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Date: 8 August 2014. Budget Spice Shelf (costs less than $1)

I met a fellow who invited me over to his home for several meals and boy, oh boy, that man can cook! Moreover, he used spices with aplomb. I want to be like that some day so bought a variety of additional spices. (If only buying them would have improved my cooking...) The problem I ended up with was that I didn't have a safe secure place for the bottles and that simply won't work aboard a boat.

If buying galley goods would improve my cooking I'd be all set by now and you'd be calling me the Julia Child of the Waterway. It's sort of like my buying books thinking I'll have the time to read them. Of that I'm guilty too, though with my Kindle I'm at least not adversely effecting the waterline. I am not safe in a used book store any more than I am in an art store (how many paint brushes does one miniaturist need?!) or fabric shop for that matter. It's a sickness and I don't know that I'll seek recovery. I'm having too much fun to do so at this point.

Of course I have more time than money but more than that, finding the perfect shelf is not so easy. There are a lot out there -- and the makers are Mighty Proud* of their products.

*Mighty Proud translates to "expensive" in case you wondered.
 

The Original Spice Shelves

 

My original spice shelves fit perfectly under my sink on the right side locker door and I envisioned something similar on the left door for my latest. The first (and second) were made from a Tupperware cake container with the center part removed. This works very well. As a matter of fact, it is better than my newest creation that can best be described as good enough!

 
I removed the middle third of the cake box.

 


Doing this at anchor, the first problem was I had no cake container available. I did have a knock-off food storage box. It didn't seal well and consequently wasn't of much use. However it had spice shelf potential and would suffice. The container was "good enough" and rather than wait for perfection, I chose to go for it immediately.
 

Spice Shelf for Less than a Dollar

 

First I checked the depth of the container by laying the spice bottles on my dinette. The box fit over them nicely with no bulges. Perfection.

Then I turned it on edge and cut off the long side with my scissors. By leaving about four inches I know that even in rough weather, everything will stay put. I needed access from the top and now I have it.

Next, from my bag of tricks (aka the second drawer in my bookshelf) I removed a piece of stainless that is bendable. I'd mentioned this item in the Mosquitoes (engine room vent screening) article. You do need something similar incidentally. Of course if the only tool you own is a hammer, soon everything begins to look like a nail...

I heated the end on my propane stove, then poked it through the plastic. Yes, I could have used a drill. This was much faster and leaves a nice hole too.

 
 

With the addition of four screws I attached the container to the inside of my left locker door under the sink. It's almost perfect:

 

 


What is wrong you may ask? Well, the bottom as you can see has a slight curvature. Thus my spices do not sit properly erect. I know -- it's a little enough thing but something I'd not realized when making my spice shelf. You might be more satisfied if your container has a flat bottom side. I know I would be!

In retrospect, I probably could have cut this container in half lengthwise and had two racks for spices. Because I only had locker door space for one, I opted for the deeper size. It's more secure and probably a bit of overkill as well.

What is correct is that this little container fits the spice bottles nicely. They won't jiggle while underway. They are now handy and easy to access and therefore more likely to be used.

And who knows? Perhaps my cooking will improve with this addition to the galley aboard Seaweed.

I'm wondering how many spices you have and use regularly.
And, do you keep all your spices in one rack, or multiple locations such as I have to use?

COMMENTS:
 

Categories:  Boat Talk, Galley, Money, Organizing, Recommendations

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