With the weather changing, here at Cerines we’re looking for a change in the menu. It might not be soup weather just yet, but it’s that time of year now to take a quick inventory of your kitchen cupboards, pantry or wherever your keep your foodstuff. If you keep a pantry like we do, it’s a massive help on getting a handle of how much ingredients to have on hand, without wasting food by overbuying and having to throw it away. (If you’re not sure why you should be doing this, click here.)
Since the pantry is used primarily for larger food items or ones that have a significant shelf life, we store the more commonly-used dry foods in over-sized under-counter drawers. Since we chose to forgo the standard overhead or upper cabinets in the kitchen, we have to be mindful of the use of prime kitchen real estate. We have one whole draw dedicated to grains and pasta that are organized into glass containers. Their see-through covers allow us to quickly identify them and to replenish them accordingly.
While this all seems so very neat and tidy, therein lies the problem. How can you tell the difference between riso arborio used to make risotto and carolina rice? Polenta and semolina look identical. Pasta is easy to distinguish from one another in shape and size but, since cooking times vary, it boils down to chance.
Solution? Cut out the descriptive name on the cardboard box, including cooking times that you wouldn’t normally recall. I know spaghetti takes 8 minutes but I haven’t the faintest idea how long it takes to boil tortiglioni. Tucking in a little name that includes vital info is a simple and straightforward way to overcome this minor obstacle. You’ll never accidentally use bulgur wheat when you really should have been using couscous.
Tips for success:
•When storing sugar and salt, be sure these are kept in differently-shaped containers and far away from one another.
WORLDWIDE: small and large glass canisters with clear lid, ikea.com