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A Peek Inside Heidi Swanson's Spice Drawer

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Heidi Swanson's book Near and Far takes readers on a culinary tour of some of the countries she's visited (and on a culinary stay-cation in her foggy-filtered, Northern California home).

Heidi Swanson's Spicy Green Soup

Heidi Swanson's Spicy Green Soup by Genius Recipes

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, Signed Copy

Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, Signed Copy

$30

How does she keep tabs on all the spices she's picked up in her travels?

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She claims that she's still trying to get a grip on her spices, but this photograph makes us wonder if there's a whole second spice drawer (one in complete disarray, with seeds spilling everywhere) that we're not seeing. Look how neat this is!

Still trying to keep a handle on the spice drawer 😹

A photo posted by @heidijswanson on

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What we'll steal from Heidi's system:

  • She uses bright snags of washi tape—it's colorful and happy-making, with no label-maker or washable marker necessary.
  • Not only are her spices in alphabetical order, but the adjective often comes after the noun (sesame seeds white, coriander ground) to make that sequencing even more logical.

And, because we're all curious, here's what she's got in there:

  • Star anise
  • Sansho
  • Ras el hanout
  • White sesame seeds
  • Saffron
  • Poppy seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Nigella seeds
  • Black mustard seeds
  • A spice mix of cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, cloves, and nutmeg
  • Dried lemongrass
  • Preserved lemon (?) from Oman
  • Fenugreek
  • Dill seeds
  • Organic cumin seeds
  • Organic roasted cumin seeds
  • Ground coriander
  • Whole cloves
  • Cayenne
  • Organic cardamom
  • Whole caraway
  • Basil seeds
  • Organic whole anise
  • Anardana (dried pomegranate seeds)

Feeling inspired to get your own spices in line?

Spice Rack & Tins with Erasable Labels

Spice Rack & Tins with Erasable Labels

From $86
How to Keep Your Spice Drawer Organized

How to Keep Your Spice Drawer Organized by Caroline Lange

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Amanda Hesser's Best Tips for a Clean, Organized Pantry

Amanda Hesser's Best Tips for a Clean, Organized Pantry by Amanda Hesser

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My Spice Drawer Trick

My Spice Drawer Trick

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If you had to narrow down your pantry to three spices, what would they be? Tell us in the comments!

Tags: heidi swanson