Saturday, October 5, 2013

Improving Kitchen Habits : The Refrigerator

Ever since I've taken the challenge to be a better home cook, I've come to realise that it's always going to be more than just washing the kuali and hanging it up. It involves planning, organising and re-organising, improving storage practices and you-name-it.

More recently, I've been showing extra love towards my refrigerator which is now neater than before.

"You don't have to put that in the fridge, you know", I tell myself regularly these days.

I get very carried away with chilling everything. I think of it as a way to preserve food. My little fridge has been subject to great abuse, often unnecessarily overstuffed. You can say that it's a jungle in there!

Any one person can take several minutes to wade through bottles of condiments and leftovers just to get to a box of milk.

This, listed below, is how I've taken things up a notch in my kitchen. I'm still testing out a lot of stuff as I go along but I've managed to trim some items off the fridge list.

1. Fresh fruits and vegetables 
I no longer store apples, oranges, tomatoes into the fridge. I also leave mangoes out and pop them in only once it's ripe and ready to be eaten. Melons are okay left outside.

I keep track of fresh produce with a conscious effort not to buy too much these days, preferring to stick to the concept of "buy less, shop often". This means that I will buy only what I need and not hoard for convenience sake...unless it's shower gel. Well, that's a different story altogether.

2. Condiments
Chili sauce, tomato ketchup and various seasonings used to hog up a lot of space. I've discovered that even after opening, it lasts at room temperature for months as long as it's kept clean - no used spoons or leaving smudges of sauces around the cover.

Reading labels beyond the ingredients list and expiry date help. The fine print says, "NO refrigeration required". Hah! Used to put these in the fridge too. Who knew.. *shrugs*

3. A herb garden

My latest project, still a work-in-progress, is a mini herb garden. This means that I will no longer be buying fresh herbs. That'll definitely leave more space in the refrigerator.

I'll cut a few stalks from the garden, celebrity-chef style, whenever I need to use some. Coriander and spring onions top my list. It's the most often used herb in my household.

These are the three major changes I've made or am making to improve how I manage my fridge. Cheer me on if you don't mind. I need all the hip hip hoorays I can get to stay on course. Bad habits die hard.

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  1. Great post, Sharon - I have to do the same thing occasionally, go through the fridge and work out what could go elsewhere etc. Plus organising the shelves so I know what's where... that all goes to hell in a hand basket when I go shopping though and have to wedge stuff in ;-)

    1. Thanks, Abbe. I just got home from a bit of shopping and can't believe that I threw the melon into the fridge ....again. Just like that. I have got to stop! Lol! ^.^

  2. Interesting post, Sharon. Buy less, shop often is something that I tell myself too. If only we could actually do about what we think of doing!! Good luck with your mini herb garden!

    1. It's so easy to slip into old ways of doing things. Thanks for the motivation ^.^


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