It’s Foodie Tuesday
One of my friends will go so far as ensuring all her labels are facing forward, turned at a precise and identical angle. That level of organization escapes me. But I have come to understand that having a well organized pantry can go a long way to simplifying meal prep. And these days with so little time, saving ten minutes matters.
Six Tips to Keep your Pantry Organized
1. Go through your cupboards at least once a year (seasonally is preferable) to give it a good clean and take inventory of what exactly’s in there. It you haven’t touched it in a year, it’s very possible you won’t. Consider donating these unexpired canned goods to your neighbourhood food bank. Keep in mind that some things like spices, coffees and teas lose potency (and flavour) after awhile, while nuts, oils and marinades can go off. Hold off on buying huge quantities of these if you can.
2. Transfer dry goods to large airtight wide-mouthed containers. This not only preserves freshness (especially over the paper bag of flour or sugar), won’t tempt pests, but also makes your dry goods easier to access with your scoops and measuring cups. These sorts of containers are available in variety of styles and materials to suit every kitchen design concept and can add a bit of interest to your pantry, cupboards or open shelves.
3. Group like things together. By keeping baking supplies, snack foods, dried beans together, even if you’re not perfectly organized you’ll have a good inkling of where to look for an ingredient. We group things by geographic region too: the tamarind, soy and fish sauces, wasabi paste, benito flakes and miso are typically together; while the tomatillos, salsas and dried corn husks are on another shelf making it super simple to pull together some of our go-to meals.
4. Include a clipboard, paper and pen or better still a chalkboard in your pantry. Because it sucks when you don’t actually have the “It” ingredient for the dish you’re in the middle of preparing, keep a grocery list (or better still an inventory) going in the pantry.
5. Accessorize. If you’ve got a designated pantry room or closet use the space vertically by adding shelving. If you’re using a freestanding pantry, lazy susans, baskets and caddies can really help keep things neat and clean.
6. If you have a problem with grain moths, you’ll have to toss anything infested and do a thorough clean to ensure you’re clear. But to keep them from returning, or prevent an infestation (in addition to sealing everything) try taping whole dried bay leaves to the underside of your pantry shelves. The little buggies hate the things.