Travelling Spice Kit

spicekitthumb.jpgWhen I go camping, or when I cook foraged food in the field, I've often wished for a little pinch of some kind of spice or condiment, only to have forgotten to bring it.

So I set about making a compact, all-purpose spice kit, containing a basic, but dependable inventory of seasonings, that I can keep packed and ready to go.

The Case

spicekit1.jpgThe star of the show is this lovely little metal clamshell box I made out of a couple of brightly-decorated metal cans that originally contained Chinese roast eels.

It only took a few minutes to make with basic tools, but the end result is a charming little box that really feels nice to open and click closed.

If you fancy making your own, or are just curious as to how it was made, here's a video detailing the construction.

Stocking The Spice Kit

Space is at an absolute premium here - and there's no way this could contain useful amounts of each and every culinary herb and spice, so I've focused on the most basic and useful items.

spicekit2.jpgThe plastic snap-shut pods from inside Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs just happen to fit really snugly into the tin, so I've got five of them, containing salt, pepper, mixed herbs, paprika and curry (I can always swap out one or two of these for something else, if I anticipate needing it).

Additionally, there's a chicken stock cube and a couple of little bottles (saved from snack packs of sushi) - containing soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. I'll probably add a couple more of these, containing wine vinegar and toasted sesame oil.

And there's just room in between the pods, around the edges and inside the top lid to squeeze in a few extras - maybe a sachet of mustard, a little bottle of Tabasco sauce, a small container of garlic salt...

spicekit3.jpgSnapped shut, the case is tough and should survive being thrown into a rucksack or picnic bag.

Even a basic kit like this offers plenty of opportunity to perk up a pan of foraged seafood, or to transform foraged vegetables, along with maybe a little brought-along rice or pasta, into a hearty meal.

If I can lay hands on a few smaller containers, I might replace all but the salt and pepper, to make space for a wider range of flavourings - maybe including some to be used with sweet things like foraged wild fruit.

Tinned Roast Eel

I bought my first tin of Chinese roast eel entirely on the basis that I liked the brightly-painted tin, half expecting to find the contents weird or inedible.

As it turned out, they're really tasty - meaty, firm strips of eel in a spicy, salty sauce. If you like crispy aromatic duck, you might also like these.

Tinned Product Manufacturers Take Note

spicekit4.jpgSo take note, producers of tinned lacklustre packaging - brighten it up a bit and I might buy your product!



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