Much like taking care of your refrigerator during the holidays, you must take care of your pantry, too. There is nothing worse than reaching for the can of cranberry sauce you thought was good only to discover it is dated 2008, or spilling an entire bag of flour all over the floor. Here is how you can create your own holiday pantry masterplan to keep everything neat and tidy this season:
1) Write expiration dates on the tops of cans with a permanent marker. This will eliminate the need for you to turn a can all over looking for the little dotted date. It will also force you to toss anything that is expired!
2) Roll and clip all of your bags of flour, sugar and noodles with tight kitchen clips. Simply rolling down the tops of bags is not enough, you need to seal everything in case of spills.
3) Wipe down your pantry shelves with an organic cleaner or even just a heavily diluted solution of vinegar and water. This will kill germs without harming the smell or taste of your food.
4) Keep the soon-to-expire foods up front to make sure you use them up first.
5) Never store cleaning chemicals in the same space as your food, especially if a food container is open. This will help people avoid confusion if they reach into your pantry for a quick pinch of salt, and will eliminate the possibility of any chemical spills in your food.
istock photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/236758