Yesterday we asked you for your cupboard challenges - all that stuff left over from cleaning out your cupboards for the Spring Cure. You probably have things you don't want to get rid of but you'd like to use up. Reader mandarinmarie took us up on the offer and so here's her Cupboard Challenge. She writes...
The things that need to get used: lentils, canned salmon, barley, clam juice, raisins, and moonshine jelly. The moonshine jelly is really just a wildcard.
Welcome back, Cure-takers and Cure-voyeurs. I don't know about you, but I'm totally inspired by all the cleaning out, nipping and tucking going on in people's kitchen cupboards and fridges.
mandarinmarie says "The fish sticks are already gone and I'm throwing out the stupid grape jelly that we haven't touched for a year, though."
Given the processed foods discussion, we heard quite a bit about grape jelly. Hopefully, by now, we've settled the question. As inspiring as it is, and as great of a job you've all done, I'm ready to move on from seeing photos of your ingredients.
How is your Kitchen Cure going? Are you nearly finished with cleaning out your overly processed and expired foods from the fridge and cupboard? Or perhaps you're not an official Cure-taker but you have been inspired to clean out your cupboards this week.
Perhaps you have run across a few lingering items that really shouldn't be thrown out - not yet, at least - but need to be used up soon. Or perhaps you found that you have not one, not two, but THREE bags of Basmati rice in your cupboard. (We are embarrassed by how often we mistakenly stock up on staples we already have.)
Would you like some help in cooking creatively from your cupboards? Send us a Cupboard Challenge!
DixieMedley, who got rid of the above items from her kitchen, says "I rounded up everything with MSG or high fructose corn syrup and realized that I don't actually use ANY of this stuff, anyway. When was the last time I used pasta sauce from a jar? Don't know, but it had been so long that I tossed the nearly-full jar from my fridge last week. Of this, I'll miss the maple syrup the most."
Hey Cure-takers, how is Week Two going? Things got heated when I asked you to pitch your processed foods, and then wrote a post about what, exactly, are processed foods.
The reason I wanted you to pitch (or compost or donate) the worst of your processed foods is out of an ardent belief that it will help you get a few steps closer back to the source of your food, rather than continuing to divorce yourself from it. So the line isn't drawn in concrete: of course not all canned foods are evil, for example. I have canned and frozen foods in my kitchen. However, for me, the line does get more stringent when it comes to artificial ingredients.
And the questions started rolling in about what, exactly, processed foods are?
Processed food is basically food that has been changed from its natural state for the sake of shelf life and safety, or for the sake of convenience. It all started when in the late 19th century, thanks to the invention of the refrigerator to keep food, and the train to transport it across great distances, we began to believe that we deserved to have food that lasted longer than when it was plucked from the earth, or caught running across our property.
A selection of three before shots of Cure-takers' kitchen cabinets from the The Kitchn Cure Flickr Page. More before photos of pantries and fridges below!
Welcome, Cure-takers and Cure-voyeurs. It has been the week of before shots, and as expected, it hasn't been pretty. Bravo! You were honest. Many of you have already done your assignments from Week One, others have just posted their before photos. Let's get some more before shots and those who already posted, show us your after shots so we know you did your homework! Make sure to label photos BEFORE and AFTER.
There are teensy weensy kitchens, and gargantuan ones (big red kitchen has a walk-in pantry, folks!). There are city and country kitchens. There are single girl and single guy kitchens, and there are family kitchens. Everyone is welcome, and it seems many are coming (at last count we had close to 300 people signed up!)
Haven't joined yet? We'll keep the sign-up open for one more day (closing tomorrow, Friday, March 28 at 9am).
Already signed up? Read on for this week's assignments.
If you're participating in the Kitchn Cure, you probably tossed a fair amount of outdated, spoiled, and just not useful food this week. Every time we clean out the fridge, we're filled with agita at all the food we waste. Cooking for two people with busy schedules means that plans change unexpectedly, and that head of lettuce you bought two weeks ago is just not going to wait.
Did you know that while the US produces twice as much food than it needs, we still waste 40% of food produced? Forty percent is a staggering number that leaves us determined to find ways to stop wasting food. Here are a few of our latest ideas!
phillippa says: I'm hoping that by taking part in The Kitchn Cure I'm going to achieve two things: a reorganised kitchen that actually stays organised after being used, and greater variety and creativity in my everyday cooking. Cheers!
Welcome, everyone! Happy first day of spring, and first day of the first ever Kitchn Cure. There are over 200 of you signed up. Wow! This week we want to get you set-up by taking a very quick survey (after the jump), get you going on our Flickr page, and start you on the path of cleaning out your kitchen. We'll be borrowing from Week Two of the home sites' Cure, since that is when they usually tackle the kitchen.
Haven't joined yet? We'll keep the sign-up open for one more week (closing Thursday, March 27).
Already signed up and ready to go? Read on for this week's assignments.
a peek inside STLcolleen's fridge from the Kitchn Cure's Flickr page
Earlier this week we answered a reader's question about how long it is safe to keep condiments. But for those who joined the Kitchn Cure, part of this week's assignment is to go through your kitchen and pitch expired foods. So we thought we'd do a follow-up.
We can all read a date-stamp, but an opened container is another thing. This morning I opened the April issue of Everyday Food and found a nice rundown of some of the most common condiments, and how long they last once they're opened.
A week from today, as the earth turns from winter to spring, we'll start tackling the cupboards and counter-tops of kitchens across the globe - we have people signed up from Los Angeles, New York and Pataskala, Ohio to Tel Aviv, Sevilla and Melbourne.
The first two weeks are dedicated to getting the kitchen into shape: searching for those foods that aren't nourishing, scrubbing down surfaces, and getting things in order. You might even find yourself getting rid of packaging and putting your beans into pretty glass jars.
Next we'll work on the cooking. A month later, we'll be planning a heck of a dinner party. It's an irresistible syllabus.