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Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I organized my pantry the other day. Every once in a while it's nice to go through things, see what's there, and reorganize it.
I organize foods according to category - soups, vegetables, fruits, spices and condiments, canned meat, dessert/baking ingredients, crackers, cookies, drinks, etc.
Canned vegetables and sauces (spaghetti, tomato, etc.) go according to color to make it easy to find what I need. And I put the newest items in the back and the oldest items in the front. There were several items that were either outdated or I knew I would never use, so out they'll go.
Things I use least often go in less accessible places, while those with a higher turnover rate are in more accessible places.
I also identified problem areas which keep my pantry from staying nice. One is empty canning jars. I make apple butter every year, and when we finish a jar, it doesn't have a home. Their old home in the pantry got used for something else, creating the mess. I keep my boxes of canning jars in the garage, but I don't want to have to take them out there one by one, get the box down, etc. each time. So I created a new home for them, so they won't be accumulating haphazardly, being moved from place to place.
That's probably way more information than you ever wanted to know about my canning jars! :) But those problem areas are what create the chaos - things without a home.
While we're off this week, I've made it my goal to try to use up older things in my freezer and pantry rather than go to the grocery store.
So we've had pumpkin that I had cooked, pureed, and froze around Halloween. I usually use it for pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie, but it's good just heated up. Or you can sprinkle a little brown sugar on it.
I'm going to use some frozen fruit along with some dried fruit to make fruit compote. We're going to have pork chops tomorrow and the fruit compote will go nicely with it.
When I've used up a few more things, I'll dig down to the bottom of the freezer and see what's there. Then I'll decide what to keep and what to toss. I try to place those things that are extras in the bottom of the freezer - tea, coffee and other things that don't go bad easily.
It's refreshing to clear things out and take stock of what I have! And fun to see how long we can eat balanced meals without having to go grocery shopping! :)
What do you have in your pantry? Email subscribers comment here.
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