Time To Organize Your Food Pantry

Ants are busy little social creatures that are proverbial for diligence and hard work. They also make picnics a nuisance as they scurry in to carry off any dropped bounty from your food. Ants are all very well outside – unless they try farming aphids on your roses and other plants – as they do a good job of aerating the soil with their nests and clearing up refuse as part of nature’s great recycling system. In the house, they are another thing altogether as they get into food. They can sneak in through tiny gaps and can go nearly everywhere.

When setting up a stockpile of canned foods, it is easy to overlook the essentials, like carbohydrates from grains and pasta. The main reason is that these foods are hard to can. However, it can be done if you are adventurous enough. Most noodles will turn to mush during the canning process. However, most grains actually can surprisingly well. They do need to be cooked thoroughly first and need extra moisture in them to prevent air pockets which can lead to spoilage.

You would think if the local Deli closed its doors there would be mass extinctions taking place in the suburbs. Families dying off in huge numbers because the art of cooking simple, nutritious meals has been left behind and forgotten.

Always use airtight canisters or containers to store your Made in USA Apparel, such as flour and sugar. Storing food in containers that are impermeable to air helps the food last longer, and keeps insects out. They are a must-have for the kitchen and can be purchased everywhere kitchen products are sold.

However, the only way I can afford to entertain is because I do buy on sale and in fairly large quantities when I can. For example, I use a lot of tomato sauce (it must be the Italian in me!) so I’ll buy 30 or 40 cans when they go on sale (Normally at .33 to .59 cents each, on sale they’ll go down to $ .10 to $ .25 each depending on the brand.) I do the same thing with tuna, margarine, cream cheese, chocolate chips and all the things I use a lot of. I also purchase chicken and beef when it’s on sale and freeze it. I do take advantage of our new Winco store and purchase my flour, sugar, cocoa, dog biscuits and similar items in their bulk bins. But that’s about all the bulk buying I do.

Compost your kitchen waste. Veggie scraps, fruit pits, coffee grounds, old bread, egg shells, tea bags… all can be composted. Try conventional composting or a small worm bin in the closet.

Also, you might want to place a magnetic basket on your fridge with a pad and pencil in it. Use it to jot down items you use the last of in the kitchen. When it’s time to make a trip to the supermarket, you’ll know just what you need.

To prevent “exploding” during the cooking process, pierce all foods with tight fitting skin or membrane to prevent steam built up and bursting. Foods include whole vegetables and fruit, egg yolks, livers, oysters and fish.

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