Not Quite The Farmers Daughter

Not Quite The Farmers Daughter

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Kitchen Clean Out and Stock Up

Well the weekend is here!  So what are your plans for the weekend?  Most people are busy with football Friday night and Saturday college game day tailgates.  But by chance if your favorite team isn't playing or you just have that urge to purge....this weekend is as good as any to get started!

Twice a year, usually around the season change or time change, I clean out the house.  In the Spring it's looking around the house to de-clutter and clean out closets.  In the Fall it's all about switching out the Summer attire to the cool weather attire.  And of course, the BIG refrigerator clean out and pantry reorganization and winter restock.  I find that the months going into the holidays we tend to entertain a little more than normal.  Grilling out once the weather changes isn't always convenient, so I like to have ingredients ready for a yummy comfort meal for guests that show up for a visit.

Cleaning out the refrigerator is something that should be done, in my opinion, a couple times a year when it comes to a total removal of everything for inspection.  I do a weekly clean out for leftovers that may be done whether anyone wants to eat them or not.  Wiping down shelves and bins keeps your fridge smelling good and keeps any bacteria growth to a minimum.  It is also a great time to get rid of out dated condiments that might make you or someone else sick.  Doing this will help you manage your fridge space much better and you will find that it is easier to have space available when you need it.

There are many ways that you can stock your pantry.  One thing that I do when stocking my pantry is sit down and write out names of recipes that I make often and recipes that I like to make when I have pop in guests.  If you think this might work for you, write down the ingredients you will need and make sure you have enough in your pantry to make two of everything.  Here is a list of some staple items you might want to consider having on hand all the time.

Flours – unbleached white, wheat, rice, cake
Sugars – brown, cane, powdered, turbinado or demerara
Dry Pastas – a few different shapes and sizes
Grains – couscous, rice(white, brown and wild), barley, oats, cornmeal
Oils – olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, sesame oil
Vegetables – onions, potatoes, garlic
Canned/Jarred Tomatoes – sauce, diced, stewed, paste
Spreads – peanut, almond & hazelnut butters, jam, jelly
Natural Sweeteners – honey, maple syrup
Vinegars – balsamic, white, red wine, apple cider, rice wine
Specialty Sauces – hot sauce, Tabasco, oyster sauce, mirin, rice wine, soy sauce
Nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, coconut
Dried Fruit – raisins, apricots, dates, cherries, cranberries
Dried or Canned Beans- black, navy, pinto, kidney
Canned fish/seafood - tuna, salmon, clams, sardines, anchovies
Specialty Items – artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives
Herbs and Spices – oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, cumin, peppers and many more
Salts – kosher, sea salt, pickling salt, rock salt
Baking Ingredients – baking powder, baking soda, yeast, cream of tartar, chocolate
Extracts – vanilla, almond, lemon, peppermint
Beverages- coffee, tea, cocoa
Stock- boxed chicken, beef and vegetable broth

Some things to keep stocked in your freezer include any kind of cut up fresh veggies and fruit.  Great for quick soups or pies!

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