I Went on the Baby Food Diet to Solve My Spice Rack Problem

I put myself on an extreme Hollywood diet, because I wanted to use the empty baby food jars for something. And YOU can too.

Dec 5, 2011 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

Like maybe no Americans other than me, I find myself hating all spice racks. I have a similar problem with lamps, desks and dining room tables. They are all ugly except the ones I can't afford and most of those are also disgusting.

Before I got married last year (my 1 year anniversary is coming up December 23rd. And they said it wouldn't last), a few smart people with good arguments talked us into registering for gifts. It seemed silly; we were older, had what we needed, but people want to buy you gifts and if you don't give them suggestions, they will freestyle you into 15 toasters and no gift receipts.

So, I registered. I combed the usual suspects for kitchen, bath & bed items that would be useful, and maybe something we wouldn't budget in for ourselves. I got a spice rack bee in my bonnet, and had many mini (she)Hulk attacks over my options. Weddings are stressful, I know it ain't right.

Then 11 months later, a spice solution popped up on Pinterest for me. So Pinterest is not just for Franken-Mad Libs dessert combos after all. 

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Here's the DIY intrigue that caught me eye: For the low-cost spice drawer answer to your non-denominational prayers, you take empty baby food jars and paint the lids with chalkboard paint, then label each lid with chalk and throw them in a drawer.

The appeal of this comes in a couple of admittedly ridiculous ways. First, I've been dying to spray chalkboard paint on something. Anything. And second, once I realized it was silly to look into buying empty baby food jars on Etsy when I could get full jars for $.55 a piece at the supermarket, I straight up wanted to eat baby food.

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As a not-entirely-young child, I had a weird moment when I wanted to eat banana baby food because  my baby-love for it was sort of anecdotal. My mother indulged this weirdness and I took one bite, thought it needed sugar, and poured more ants than sugar out of a sugar box onto it. 

Even weirder, this memory also fueled my curiosity about how I would feel about the taste of baby food now. How would my sophisticated adult palate respond to it, and how wonderful was it that I don't have ants like my poor mother?

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Vaguely, I remembered that the Baby Food Diet was an actual thing that some celebs who may or may not be programmed into Jane's phone were rumored to have tried out at some point. I Googled.

Right away I found info on how to follow the Celeb Baby Food Diet. You eat 14-16 jars of baby food for breakfast and lunch, then eat a sensible dinner. I decided on 12 jars for my experiment/project, naturally all banana.

The funny thing is, as extreme as it seems, it is food and it's intended for babies, our most precious commodity. And 14-16 jars is still 840-1200 calories (before your sensible dinner), so sure it's a little fetishistic, but it's nourishment.

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My bananas contained bananas, water and vitamin C. They were also f**king delicious, like citric-acid-y liquid bananas. It shocked me how good they tasted. Of course, after five jars or so I was grossed out, and emptied the rest of the jars into a plastic container and popped it in the fridge. 

My dozen jars were separated from their labels, scrubbed, dried and set aside. Lids, too.

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My chalkboard spray paint and compressed pastel chalk came from Blick. I wasn't trying to be fancy, I just didn't see regular chalk. But I also liked the Martha Stewart-y sea foam-ish color I grabbed, so whatever.

One coat of chalkboard paint did the trick on the lids. Dried pretty quickly, too.

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Overall, I'm super duper pleased my little baby food spice jars. I'd like to get some cool shelf paper or contact paper to line the drawer with, and find another place for my ziploc bags. 

The imperfection of my hand-written chalk labels suits me, better than anything at Macy's.

I'm psyched to diversify my Celeb Baby Food Diet menu as I grow my spice collection.  Sweet potatoes. Carrots. Pears. Oooo, apricots.

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