The endless confusion surrounding my spice rack

I’m a ‘middle-of-the-road’ kind of cook. When I cook, I feel I do a good job. But I don’t cook enough to know the rules of that road in order to be confident.

Take chicken for instance. You can cook it a million ways, and I do. But in the end of the preparation there’s always that nagging voice in the back of my head ‘is it cooked enough? Will you have food poisoning in 6 hours?‘ Again, it’s a lack of confidence due to a lack of time in the kitchen.

But what played out last night can’t be comprehended. Our spice rack is a mess. How many of you out there have about 5 jars of oregano? Then when you need something basic you can’t find it? There’s no organization. In the end, it came to bite me in the butt.

The parsley spice
The culprit.

My wife recently over-purchased spices for recipes. And I shouldn’t complain because she does cook meals each weeknight (thank you!). But it’s aggravating to have so much of one spice only to let it go to waste (stay off my lawn!).

One night we noticed the potatoes didn’t taste as good as they do. Last night I was making baby reds and whipping up the sauce to pour on them. It called for some dried parsley. I knew we didn’t have an abundance of dried parsley because we had one of the big jars of it. To me, that was good enough. So I took a closer look. It was a jar I’ve seen far too long. The contents (about 1/4 full) didn’t look great. Almost old, and past its prime. I flipped over the jar for the ‘best by’ date.


My wife (bless her heart) had been heeding my warnings not to keep buying spices. And dried parsley seemed to be one that she obliged in not buying. After all, we had a lot.

The date on the bottle was 2014.


Out of date spices
The year we got married. Sigh.

We looked at each other and our jaws dropped. Her first response was ‘that’s the year we got married’. I immediately dumped the culinary masterpiece of a sauce I had created and started over.

Suffice it to say, I’ve learned my lesson on spices. They’re never organized and they remain confusing in that I don’t know how to use 3/4 of them and we have an overflow of what we don’t need and what we do need is from TWENTY-FOURTEEN.

It’s one of life’s mysteries I simply won’t be able to solve.

Do you have any culinary disasters you want to get off your chest? Please let me know in the comments or in the post. After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? ????

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About the author

Josh Benson


  • The important lesson I have learned from someone very dear to us is that rock salt can look like rock sugar. Just a reminder not to say anything and eat it quietly until the gracious hostess notices it herself. I am not saying who this lovely lady is but she lives in Orlando! Lol ????

  • They won’t kill you if they are old. They just aren’t as potent. You grew up on what we had on hand. You made it.

    • Yeah, but still shocking when you see the dates. I remember a few suspect items from my childhood. One that sticks out is a bottle of maraschino cherries in the fridge. Hahaha.

Josh Benson


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