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Passover Prep - Organize the Pantry

pantry shelf

Growing up we didn't have a pantry (or a larder as it was called in London), but here in NY it seems almost everyone has some kind of food storage closet. Some are walk in closets, some are just a couple of kitchen cabinets earmarked for food storage. Every time I go on a cooking marathon I tell myself I need to organize the pantry so that I know what I have in stock.

Whether you sell your chametz or finish it up before Passover, now is the time to take inventory. See what you need to finish up - and plan your menus accordingly. If you still have most of a 10lb bag of flour - get baking! If you have a bountiful array of beans, make a chili, or a bean soup, or any beandish.

Take EVERYTHING out of the pantry. (Perhaps I should back up a step and tell you to clear everything off your kitchen table first...). Take some fantastic, or hot soapy water and a sponge. Scrub those shelves - mine usually have a mixture of maple syrup and chocolate chips on them, with a little oil mixed in. Wipe down the walls too, and if there is a floor, mop that as well.

While the pantry is breathing in the cleaning fumes, start to work on organizing your food. Group like items with like. Baking supplies should be together. Canned food belongs to the same family. Make little groups on your table or counter-top. Wipe down bottles that are sticky (such as the maple syrup bottle), and any opened packages of chocolate chips, seal up in recloseable baggies - get as much air out as you can.

Once the shelves are all dry and sparkling, you can either line them with shelf paper or put the food items back without lining. Organize it well, know where everything is. This will help you use up so much before Pesach - and stay organized and not overwhelmed.

ACTION: Take five items of non-perishable food and drop them off at the local food pantry.


DINNER TONIGHT: Assemble Curried Chick Pea Stew in the slow-cooker before you leave for work. Come home, organize the pantry and supper will be ready for you the moment you finish.

Read this article: Tips for Food Storage Safety.