Weekend Round Up: 7 April 2013

paint roundupWe are moving next month and now I have two new food waste related goals. First, I  want empty the current kitchen without wasting any food. Second, I want to find ways to make sure the next kitchen becomes a “Zero-Waste Kitchen”. It seems the key to success is better planning. Here is the round-up of what I learned:

Tips on wasting less in the kitchen

The Nourishing Gourmet recently published 7 waste-reducing tips on her website. These are more conceptual tips with one real exception–date your leftovers. I mean this is two ways. First, she recommends writing the date on all leftover containers. And, she recommends including a leftover day/night in your week to clean out the bits and ends of the week’s meals. Dating leftovers? Yes, rebound relationships do work, after all.

For more practical ideas, look at the Reader’s Digest slide deck. This presentation has over 13 tips for wasting less food in the kitchen, many of which are practical, easy, and clever. For example, did you know that you can regrow scallions? All you need to do is cut the ends, drop them in glass with water, and give them some sunlight. They also recommend keeping lettuce in brown paper bags, using citrus peels to ward off ants and mosquitos, and re-crisping celery with potato slices or lemon juice.

The Green Cycler also had general tips for creating a zero waste kitchen, but the one Jean-Francois likes best: Get A Chicken – a hen to eat food scraps, provide eggs, and terrorize our little cats.

And how do you set up a kitchen for zero waste?

This answer is going to be harder to find, but I fell in love with one site that I am going to lose hours on. The Kitchn website has a whole section with ideas for setting up your kitchen. True, the goal there is for ease of use, but a number of these ideas are inspiring for a girl with a container fetish.

If clutter is your challenge, you may want to check out Sue Rasmussen’s website. She provides tips for de-cluttering each activity that takes place in a kitchen.

And finally, Real Simple has approaches to organizing your kitchen based on the type of chef that you are (daily, gourmet, Sunday-only…).

But what about all those jars of spices?

This is the real issue in my chef’s (a.k.a. Jean-Francois’) kitchen. He is search challenged when it comes to looking for ingredients on the spice shelf. We’d love a solution that keeps our spices out of the light, but easy to find. If anyone can point us to good ideas, I will send Jean-Francois to your home to cook you dinner.

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14 thoughts on “Weekend Round Up: 7 April 2013

  1. Not sure if this would help but my mum has loads of spice jars and she keeps them in a tupperware box without the lid on and keeps in the cupboard (or could also be in a drawer) so the whole lot can easily be taken out at once when needed rather than having to rummage the shelf…

  2. Such good information always when I come here. Good luck on the move. We too are moving, albeit temporary.

    Scallions, leeks, beets…just about any tuber or bulb will regrow with a bit of attention. Rooting carrot tops and potatoes is a favorite silence subject for teachers — real hands-on food growing for kids! It’s what we do here. I’ve got some repurposed leeks in the ground almost ready to use again, with zero work involved.

    • So glad you find it useful.

      I did not know that any tuber could be regroup,thanks for sharing new information. Unfortunately, as apartment dwellers,we do not have the space for growing beets and leeks. I was thrilled just to have a nice way to have green onions on demand for pennies.

      Thanks for the move support, too. Where are your roots at the moment?

      • We’re having to uproot for a home remodel, 7 years in the making. New kitchen and another room — a classroom — will settle us in nicely near the coast of Texas. If only we had some mountains…

        A convenient apartment opening a mile down he road sealed the deal. Kids are excited about having a pool for the summer. I’m excited about tearing out a dysfunctional kitchen space!

        BTW, I plan on experimenting with an edible wicking garden on the balcony. Southern exposure…perfect. Can’t keep my hands out of the dirt.

      • Oh…when you get beets from the grocer, cut the tops off, careful to leave a bit of the root and center leaves. In time, a whole new bulb will grow. While you wait for it, greens can be pinched off to flavor fresh salads. Great salty taste.

    • I was pretty giddy about a number of the ideas I found last week–like using tape to help lemons can survive toothpick prick juice extraction. It is good to know that you also found some nice ideas.

      I do not know why my husband has such a hard time finding things. His eyes go glassy as he stands before an open fridge or pantry door. Eventually, he asks me, “Do you know where the XXX is? I can’t find it.” And I have to get up and move things, obtain XXX and glare at him. Usually in that order. He just can’t seem to find a strategy for finding things.

      But he did ask me to find a way to help with spices, so he is looking. We’ve tried racks and tiered shelving, but nothing really works for him.

      I am toying with giving our spice jars coloured lids, that can be arranged according to cuisine type. Ginger, Nutmeg, and cinnamon will be a challenge since they are so widely used, but maybe it will help.

      Or I can just keep teasing my hubby about one of his few mostly cute quirks….

  3. How did the move go? Ours is behind us now, but still sorting through the mucho kitchen stuff that doesn’t make the “bring it” or “store it” category. Hopefully there will be a home for most of it that is not the landfill. Walls come down next week!

    • Move is over! The kitchen is the new place is older and smaller–forcing some much needed discipline on us both. But with two Farmers’ Markets within biking distance, we are happy for the new routine. We are both spending more time outside, exploring (less time facing computer screens) our new digs.

      Would love to hear about all the upgrades you are adding to the kitchen. Our next home is going to be one we purchase, and I’d like to make sure it has a kitchen that we will never want to leave. And one that produces absolutely no food waste!

      • Yeah! I’m sure you’re up for the challenge. Our apartment kitchen is even worse than our home one. The new kitchen can’t come soon enough!

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