Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

GIFT IDEA: Custom Made Spice Rack

I couldn't put forth this gift idea before Christmas, because of course, I was actually making it as a gift. In our family we have a tradition of drawing names for Christmas. You only give one gift, so the idea is that you concentrate all of your energy on this gift. This year, with various members of the family in various states of unemployment, it was decided that the rule would be: gifts must be made or purchased second-hand.

I personally love this kind of gift challenge. It really inspires people to think about the person they are crafting something for and about their own skills and come up with something within their talents that is unique and that means something to the recipient.

My choice this year was my brother. Little bro is a man of simple tastes. He also is recently married and has a beautiful wife to care for his every need. What could I make him that could make his wonderful life even better? After doing some research, I settled on something that was as much a gift for his wife as it was for him. Something to make both of their lives easier.

I chose to make a spice rack, especially formulated not for the avid cook, but for the not-so-avid cook. A spice rack, not of the essentials, but of a variety of blends spanning the globe, ready to be used on whatever was for breakfast, dinner or lunch, accompanied by a book of simple recipes, one for each spice, in case someone feels like cooking.
The spice rack was actually shamefully easy to put together. All I had to do was get some test tubes, stoppers and a rack from the scientist store. Then I had to get the spice mixes. These I got from a website that sells bulk spices. I chose spice blends representing a truly international mix, and spanning all continents. Then I just put the spices into the tubes, using a funnel, set the tubes up in the rack, and created labels.

After that I created a small booklet that had an information page for each spice and a recipe to go with that spice.

I wanted to the put the whole rack in an enclosed box so that it could have it's own spice cupboard, but unfortunately, it is difficult to find a box in the dimensions of a test tube rack. I wasn't able to get one in time, so I ended up putting the rack in a shallow wooden box and surrounding it with some fancy packaging straw stuff so it looked nice. I did find some bread boxes on eBay that I think would have worked, if I had had more time to study dimensions, and seller ratings, and shipping times, etc.

Et voila! Spice rack. Also, in honor of Little Bro's wedding year, I painted a picture of him and his lovely bride on their happiest day. Et voila plus! Christmas present! Merry christmas, Little Bro!


awesome spice holders!

super awesome picture....Christmas was fun...Uncle you know who sez he owes J (big time)

for a better gift

said by madame x at 8:35 PM Delete

I can't believe RJG is married. Is he even legal?

p.s. i am totally stealing that idea!

said by Demery at 9:35 PM Delete

He's all grownz up. And he's only a few months and a bar exam away from being a real live lawyer like the rest of us!

said by KT at 9:39 PM Delete

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