To Cook is To Love: A Foodies Journal

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By: John Verlinden

Spring Cleaning: Getting your food house in order

In with the new, out with the old: we wade into overstuffed closets, review what’s been stashed under beds and behind the couch, and venture into dark corners of basements, garages and storage spaces.

We’re here to take inventory, take names and take action. Just as nature sheds its drab brown winter wardrobe in favor of new green growth and lots of color, we purge the things from our private spaces that we’ve outgrown and grown tired of to make room for what is new and improved in our lives.

Don’t forget the kitchen! it’s also time to take stock of your food stocks. And, when done, you’ll discover that you do have enough cabinet space after all and that you really don’t need a bigger refrigerator. Best of all, you’ll find forgotten things – a tasty chunk of vintage cheese, three boxes of pasta, two unopened jars of pickles and that piece of delicious cake you froze last fall.

Begin by taking off all your clothes and taking everything out of your cabinets, refrigerator and freezer. (Okay, you don’t really have to do the clothes part; I’m just looking for ways to jazz up a tedious job). Now, trust your senses as you consider each item. Your sense of sight — If it’s black, unless it’s caviar, it’s probably time to throw it out. Green? Okay for fresh broccoli, but if it’s ground beef, it goes. Your sense of smell – if it smells funky; it is!

Get rid of it! Your sense of touch – mushy, squishy, slimy – you know what to do. Your sense of time — expiration dates from the 20th century – out. If you’ve had an item for a year and haven’t used it, you’re probably not going to – let it go. (this same rule applies to dishes, kitchen tools and small appliances). Your common sense – rusty or swollen cans? Out! And, if you’re just not sure and can’t decide – out. Finally, your sense of humor — don’t make it a chore, have some fun with it.

Have questions? Need a recipe? Want to suggest a topic? Contact me: john@muchogusto.com or www.muchogusto.com.

Until next time – ¡Mucho Gusto!,¡Muchas Gracias! y ¡Buen Provecho!