My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!


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Yay for New Pans! Yuck to cleaning the cupboards to make them fit…

Now, what does cleaning my cupboards have to do with Food Storage?  Well, without some organizational system, I cannot find the pan I need when I need to use it!  And I made it worse by buying some new bake ware! After almost 25 years of marriage,  it was time. I bought some of my old pans at the dollar store (when dollar stores first came on the scene, and they had some pretty incredible stuff) maybe 20 years ago. Many were worn from years of use.

 

Being a frugal gal (not cheap, there’s a difference. I will pay for quality.), I didn’t set out to replace all my pans at once. The thought first entered my mind when I had problems making some quick bread for a friend’s son’s wedding reception. No matter what I did (using Pam, greasing the pan liberally), I couldn’t get the loaves out in one piece. It was frustrating to say the least. Then and there, I decided that I needed a couple of nonstick loaf pans.

 

I did a lot of research and decided that I wanted heavy-duty, commercial bakery type pans. I’d narrowed it down to two brands: USA Pan and Chicago Metallic. Both have great reviews, so I bit the bullet and bought a couple of larger non-stick loaf pans.  I bought 10 inch x5 inch USA Pans (you can view one here).  They make the perfect size bread loaf for my family.

 

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After falling in love with them, I bought some USA Pan and Chicago Metallic mini loaf pans (with an Amazon gift card I earned through MyPoints.com). And aren’t they lovely?? Especially compared to my old pans which were looking pretty sad. See?  (I sprayed them with non-stick spray, and the pans are so non-stick without the spray, I’m not sure I needed it.)  Think those look snazzy?  Check them out here and here on Amazon!

 

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Today, I made chocolate chip pumpkin bread to break them in (recipe here). The loaves came out of the pan so easily! I’m very happy!  (And my boys are begging me to cut the pumpkin bread!)

 

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I’m also very happy, because I cleaned out my kitchen cupboards and got rid of some old things which were gathering dust. Take a look at my organized cupboards now!!

 

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I didn’t take before shots, but trust me, it’s a major improvement! And isn’t that life? A constant rearranging and reorganization of everything.  Not just my kitchen, but my everything!  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It keeps things fresh.  Life is a work in progress, and I love it!

 

How about things for you? Any kitchen pans or gadgets you want to add to your inventory? Or is there a closet, cupboard, or storage area that needs your attention? Please share!

 

 

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Laurel Laurie Staten Nguyen Newhall, CA


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Yes, I Truly Am Back, and Here’s What I’m Doing Today!

My kids went back to school today. Well, my oldest did. I home school my youngest, but school started for him as well. With this mind-blowing amount of free time, can you guess what I’m doing today?

EVERYTHING!!

Laundry, organizing and inventorying my food storage, baking bread, and prepping some white beans for canning. See?

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I made just one loaf of bread since one of my boys, the best bread eater, is back at school.

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It will be done soon!

I received some food storage a couple of weeks ago which I never even opened! Well, today I opened it, added it to my food storage app (which keeps track of my inventory and progress), dated the cans and box, and put it away, nice and neat, so my food storage closet doesn’t get overrun!

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Finally, I sorted and washed some Great Northern beans, and now they’re soaking. I’ll can them tonight after dinner so they can sit in the pressure canner overnight, cooling.

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I’m going to start a long-awaited sewing project, and dinner’s still to come (I’m making my friend’s fabulous homemade chicken noodle soup recipe for the very first time.). It looks like today is going to be a wonderfully, productive day!!

Tomorrow? That’s another story! I’ll probably be so exhausted that I’ll laze around the house all day. 🙂

What are you doing now that the holidays are over and life is returning to normal?


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Mason Jars: A Love Affair

I love Mason Jars.  Why?  I have no idea!  I just do.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I use a lot of Mason Jars to store food in my pantry.  See?  Here are just a few of the many jars I use all over my home:

 

I found some of these Mason jars on Goodwill's auction website, and I just LOVE them!

I found some of these Mason jars on Goodwill’s auction website, and I just LOVE them!  I can’t pick just one favorite, but I can narrow it down to two: my gallon Mason jars and my blue Mason jars.  They are so unique and fun!

 

So, it’s only natural that I needed this cute set of measuring cups when I found it online.

 

These adorable measuring cups are sold by Cost Plus World Market, and apparnetly, they are very popular!  Most stores were sold out.  As luck would have it, I was able to find one set in my local store.

These adorable measuring cups are sold by Cost Plus World Market, and apparently, they are very popular! Most stores were sold out. As luck would have it, I was able to find one set in my local store.

 

These fun measuring cups stack to form a Mason jar, or they can be "disassembled" and used as measuring cups.

These fun measuring cups stack to form a Mason jar, or they can be “disassembled” and used as measuring cups.

 

Of course, I haven't used them as measuring cups yet, because I just like looking at them.

Of course, I haven’t used them as measuring cups yet, because I just like looking at them.

 

I know they will break in the next major earthquake, so I hope we don’t have one for a really long time!  Of course, there are other benefits to no major earthquakes…

 

So, I love being surrounded by my Mason jars and my Mason jar measuring cups.  Not as much as I love my family, but I love them a whole lot.

So, I love being surrounded by my Mason jars and my Mason jar measuring cups. Not as much as I love my family, but I love them a whole lot.

 

People are much more important than things, but I can still really enjoy fun things like this as long as I keep that in perspective.

Is there anything you *LOVE* as much as I love my Mason jars?