There’s a lot of joy to be had in the kitchen—watching the KitchenAid whirl through cookie dough, pulling out fresh bread from the oven, the thrill of rolling out your own pasta—but there can arguably be a lot of stress, too. We’re talking pots and pans clambering out of the sink, spills and stains that just never seem to scrub off, and cabinets overflowing with tools and appliances and everything else you need to make your kitchen function.
Related Reading: 51 Kitchen and Food Hacks That Will Change Your Life
If you, like many others, are in search of ways to rid yourself of that kitchen fatigue, or simply have questions about how to operate your kitchen just a little bit smoother, you’ll want to invest in Food52’s new book, “Your Do-Anything Kitchen.” Put together by the editors from the home and cooking site, the book is your shining beacon to control your kitchen, full of savvy tricks, must-have cooking tools, and how to make the most of any space.
FOOD52 Your Do-Anything Kitchen: The Trusty Guide to a Smarter, Tidier, Happier Space, $16.35 on Amazon
Page through the book and you’ll discover brand-new pantry staples, tips for making your fridge and freezer work with your needs in mind, and strategies for keeping clutter actually organized. When your kitchen’s officially in order, you’ll find the way you actually use your space will have dramatically improved.
Stasher 100% Silicone Reusable Food Bag, Sandwich Storage Size, $11.65 on Amazon
Want a sneak peak yourself? Check out this handy guide to keeping things fresh in the fridge and the freezer. After all, we’ve all been there: purchasing far too much from the store, then slowly watching that bunch of herbs go bad—before you’re able to use them all up. Instead, you’ll learn how to preserve the life of produce, all the while saving money in the process. It’s a win-win scenario.
Reprinted with permission fromYour Do-Anything Kitchen by Editors of Food52, copyright © 2020. Photographs by James Ransom. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.
Life Preservers: How to Keep Things Fresh in the Fridge & the Freezer
Stocking a fridge and freezer requires a little bit of strategy: What deserves a piece of that valuable real estate? And just how long can the freezer work its fountain-of-youth magic? Give your fresh and frozen goods a long, happy life with these tips.
In the Fridge
- Anything with a leafy top (like carrots, beets, and fennel) should have the greens removed before storing. (You can eat the greens, too—wash, dry, and store as below.)
- Apples and pears (plus cantaloupes, ripe bananas, peaches, plums, tomatoes, potatoes, and more) emit a gas (ethylene!) that can speed up the ripening of other produce. Store them separately, and everything will last longer.
- Berries should take a bath in a mild vinegar solution (3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar) before being stored in the fridge in a kitchen towel-lined bowl. Vinegar’s acidity kills any spores potentially growing on the fruit, keeping them bacteria-free and fresh.
- Cheeses should be wrapped tightly in porous, breathable parchment paper or cheese wrap (or put into a special cheese vault!) between uses. Plastic wrap or ziplock bags will suffocate the cheese and encourage bacterial growth.
- Greens should be washed, dried, stemmed, and stored in a breathable bag or storage bin.
- Herbs should also be washed and dried, wrapped in a damp kitchen towel, and tucked into a breathable bag or bin.
- Leftovers are best stored in see-through, airtight containers (page 25 has our recs).
- Nut oils (and whole nuts) will have twice the lifespan in the fridge than in the pantry. You can store them in their original packaging, but make sure to seal them well—and date them, please! (See pages 42 to 43 for their lifespan.)
In the Freezer
- Freeze small amounts of leftover liquids, sauces, and aromatics in an ice-cube tray (once initially frozen, remove them from the molds and store them in a freezer-safe container or bag). Think tomato paste for sauce, leftover wine for risotto, or mashed roasted garlic for creamy pasta.
- Make sure everything freezer-bound is totally, completely cool before freezing. Hot foods will bring up the temp of the whole freezer, which is not the safest for that salmon you’re saving.
- Protect against freezer burn by tightly wrapping cooked food (like baked goods or non-saucy stuff) in plastic or beeswax wrap, then in aluminum foil.
Header image by Karen Moskowitz/Getty Images