Kitchen Spring Cleaning

Nothing feels quite as good as spring cleaning. While it may not seem like a top priority at the moment if you find yourself with couple of extra hours and the urge to purge, go for it!

This task was just completed when baking suddenly became a daily occurrence. As the yeast was trying to be proofed  and nothing happened, the expiration date was finally checked and it was five years old. Embarrassing? Slightly, but not enough to make one throw in the towel. It was the perfect kick start to review the pantry and realize some things were past their prime. No harm, no foul, just a part of the ebb and flow of cooking with the seasons.
 Spices are always a good place to start because old spices are no longer enhancers to a dish and flavor can fall flat. It is useful to keep those little jars for salad dressing to go or collecting fresh herbs at the end of the season to dry and store for future use.
Baking is usually a common next step because of all the dry ingredients than can render ineffective if not fresh within reason. Flour, now in short supply, it is hard to let go of, but if it has turned everything you make with it will have an unpleasant order or flavor. Baking soda, any kind of flax…the list goes on and on...if 2019 or older- toss it.
Nuts! This is a big one because overtime nuts’ flavors can taste rancid and again that flavor will go right into your dish. Toss! Dressings, sauces and anything else that was purchased long ago to make that Indian dish you never got to should go if it is well past its expiration date. Remember the expiration date is only a guide for peak flavor so if in question taste it! Take the time to look at beans, jarred vegetables, specialty pastas- you name it- you have the time to use what is in one’s pantry and be inventive- accept the challenge.
Once this task is completed you will feel lighter. You will no doubt know where the holes are in your larder are and may invent a new dish in the meantime. But at the end of the day feel blessed by all you have and consider not allowing it to go to waste again. Next, week we will look at how to spring clean your kitchen tools and rearrange them to become a more user-friendly kitchen! Stay happy!


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