From Food52, we get this is a very comprehensive list of
Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we’re sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. Today, we’re talking about smart storage.
We’ve given you Our Weekly Grocery List; now, we’ll show you how to stock your larder. Part of treating ingredients correctly is knowing the best places to store them, and for how long. We’re tackling several storage myths and general confusions, starting with the counter and the pantry. We’ll be covering the rest of the kitchen next week.
Garlic, onions, and shallots: These alliums can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to two weeks; in the fridge, they will turn mealy and lose much of their flavor.
Tomatoes, potatoes, and winter squash: Although it may seem blasphemous to keep vegetables out of the refrigerator, trust us (and the USDA): these should be kept in a cool, dry place instead. (Plus, they make beautiful decorations.)
Bananas, citrus, and melons: Like the vegetables listed above, these fruits are best left on the counter. Once cut, they should be relegated to the refrigerator; otherwise, they will begin to dry out.
Bread: To slow down retrogradation — the process in which the starch molecules in bread crystallize – Cook’s Illustrated says to store bread at room temperature for up to 2 days, either tightly-wrapped in foil or in a Ziploc bag to minimize moisture loss. After 2 days, wrap the bread in foil, place in a freezer bag, and store it in the freezer. And to revive crusty bread that’s been stored for more than a day, just pop it into the oven for a few minutes.
Cakes and pies: According to pastry chef Stella Parks, both frosted and un-frosted whole cakes will last for about a week when tightly wrapped in plastic. Cut cakes have a shorter shelf life, around 3 to 4 days. Fruit pies can be kept on the countertop for up to 2 days; after this, move them to the refrigerator.
Dry goods: Generally, dry goods can be stored for up to 6 months (longer if you take good care of them), according to scientists at Colorado State University. Once a package is open, it’s best to move it to an air-tight container; this will ensure freshness and keep your pantry cleaner to boot.
Nuts: Store your nuts in air-tight containers if possible; these allow them to maintain the right level of moisture. For ultimate freshness, consider storing them with their shells on.
Spices: As the LA Times tells us, heat, light, air, and humidity are all spices’ enemies; your spices should live in your pantry. Whole spices last much longer than crushed or ground; these can be kept for up to 2 years, while ground spices should be refreshed every 6 months. Airtight tins or small spice jars are the best mode of storage.
We’ve shown you what to store on your counter and in your pantry – now, we’re taking you to the refrigerator and freezer. Because not all parts are created equal, we’ll show you where — and for how long — your goods will last. Got any helpful storage tips or questions? Leave them in the comments section!
Dairy products: According to Cooks Illustrated, milk, cream, yogurt, and other dairy products are best stored on the upper shelves of your refrigerator; the temperature there is the most constant, so they’ll keep longer.
Eggs: Some refrigerators urge you to put your eggs on the inside of their door. Don’t give in — the door is the warmest part of the refrigerator. Eggs are happiest in their cartons on a shelf. Don’t try to be European and store your eggs outside the refrigerator; eggs in the United States, unlike in Europe, are washed before sale so they lose their protective outer layer.
Mushrooms: According to our friends at the Kitchn, commercial mushrooms (the ones you buy at the grocery store) are best left in their original packaging. Once you open it, wrap the whole package in plastic wrap. Wild mushrooms are best kept in a paper bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer.
Vegetables: All vegetables, minus the ones relegated to the countertop, are best stored in perforated plastic bags in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. To make sure they don’t decompose prematurely, keep them away from ethylene-producing fruits: apples, stone fruits, mangoes, passion fruit, pears, and kiwis.
Fruit: Fruit, with the exception of melons, citrus, and bananas, should be stored in the refrigerator in a separate drawer from the vegetables. Do not wash your fruit until you are ready to eat it; the excess water quickens decomposition. Although whole lemons are best left out on the counter, lemons that have been zested — but not juiced — can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator.
Cheese: According to Formaticum’s blog, cheese should be wrapped in porous material for storage; cheese paper is the best, but waxed paper or parchment paper will also do the trick. Before storing, do a “face clean” of each cheese: scrape the surface with a non-serrated knife to remove any excess oil that may have “sweat out” at room temperature. Each cheese should be wrapped separately and marked with the name and date of purchase. Avoid plastic wrap at all costs — as scientiest Harold McGee says in his book On Food and Cooking, the cheese can absorb the flavors and chemicals from the plastic. There’s nothing worse than an expensive piece of cheese that reeks of plastic or has gone bad, so storing it correctly is worth that extra effort. For a handy how-to, check out this article from Serious Eats.
Eggs in the door! Shame on us. Do as we say, not as we do.
Meat: Meat is best stored in the coldest section of the refrigerator: the bottom. Removing the retail packaging and rewrapping the meat in foil can extend its shelf life, but you should try to consume refrigerated meat within 4 days of purchase.
Fish: Before refrigerating a piece of fish, dry it completely and wrap it in waxed paper. It will usually keep in the coldest part of your fridge for up to 2 days, but make sure to check the smell before you cook it; if it smells too fishy or has an off color, throw it out. For bonus points: store wrapped fish on a bed of ice (heaped in a bowl or shallow dish) in the fridge, and change as needed, à la Cooks Illustrated
Pies: According to Betty Crocker, pies containing eggs (custard or cream-based pies) should be stored loosely covered in the refrigerator.
Yeast: While yeast can last in the pantry, it’s best stored in the refrigerator (or freezer, for long-term); once exposed to heat and light, it’s easily killed.
Herbs: According to FOOD52-er RobertaJ on this Hotline thread, basil, parsley, cilantro, and other leafy, water-based herbs should be treated like flowers: take off any twisty ties, trim a small amount off the stem ends, and plop the bunch into a tall glass of water. Cover the herbs loosely with a plastic bag, and they’ll stay fresh for at least a week. Hardier, oil-based herbs like thyme and rosemary can be wrapped in a damp paper towel and layered into plastic bags. Hotline MVP anitalectric has a special tip for basil: wash, dry, and stem the basil when you get home from the market, and keep the leaves in a rolled-down plastic bag. They’ll stay fresh for 5 days.
Yeast likes to hang out in the fridge. Amanda also likes to keep “sensitive” oils in there.
Meat: Freezing uncooked meat in its original packaging is the best way to keep it for long periods of time. According to the USDA, the maximum recommended freezer storage time for beef and lamb is 6 months; for veal, pork, and poultry, 4 months; and for seasoned sausage, 2 months.
Fish: Fish can last in the freezer, according to the Perdue University Center for Animal Sciences, for up to 6 months; fattier fish, however, should not be frozen for over 3 months. For the best results, use the ice-glaze method provided by the National Center for Home Food Preservation: place the unwrapped fish in the freezer until completely frozen, dip the fish in near-freezing ice water, and place it back in the freezer to harden. Continue with this process until a uniform cover of ice is formed, then place the fish in a freezer bag for storage. As an alternative,according to the FDA you can simply wrap your fish tightly in plastic, foil, or moisture-proof paper before freezing.
Pies and pie crusts: You can freeze crusts and whole pies, baked or unbaked. According to Betty Crocker, an unbaked crust will keep for 2 months; an unbaked pie for 3 months; and a baked crust or pie for 4 months.
Cake: Un-cut, un-frosted cakes can be wrapped first in plastic wrap, then tin foil, and stored in the freezer for several months. To thaw, let the rounds spend a night in the refrigerator; cake needs to thaw slowly so that it can reabsorb its moisture.
Stock: Freeze stock in ice cube trays or muffin tins, then store the cubes/chunks in a freezer bag. That way, you can access a small amount of stock whenever a recipe calls for it. To save even more space, reduce the stock by 50 percent before you freeze it, then add water when you defrost it. According to Martha Stewart Living, frozen stock will last up to 2 months. You can also store leftover wine in the same manner and use as needed.
Coffee: Cook’s Illustrated says the freezer is the best place to store ground coffee beans; they keep longer, and will retain thier well-rounded, roasted flavor.
Citrus Zest: Here’s a tip from the smart folks at The Kitchn: any time you use a lemon, lime, grapefruit, or orange, take a few minutes to zest it. You can store the zest in the freezer in plastic bags for each fruit — or if you’re feeling fancy, in individual, plastic-wrapped portions.
This is interesting – how does your family compare? I was definitely surprised by the very first 10% on the upper left graphic!!
What Does Today’s Wireless Family Look Like?
The wireless family is on the rise. With the plethora of gadgets released each year, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a family member without a mobile device. Children receive their first cellphones at earlier ages, and parents who grew up sans Internet are learning to navigate the web.
What exactly does today’s wireless family look like? According to CTIA, The Wireless Association, 70% of children under 12 have used a mobile device, and more than half of kids age 8 to 12 have a cellphone. As the modern family introduces tech earlier on, parents are trying to close the gap between the perception of what they think their kids do online and what really goes on. Check out the infographic, below, for more.
A majority of parents (86%) feel their children are safe online, and an overwhelming 91% think they know what their teens are up to on the Internet. CTIA put together a list of tips for parents to ensure their kids are using cellphones responsibly, as well as some statistics on how technology affects education at home and in school.
Infographic courtesy of CTIA-The Wireless Association.
OK – it is just a weather app (I have tons), but this one is gorgeous! Take a look at the details from Lifehacker:
It might be the changing of the seasons and the yearning for warmer days and longer nights but why is it that we always end up talking about the weather? For most of us, it dictates a lot of our day. Aren’t you constantly checking the weather on your phone or is it just me?
Now, there’s definitely a glut of weather apps available and most of them you can write off but Yahoo! is releasing its own weather app today and it’s one of, if not, the prettiest weather apps around. With the help of photographers and the Flickr community, Yahoo! Weather screams simplicity. Just look at it.
By pulling in your exact coordinates, the time of day and general weather conditions, Yahoo! Weather selects and displays an appropriate image taken in your town to match the forecast. So at night, you’ll see night time shots and so on. And by scrolling up, you have access to an hourly forecast, five day forecast, the ever important “feels like,” wind and pressure, chance of precipitation and it’ll even tell you when the sun is rising and setting. There’s also a map mode that offers a wider area of coverage in case you’re traveling.
And by turning your iPhone horizontal, the app goes into full display mode with just images from your city of choice.
Yahoo! Weather IS available starting today for iPhone.
Here is an interesting site. Hard to categorize it, but it is fun and interesting! I find it fascinating!
As an added bonus I have included the “Best of Quora – 2010-2012” as a pdf attachment.
Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge.
Quora is your best source of knowledge. Ask any question, get real answers from people with first hand experience, and blog about what you know.
I’ve been a big fan of Wolfram Alpha since the beginning. It is good geeky stuff. Here are some interesting tips to get you started with it – from How-To Geek:
10 Amazing Uses for Wolfram Alpha
You may have heard of Wolfram Alpha, which is a “computational knowledge engine.” That makes it sound a bit scary, but it’s a great tool once you can wrap your head around it.
Apple’s Siri uses Wolfram Alpha for 25% of its searches. You can leverage that magic and put Wolfram Alpha to work for you — the empty search box on its homepage holds endless possibilities.
I told you it was coming (‘Google Keep’ note-taking tool means new competition for Evernote, Microsoft and it has arrived!
Google Keep is live. You can go check out Google’s answer to Evernote at http://drive.google.com/keep.
Google officially announced the note-taking product some time ago, and after it cropped up briefly over the weekend, Google Keep is now really truly officially a real thing on the Internet that you can use. Oh, and it looks terrific.
Right now, the feature set seems relatively straight-forward and limited. Google basically wants to help you Keep track of what you’re thinking about and doing. In addition to creating simple notes like the ones above, Google Keep also has a list tracking feature:
There’s also an Android app for the service which is live:
The whole app is colorful and fun and the mobile interface in particular is crisco slick when it’s working.
In trying it out so far, we’ve noticed that Keep has experiencing early life jitters and errors. But it’s good enough when it is working that it might depose Evernote as the king of thought capture mountain. One thing you definitely notice is that the service is really lightweight. And some obvious features are missing. For example, you can share notes from the Android app but there’s not obvious share feature on the web interface. [Google Blog]
This might be very interesting! This appeared and then disappeared today:
Some details from GeekWire:
Microsoft has made its OneNote note-taking application a key part of its larger cloud strategy for Microsoft Office, attempting to challenge Evernote as a way for users to sync to-do lists and notes across devices. Now it looks like Google is headed in this direction, as well (again).
Some sleuthing by Google+ user IE100 has uncovered new evidence (including the icon pictured here) that Google is working on its own note-taking application, and the news site Android Police got a brief glimpse of the actual service (before it was taken offline) suggesting that it’s set for launch relatively soon.
As noted by the Verge, his wouldn’t be the first foray into note-taking for Google, which previously had a service called Google Notebook. The company also offers integrated task lists in Gmail.
Android Police reports: “Google Keep works a lot like Google Notebook used to: There’s a list of notes, and you can color-code them, save pictures, and make checklists. You can archive notes, which will send them to a section at the bottom of your list.”
No official word from Google, but the hint of a new product is interesting in part because the company has been giving the axe to many of its other services. Apparently note-taking is important enough to its broader strategy that the company is willing to bring it back.
And other sources:
Google’s upcoming note taking application, “Google Keep”, made a brief appearance today on Google Drive before it was taken down. However, Android Police, a web blog, that tracks everything related to Android, picked up some screen shot of the application while it was online. Android Police notes that the new service resembles Google Notebook, which helps users to clip information from the web and manage them. However, the service was taken down in 2009.
This new application from Google will challenge Evernote, which has until now been the most popular mobile note taking and organizing application. Thanks to the company’s policy of constantly adding new features and updating the application, Evernote has managed to stay on the top spot. However, it looks like Google’s Keep might give the Evernote a run for its money if released.
The screenshot shows that Google’s application allows users to color code lists and notes to organize them efficiently.