Sunday, September 12, 2010
reorganizing the pantry
Summer is all but over and Fall is just around the corner. At this time of year I like to start cleaning out my clothes closet for the change in seasons. I also go through my pantry so that I can re-organize it.
There are two reasons that I do this. The first is that things just get messy. With various different people putting things away the organization slowly dwindles down to nil; finding what you're looking for becomes a challenge. Especially in my pantry where there is a side "wing" making some things harder to see.
The other reason is that I like to make note of my ingredients, see if I need to replenish anything, and make sure that I am using what I have on hand. Beans and other dry goods are best if used within a year, I find that beyond that they start to get "old" and may not cook well.
I also like to take this time to check my stock of dehydrated ingredients, tomatoes, peppers, other vegetables, and fruit, so that I can take advantage of the summer bounty if I need more. My herb garden isn't producing in huge quantities yet, but in past years I've also dehydrated herbs to use during the year. This is a great way to know we are getting organic, pesticide-free foods that we can use during the upcoming year.
If your pantry is looking a little disorganized, consider taking some time (it doesn't usually take very long) to re-arrange the contents so that you can find things easily. This would also be a perfect time to start pruning your pantry of non-food ingredients such as HFCS, BHT and TBHQ. Knowing what you have on hand will help you reduce overbuying such as when you buy 3 jars of olives because you can't find the 2 jars that are already there. It will also help you better plan meals for the upcoming busy Fall season.