Sensational Living®

August 2003
© 2003 by Bret S. Beall

Cleaning and Cooling: Freezer, Fridge & Pantry

August is still too hot in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere to cook, so continue your organization! Last month, I addressed the non-food, inorganic aspects of kitchen organizing, so let’s get those comestibles in order so that we’re all set to jump into a cooking crazy once the cool temperatures of autumn return. (By the way, please note that this month I encourage cleaning out the freezer and refrigerator … you can get organized AND cool at the same time).

Freezer: Freezers come in all shapes and sizes and models. I have experienced full-size stand-alone freezers, and I have been forced to deal with a little freezer box that hangs down in my refrigerator. For the last 20 or so years, I have had small freezer compartments atop my refrigerators; more than half of those years, I had freezers that required periodic defrosting. If you have one of those frozen nightmares, here are some tips; if you have an automatic defrosting freezer, just consider these guidelines for straightening, tidying and reorganizing your freezer:

Refrigerator: Now that you’ve reorganized your freezer, and may have had to shuffle the items in your refrigerator to accommodate the overflow, you might as well organize the fridge. As with the freezer (and other parts of your home), just remember some basic rules.

Pantry: I keep most of my dry and canned goods in my pantries. Some people like to keep flour bins for flour, sugar, etc., on their counters, but I find counter surfaces too valuable for this sort of storage, so I keep such bins on shelves in the pantry, and only take them out when I’m baking (and since that isn’t every day, that’s another reason not to keep such bins on the counter!). For pantries with deep shelves, items can be stacked along the sides, but leave the central items relatively low to allow easy viewing; in fact, I keep a small flashlight in my pantry to facilitate viewing those items in the deepest dark recesses. Let’s look at some other staples.

I hope that, after following these guidelines, your food products will be ship-shape, so that you can prepare any of the Simple! Sensible! Sensational!® recipes that I’ve offered in a flash. Your food storage areas will also be ready to accept the volume of fresh produce that needs to be processed in the autumn, as you’ll see next month! Eat well, live well!