The One Thing You Need to Do Before You Start Baking (and the $5 Tool That Will Help You Do It)

published Nov 10, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

If there’s one thing I really, really dislike, it’s when my momentum gets foiled because things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be. This is especially true around this time of year, when there are so many pies to bake and so little time. Reaching for the all-important cinnamon or nutmeg and discovering you’re all out is a frustration nobody wants to deal with. Am I right?

To reduce hiccups and frustration, there’s one easy and satisfying thing you can do right now: Check your spices. This way, you won’t have to dig around for the cinnamon (or, worse, go out to the store to buy nutmeg) when you’re in the middle of making that pumpkin pie

If you’re completely out, restock your supplies now (right now — go!). If you have multiples, consolidate like spices into a single jar. And if you decant your spices into smaller spice jars, make sure those smaller spice jars are full!

This $5 Tool Makes Filing Spice Jars Quick and Easy

If you’re consolidating or refilling, I recently found a tool that makes the job a great deal quicker and less messy than the usual ways: a small collapsible funnel. I found mine in the aisles of Ace Hardware, but Amazon has a similar silicone collapsible funnel you can order with a single click. 

This collapsible funnel, which slips easily into any drawer once collapsed, is a space-saving lifesaver. It eliminates messes (and wasting precious spices) caused by using your hand as a funnel or thinking you can spoon spices from a bulk container into a tiny one. (You know you can’t.)

If you’re working with something especially powdery that tends to tamp down on its own (think cumin vs. salt), a chopstick to help the spices flow through the hole will be your best friend. And don’t forget you can use this funnel for liquids too, such as when you’re filling your olive oil and vinegar bottles. 

This tiny funnel makes a not-fun task so foolproof and smooth. It’s your new secret weapon that saves time, money, and your sanity.