make a visit to your local pharmacy and see what they have for pill boxes and medication organizers.

spice_storage_meds

These kinds of containers can be found with pill boxes, fishing tackle, and beads.

spice_storage_pill_jars

Do you have a Tic-Tac addiction or know someone who does? Here’s a great way to re-purpose those little containers.

spice_storage_tic_tacs

Sterilite makes a Large Clip Box (11×14). The shallow version (pictured below) is 3¼” high and the deep version is 6¼” high. The deep version could accommodate a full-sized spice jar.

spice_storage_tote

Remember Tupperware? These little gems would be perfect for spices with their small size and airtight seal.

spice_storage_tupperware_midgets

However you prefer to transport your spices to camp, make sure you label them well. On our last camping trip, I opened a container of salt thinking it was sugar and loaded a couple of teaspoons worth into my morning coffee. Blech! That was a rude awakening.

Now that you’ve figured out how to store and transport your spices, what spices do you take camping?

Salt & Pepper, of course. Although I’m surprised how often this gets forgotten.

Your favorite poultry seasoning?

Your favorite beef seasoning?

Red Pepper Flakes, which is a great add-on at the table?

Italian Seasoning?

Rubs. Perhaps your own secret blend?

Let us know.

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Categories: Cooking Outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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