Following Lucinda’s pantry and plastics clearout, I have done one, too! While preparing the house to be painted, I stuffed everything from the kitchen counters into the cupboards in a big jumble and it needed to be set right.
I’ve been trying to minimize buying plastic for several years. I take lots of snacks to work. I can take a few glass containers but multiples get heavy for my backpack. I still use some plastic ones for things that don’t need to be heated. Like Lucinda, I plan to use them forever and not buy more. Sometimes I just wrap things in a cloth napkin. For leftovers at home, I use glass containers.
I have a really large, deep corner cupboard where all my food storage containers and baking equipment goes. I laugh because although Rom does half of the cooking, he has studiously avoided learning the locations of things in the cupboard. He always asks me where each thing is, and when I tell him, he doesn’t “see” them, so I have to retrieve them. I think it’s because the cupboard is so low and deep that he can’t bend and reach in there.
The top shelf has the food storage containers. When I accumulate too many, it gets very precarious to pull things out without a landslide!
These are the glass containers. The round ones at the back are our mainstays for leftovers. They are from Anchor Hocking and I do not recommend them, although they are constantly on sale. They have cheap, flat plastic lids which crack and warp no matter how carefully you treat them. I am sure the company just wants us to throw out the glass containers and keep buying more. Replacement lids are available at great cost (with shipping), but only the same type. The company has since made new lids (shown in photo) and although they are harder to clean, they are infinitely better. These containers cost more and are on sale less often. Anchor also makes the rectangular glass containers with the green lids which I love – great for storing a couple of servings of lasagna, or even a meal-sized salad. On impulse, I bought a batter bowl with lid, but since I only use it for pancake batter and I only make pancakes about 3 times a year, I’m not keeping it. I should know better than to buy kitchen unitaskers! I have two Corning French White glass dishes which I don’t use for storage because they are too small for anything, and the lids stain easily so tomato and curry are out of the question. Finally, I have an endlessly reproducing number of canning jars. I have bought them by the dozen for canning tomatoes and jelly (not recently) and also receive lots when family members give me nice things like jam and pickles. However, since they are leak-proof, I have taken to using them for everything from yogurt to salad dressing. I have boxes of canning jars stored away elsewhere for when the preserving bug hits me again.
Here’s what’s left of our plastic containers. The large ones can hold two sandwiches or bagels, or I use them for cut oranges and grapes for a morning snack. The tiny ones I use for things like bringing a bit of butter or jam to work.
This is the odd lot! The large container is technically a celery keeper. It really does keep cut celery fresh for a long time. I use it as a keeper for all sorts of greens, like washed romaine lettuce. The screen at the bottom allows moisture to collect away from the food. The round thing on the left may be familiar to people of my generation. It was called a “Patty Stacker” and was meant to form hamburgers of uniform size. Now used for veggie burgers. The round thing on the right is a sprouter which has yet to see any use, but I do love sprouts and plan to start some any time now! Why do I keep a Bulk Barn container? I sometimes buy peanut butter or molasses there, so I bring the container back and reuse it. They are not happy to give you the tare weights of your own containers. Last but not least, I always have a supply of maple syrup, homemade by my brother, and it is easy to over-pour from the jar so I funnel some into the mini-maple bottle and use it for serving!
Next is the array of drinks containers. I have two Thermos bottles for coffee. The metal one is very light so I make coffee and take it to work every day. The other one keeps the coffee hotter but it is bulky. When family comes for dinner, I make an extra pot of coffee and store it in that one so we don’t run out (we are all big coffee drinkers!) There are two smaller Thermos containers which are meant for hot foods. I don’t need those since Rom and I both have microwaves at work. You will spot 5 water bottles. The Contigo ones on the far left are genius. They are 100% spill-proof. They were sold in sets of 3 so there is one for my workouts, one for the car, and one for Rom. I bring the giant one (1700 ml) to work during the summer when I’m trying to be good and drink lots of water. During the scare over BPA water bottles, we got rid of any old plastic ones and bought two metal ones. Every metal water bottle I’ve tried has a plastic sipping spout and they all have a chemical taste which never goes away. They are not spill-proof, either. They’re leaving us!
I have gone through endless numbers of travel mugs. You’ll see I have 4 plastic ones which I don’t use any more. It doesn’t seem like hot drinks in plastic mugs is a good idea. However, I have a sentimental attachment to the vintage Tim Horton’s mugs (red and white) which were ubiquitous throughout Canada until the mid-2000s. Maybe I will sell them on Kijiji 🙂 Once again, the spill-proof Contigo brand of metal travel mug is brilliant, and the recent ones are even easier to clean.
Onwards to the baking stuff. On the bottom shelf of the cupboard, I store these things. At the back of the photo, you can just about see a metal file sorter which I use for standing up cooling racks and cutting boards and so on. Going from the back to the front of the picture, there are 2 ice cube trays, 4 cooling racks, 2 muffin pans, 2 Coring French white casserole dishes (nested), a pizza stone (used often – love it), 4 loaf pans (from bread baking days), a Bundt pan I had to have and has never been used (label still on), a spring-form pan, 2 square and 2 round layer cake pans, a small cutting board used only as a cheese board, a colander, and three serving platters.
After going through everything, these are the items I’m not keeping. The only things not shown in previous photos are an old pizza pan, a lid for a dish I no longer have, and a couple of foil pie plates.
Everything fits fine back onto the lower shelf. In fact, there is even room for the olive oil and a few bottles of wine!
The top shelf looks much better now. There was enough space at the back to put my pedestal cake plate and my trifle bowl (not shown), because you know, they are indispensable!
Have you had a clear-out lately?
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