I Think I Need More Whole Cloves


Or not…. WHY do I have so many jars of whole cloves? You know what I use far more often than whole cloves?

Ground cloves. But I have only one (small!) jar of ground cloves. (Almost empty, which is how I uncovered all these jars of whole cloves–I was looking to see if I had more ground cloves.) Maybe this whole cloves surplus is because I use whole cloves so sporadically that they end up shoved to the backs of shelves and I think–Oh no! I’m out of whole cloves! Must. Buy. More. You never know when you’re going to need whole cloves. They’re a staple! Then I buy another jar and it promptly makes its way to the back of a cabinet, and next time I’m looking for whole cloves, I run out and buy some more… At this rate, I’ll need an entire shelf devoted to whole cloves soon. At least I’ll be able to find them.

Clearly, I’m an equal opportunity whole cloves shopper. Look, four different brands! I could do a whole cloves brand comparison!

Except two of the jars aren’t even opened yet and I’d hate to take off the seals just to compare whole cloves. However, at this time, I can tell you that the Sauer’s whole cloves are larger than Spice Island whole cloves.

This was, of course, a completely scientific whole cloves comparison test involving removal of exactly one whole clove from each jar.

You? Got four or ten or twenty of something ridiculous in your kitchen? I wanna hear! Now is the time to confess! To cleanse your soul! To bare your deep, dark secrets! Or make me feel better or something…..


  1. AndiK says:

    Grated parmesan cheese. Cans and cans of grated parmesan cheese. I’ve sent my husband to the store with SHREDDED parmesan cheese on the list a few times, and he never fails to come back with the grated.

  2. hawkswench says:

    Hot and Spicy, Cajun, Sante Fe, anything along those lines. On the whole/ground cloves thing, would a pepper grinder work on cloves like it does on peppercorns? I have several spice grinders but have never tried it on cloves. If you don’t want to buy an expensive one, get a sea salt jar that comes with a grinder.

  3. Dawn says:

    Macaroni. I keep buying macaroni. Everytime I go to the store and see the pasta I think I’m out so I buy more. At one point I had 11 boxes of Macaroni. :shocked:

    You could buy a cheap coffee grinder and grind your own cloves. They will taste way better than the ground kind from the store because the oils will be released when you grind, therefore giving them a fresher taste.

  4. wkf says:

    Vanilla and butter.
    I suggest a coffe grinder as well and this evil website


    It makes you want to spend money!!!!! I have and their products are really good.


  5. Kathryn says:

    Corkscrews. I just went into the kitchen and pulled every one of them out of the drawer by the wine cooler.

    Sixteen! What? :rotfl:

    I swear, every time a “new” model comes out, Himself has to have it. It gets admired, used a few times, and then dropped in the drawer. The one we use all the time? One we bought at the liquor store about thirty years ago. We moved to this house a year ago, and I suggested that maybe we should just consider, consider thinning the corkscrew herd as it were. Didn’t happen!

  6. sc says:

    This makes me laugh and reminds me of my mother.

    I know I recently have done that with something in my cupboard, but try as I might, I can’t remember what it was.

    My mother used to do this with cake mixes. After most of us left home (5 out of 10 anyway), we would come home for a visit, open the pantry to have a look for something to eat and there would be a wall of golden yellow cake mix (and not much of anything else).

    I agree with the others, a coffee grinder will work great and add a nice touch to the first batch of coffee ground after that.


  7. The Jillybean says:

    Well, you could put some in a small sauce pot with some water and boil them on the stove. Makes your house smell great!

  8. Becky says:

    The first thing I thought of…
    My Mother-in-law sent me to her pantry for something one time and she had jar after jar after jar of peanut butter.

  9. IowaDeb says:

    Just checked my cupboards,seems like vinegar,spagetti and maple syrup have taken over.

  10. Kimmen says:

    Stick them in fresh oranges and apples for a beautiful autumn decoration and smell.

  11. Heidi says:

    I was going to suggest a coffee grinder for the whole cloves, but I see others beat me to it.

    I tend to end up with way more garlic than I thought I had, both whole clove and minced. And Bay leaves. The only thing I use it for is the occasional roast and I have about five years worth.

  12. Shari C says:

    I seem to have an unusual number of spatulas; They almost have a drawer to themselves…they are every possible size and color and even slight shape differences. It seems every time I go to look through kitchen supplies and appliances at a store I find one I think I need for some crazy reason. I believe I am ready for any scenario that involves use of a spatula no matter what the situation.

  13. Carolyn A. says:

    Cinnamon! I have it from every place I’ve ever visited and friends bring it to me when they go on trips. I have some very exotic ones that I love. And the vanilla bottles have taken over too. I use it in hot cocoa when winter is here. Just a splash and it’s heavenly. xxoo

  14. Scherrie says:

    Lol! Well, now I don’t feel so lonesome. I have 4 jars of basil……….and I’m out of oregano! How does this happen? I enjoy your blog immensely. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning. I have to check out what’s happening at your place. Love it!!

  15. Mim says:

    Pickles- we have pickle relish , bread & butter & dill slices in jars, dill slices in a tupperware pickle thing & sweet gerkins in the really cute individual containers. I do not like pickles except for the bread & butter, all the rest are “his”. I didn’t realize that you ate different pickles with different foods since I only eat bread & butter .. He has tried to explain this pickle mystery to me …”uh uh OK think I finally got it”. You would think that after several times explaining it to me that he would understand that I really don’t care about the different kinds of pickles…Only like bread & butter pickles.

  16. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    Oh, dear. Since I don’t bake, I’ll have to confess to having stuff in the fridge…like apples. I LOVE apples, especially grannies or rome, but I put them in the fridge and forget they’re there. I buy more. Eventually I find the first ones I bought, at the back of the fridge, shrunken, soft, ick. Toss those. Then I find the next – same thing. I buy only 2 at a time trying to stay on top of things, but….

  17. Amanda says:

    I somehow wound up with 3 huge containers of chili powder and two boxes of cornstarch. I never use cornstarch so I’m not really sure how they got in there! I have a two year old that likes to throw things in my basket when I’m not looking so maybe that explains it.

  18. Abiga/karen says:

    Tea fills one of the cabinets here. I love tea. I have herbal preparations from Tennesseefarmgirl at https://tnfarmgirl.christianagrarian.com/. So far I have tried the energy tea and the sleepytime. I bought raspberry leaf tea from morethatnalive.com when my daughter was pregnant and we wanted her to have an easy delivery. It is also good for women of all ages and supposed to have calcium. I have regular generic black tea and decaf black tea for iced tea besides some Salada Green tea for hot or cold use. I have Republic of Tea Red Tea and Ginger Peach Decaf I found in California at World Market when visiting my son and dil. Delicious cold or hot. Also in the cabinet is Celestial Seasonings Tuscany Orange Spice(have to order that from Amazon), Peach Apricot Honeybush, Wild Berry Zinger, Bigelow Pomegranate Pizazz, Organic Cold Care Winter Season Tea Just for Kids, and one sample of Stash Earl Grey Black Tea. I would have more like mint and other green tea flavors but I ran out of some because I drink tea so much. Excuse me but my water is ready for my morning tea. Blessings. :cattail:

  19. Connie says:

    Oatmeal! Oatmeal has taken over my cupboard. I even know why. It’s because it makes me feel healthy to buy it. It’s the eating it step that I seem to forget.

    I too have whole cloves and no ground cloves at all, but now that you have reminded me, I am going use them in a batch of mulled wine tonight!

  20. margie says:

    i’m bad about spices, especially the specific spices for a special dish. i really need to clean out my spice cabinet, and get some peppercorns. i made some italian wedding soup yesterday and didn’t have but a promise of pepper. i thought about your chickens and the noshow eggs while i was making the soup too..

  21. Kacey says:

    well, I just did a post on the stock up of cinnamon toast crunch that my husband keeps buying, even though the boys are gone.

    The best thing I ever did for the whole too many duplicate spices, better pick some up I might not have any, was the huge spice rack my husband made me for my kitchen. Now I can see at a glance what I have. Not to mention the spice rack itself is adorable.

  22. annie d. says:

    Small cans of tuna, the ones that come three to a package? I have 5. I don’t even like tuna.

  23. Melissa's Cozy Teacup says:

    Ooooo, that means you can make those scented fruit thingies where you stick the cloves in and tie with ribbon.
    As for the no egg thing, would it help to borrow one of the older, more experienced chickens from they lady where you got your chickens? Maybe, if your chickens saw her do her thing, they’d finally get the hint that they are not at a nice spa in the woods but actually need to do something here, like lay an egg! :chicken:

  24. Molly says:

    Garlic powder. I have 4 jars of garlic powder, at least three of which have made house moves. I hardly ever use garlic powder, and don’t really remember buying any of these jars. Oddly enough, I have no garlic salt, and I use recipes that call for that all the time. I just assume that I have garlic salt because who doesn’t have garlic salt and then I realize that I do not have garlic salt. That’s who doesn’t have garlic salt.

    You could make those orange/clove pomanders where you stick the cloves into the orange in decorative lines. They do smell awesome.

  25. Twigs says:

    I do the same thing…shuffle the spice to the back and end up buying another jar of it. My spice drawer is overflowing with cream of tartar and red pepper flakes. I keep telling myself I’m going to type in a list of what I do have into my PDA so I can refer to it at the grocery store. Oh another one I have multiple jars of is poultry seasoning.

  26. Pamela-ATL. says:

    My ground cloves are the one that gets shuffled to the back of the cabinet. I usually grind my own on a micro-plane.

    I have a 20 year old son still living at home, so not much in my pantry stays there too long. The other day I found a large family size empty can of Bush’s baked beans in the recycling bin. He ate the WHOLE can…what’s up with that?

  27. Mary says:

    I too had more whole cloves than ground cloves, so the other day when I was making apple butter, I stuck whole cloves in the coffee grinder and made my own powder! A little coarser than store bought, but still great and a whole lot stronger!

  28. Lisa L says:

    Do you have some oranges? I still remember sticking whole cloves in oranges in school for Christmas. Brings back memories.

  29. Claudia W. says:

    I have a truck load of Brown sugar. That is something I use occasionally and of course it is shoved to the back of the cupboard and I think that I am out. Do you have a recipe that calls for 43 cups of brown sugar???

  30. Claudia W. says:

    AndiK…You could send some of that Parmesan my way…My MD left our jar of it on the coffee table one day, because she never puts anything away. My dog’s had a nice lunch after that…an entire jar of Parmesan!!!!!

  31. Laura says:

    I live alone and have 5 boxes of cereal and no milk. That doesn’t seem quite right. Eat an orange and stick the peel, some cloves and a cinnamon stick in a small pan of water and put onto the stove on a low heat and let the winter scent go to work. You could also stick in some allspice (whole/slightly cracked) and that would be pleasant. My former landlady would knaw on whole cloves to ‘clean teeth and make breathe nice’. I never kissed her, so I will have to take her word 🙂
    A cheap way to get ground spices is to use a pestal and motar. It is something to keep the kids busy. :heart:

  32. Jessica says:

    MY room mates and I were making spaghetti once and i guess we all assumed that we would forget the garlic salt so i have ended up with all 3 things of garlic salt….

  33. sunnid755 says:

    chicken boullion. I sent my new dh to the store for poultry seasoning. He came back with boullion cubes. As I laughed, he went back and came in with crushed chicken boullion. I sat in the floor laughing and then went with him to show him poultry seasoning.

  34. Susan Flemming says:

    Poultry seasoning! Many, many years ago when we were first married I didn’t have enough poultry seasoning on turkey day. We were living in Germany at the time, so there was no making a quick trip to the store to get more. Now, whether I need it or not, in the week before Thanksgiving a container of poultry seasoning gets bought. Last year, as we were getting the stuffing ready, I said, “I hope we have enough poultry seasoning.”

    Dave searched the spice cupboard and three jars and one can of poultry seasoning later he declared, “I think we might just make it.” lol.

  35. IowaCowgirl says:

    Like Carolyn, I have a cinnamon problem…am always buying lots of the cheap ground ones and whole sticks. I make lots of apple crisp, apple pie, and cinnamon rolls, but envision those non-edible cinnamon/glue Christmas decorations that I never actually get made, hence the proliferation of cinnamon at my house!

    I love everyone’s suggestion to grind the whole cloves! duh why didn’t I think of that??

    Suzanne, your site is great. Come to Iowa.

  36. Donna says:

    ROFLOL…now this is something I can certainly identify with Suzanne!!! I do that exact same thing…and it always seems to be around Thanksgiving “oh no, I need Poultry seasoning..or spices for Pumpkin Pie”….and next think you know, I am nearly out of garlic powder that I use regularly, yet, have a whole shelf FULL of pumpkin pie spice or poultry seasoning. 16 jars of Cloves…or whatever. LOL Because after all, I can’t see all the way back up in there, when I shove it to the back, after I use it one time. LOL LOL LOL :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  37. Brandy says:

    For us it’s stick butter and chicken bullion. *G* Then again, I bake alot and the kids love to drink the chicken bullion. *G*

  38. Kathy In UT says:

    I have a lot of measuring cups & spoons. I can’t help it, I love them. I also have a colletion of rubber spatulas, whisks and ice cream scoops.

    Love your blog.

  39. maddie says:

    Coffee cups! I know, I know, it’s not a food item but I have a plethora of coffee cups. People give them to me. I pick them up different places. I even brought a whole box home from the office when they banned our own individual coffee cups for the “corporate branded” cups. Sheesh! People didn’t even pick up their fave cup and they were going to be tossed. One cannot let that happen, can one?

  40. Susan says:

    Salad Dressings of all flavors. I never use it on my salad so I don’t keep track of it!

  41. Estella says:

    I have 3 bottles of bay leaves!

  42. TeresaH says:

    I have an overload of cinnamon and garlic! LOL What a combination eh?

  43. Joy says:

    I have 4 cans of dill weed and some I harvested from my dad’s garden.

  44. Suzette says:

    I end up with duplicates of weird stuff. Like liquid smoke. And gumbo file. But, the champion is pumpkin pie spice. I have THREE of those! Each with about a tablespoon gone.

  45. Diane says:

    Powdered sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. I can never remember while at the store if I have any at home or not and buy more. At one time I had 4 boxes or bags of powdered sugar.

  46. maddie says:

    Oh, and hot sauce. Different brands, sizes of bottles, etc. One can’t have too much hot sauce, right? Different brands go with different foods!

  47. Tressa Nelson says:

    What can I make with:
    5 bags of ground flax seed (all different brands)
    4 bags of dark brown sugar
    3 large jars of cinnamon
    2 gallons of white vingegar

    and… drum roll, please…
    1 case of top ramen (chicken flavor)

  48. catslady says:

    I have so many things like that but the latest was this week. I buy packages of chilli and taco mix. I just checked my cupboard and I have a dozen taco mixes and only one chilli mix. So next time I go to the store I won’t remember and I’ll buy more taco mix lol.

  49. Kelly says:

    I also have many containers of poultry seasoning .
    Several packages of shredded coconut , that I cannot find dates on (does anyone know how to tell when coconut isn’t fresh ?)
    Three cans of expresso and you do not have enough space for me to list my tea inventory ! Caffeine anyone .
    Also cocoa and chocolate chips .
    Though, I am much better than I use to be at using odd ingredients up . Now I just google the ingredients I have on hand , to find new recipes .
    It really does help use things up .
    Hmmm………poultry seasoning , coconut , expresso , tea , cocoa, and chocolate chips might be a little interesting !!!

  50. SuzieQ says:

    Ground cinnamon…jars and jars and jars. My younger son, while visiting from Fl, was looking for cajun seasoning and asked me if I was expecting a run on cinnamon..I had been on a streak of making a cinnamon bread and every time I shopped I got another bottle…We should trade…cinnamon for cloves..

  51. Traci in GA says:

    Vinegar. ? Regular white vinegar, 2 bottles of apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, 2 bottles of basalmic vinegar (which I have finally figured out I don’t even like!)

  52. Olasz says:

    15 packets of whole black pepper? 400 g of paprica? 8 different kinds of flour (that bread I newer started to bake)? Makes you feel any better? 🙂 Hope it does :cattail:

  53. Krista says:

    LOL! I just cleaned out my spice cupboard. My problem is I buy spices from the bulk bins. Because then it’s nice and fresh and I won’t waste 1/2 a bottle of spice when I don’t use it again for 4 years, right? Well, that would be true if I would just LABEL those little baggies when I get them home. I tried sniffing them. Is it Oregano? Thyme? Italian mix? Could it be Paprika? Cayenne? Cajun? Do I want to risk it? In the bin they all went. I will start afresh, yet again.

  54. Granny Sue says:

    Oh boy. my husband opens every new jar of anything that comes in the house. So we have 3 open jars of peanut butter,three open containers of cottage cheese, 3 loaves of bread in use,4 open boxes of oatmeal. The only way I can curb him is to le everything run out before I buy more!

    Those cloves: you definitely need to orange pomanders, Suzanne. I have photos and instructions to make simple ones on my blog at https://grannysu.blogspot.com/2007/12/clove-orange-pomanders-christmas.html There are more complicated versions online but this is how my English mother taught us to do it.

  55. Krista says:

    Forgot to note a use for all your cloves. You need a few to make good apple cider. So start pressing apples. I think you have enough for a tanker truck of cider. (Don’t forget to add candied ginger!)

  56. Camille Choate says:

    Meat tenderizer. I have massive amounts of meat tenderizer. I don’t even tenderize meat…that’s what is so crazy about the whole thing. It’s like I am shopping at the grocery store and my buggy just veers over to the meat tenderizer and it screams buy me buy me buy me!!!

  57. Heather says:

    You can put some of the cloves and some lemon slices in your tea when it’s brewing and make spiced tea. It’s extra yummy!

  58. DarleneS says:

    That is one spice I don’t like either ground or whole.

  59. Laura Newton says:

    I”m with you except I have 5 small jars of tumeric??? It drives me crazy every time I look in my spice cupboard. I’m not sure why I bought them? Maybe for pickling?

  60. MalagaCove says:

    Why not make pomanders with them? I did this when I found some cheap lemons last winter. All the recipes I’ve ever seen say to use orris root powder, which is imaginary as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never seen it for sale, have you?

    Biggest problem I had with doing this was that it’s time consuming. Also, use an ice pick or skewer to predrill the holes where the cloves go. You can turn your kitchen excess into Christmas presents.

    Instructions can be found here:


    When we first moved to New England, I didn’t know a soul and lived at the end of a 2,000 foot driveway in the midst of a 12 acre piece. And, since I’m a city kid and had never lived so far out before, it was bizarre.

    I figured out one day that my “socialization” was apparently the supermarket. I’d come back from the market and went to put a box of cereal in our small closet pantry, and there was NO room.

    I had 2 shelves full of boxes of cereal!!! (For 2 people?)

    I started volunteering at the local library instead. It worked and I stopped having a cereal glut.


  61. bessfisher says:

    Just a quick note about the whole cloves.

    Clove tea is great for muscle pains, as they are a natural muscle relaxer.

    I take 2 Tablespoons of whole cloves and boil the in 4 cups of water for 30 minutes. (Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes). I love the taste of it, but even if I didn’t, it works so well for fibromyalgia!

    Just wanted to share!

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