Photo Courtesy of la fatina on flickr, under the Creative Commons license.
As I said on Monday, one of my Domestic Resolutions for 2009 is to clean out and organize our unruly kitchen cabinets. So imagine my fortune to see that Mark Bittman wrote a whole article on this very subject yesterday!
Bittman has a number of suggestions for cleaning out your cabinets. But how realistic are they for a time-strapped blogger? Let’s see, shall we?
Suggestion: Throw out Packaged bread crumbs or croutons and make your own.
I really don’t use breadcrumbs regularly, so I don’t see the point of making my own. I will make my own fresh bread crumbs, but I make those on an as-needed basis.
Suggestion: Throw out your canned stock and bouillon cubes, and make your own stock instead.
Um, so I’ve tried to do the whole “make your own stock and freeze it” thing, and I’ve done it once or twice. But when I make stock it means I can’t leave the house all day because I don’t want to leave the stove on unattended, and it takes forever (forever!) to defrost the stock when Ineed it. A nice suggestion, but I think I’ll still use boxes of stock from the grocery store (Kitchen Basics is my preferred brand).
Suggestion: Throw out your spray oil. Use regular olive oil instead.
I don’t have spray oil.
Suggestion: Throw out your bottles salad dressing and marinades. Make your ow instead.
I always just make my own salad dressings, which is pretty rare these days since Wonktheplank is not a salad dressing fan. Ditto for marinades. Although I will admit to having a bottle enchilada sauce in the fridge.
Suggestion: Throw out your bottled lemon juice. Buy lemons instead.
I always use fresh lemons! Although Wonktheplank gets mad at me when I let them go bad (which is more often that I’d like to admit).
Suggestion: Throw out bottled spices more than a year old. Replace with new spices.
I know that I’m supposed to do this, but I can’t afford to replace all my bottled spices every year.
Suggestion: Throw out your dried basil and parlsey. Get fresh parsley instead.
I love fresh basil, but I don’t use fresh parsley that much. Maybe I’ll try this one.
Suggestion: Throw out your canned beans, and use dried beans instead.
I try to do this already, but there are times when you really don’t have the time to soak beans overnight (and the “quick soak” has never worked for me).
Suggestion: Throw out your imitation vanilla. Use vanilla beans instead.
People use imitation vanilla?
Suggestion: Throw out your pre-grated imitation Parmesan. Use real Parmigiano-Reggiano instead.
We have the pre-grated stuff for pasta emergencies, but unless it’s absolutely necessary, we always use the real stuff.
Suggestion: Throw out your canned peas. Use frozen instead.
I’ve never eaten a canned pea that I know of. I actually never make peas because I thought Wonktheplank didn’t like them, but I recently found out that he does. Maybe frozen peas will be added to our weeknight menus.
Suggestion: Throw out your canned tomato paste. Get tomato paste in a tube instead.
I never seem to have tomato paste in stock in either form. But maybe I’ll pick up a tube of paste the next time I make tomato sauce.
Suggestion: Throw out your pre-made pie crust. Make a graham cracker crust instead.
Is pie crust all that hard to make? Once you’ve done it a couple of times I think it’s a snap. I’d rather just make some extra dough the next time I make a pie crust and stick it in the freezer.
Suggestion: Throw out your cheap balsamic and flavored vinegars. Get sherry vinegar instead.
My God, I have lots of cheap vinegar in the house, but I’d rather use them up than throw them out. I’ve never tried sherry vinegar—maybe now is the time.
Suggestion: Throw out your minute rice and boil-in-a-bag grains. Buy real grains.
We don’t have any of this stuff.
Suggestion: Throw out your pancake syrup. Get real maple syrup instead.
Fake syrup was a sacrilege in my house growing up. I can’t imagine not having the real thing.
So there you go. A lot of these don’t apply to me (canned peas, minute rice), or just aren’t feasible (throwing out all my bottled spices). But I may try to pick up a tube of tomato paste or a bottle of sherry vinegar the next time I’m at the market.