Use Up Those Leftovers…Can You Find ‘Em All?

We are just finishing a kitchen update, just as I get the urge to settle in, hunker down and nest up for the coming winter season. The wallpaper and paint was dingy and faded and the windows had long needed replacing. The panes were still the wavy, mottled glass used in the 1800’s and so inefficient that frost inside was an everyday occurrence.

Large, easy to read outdoor thermometer

Giant Wall Thermometer will let you know when baby, it’s cold outside. Available at Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio, in bronze or gold.

My husband pulled out the old windows and installing triple paned models that are already making the kitchen warmer. Together, we’ve spent hours stripping wallpaper, and now Bruce is busy making a paneled piece to sit on the bottom of the walls while I search for paint in the right shade of blue for the top.

The only other change we are making is replacing our very old refrigerator with a much more efficient model. I’m making a resolution now to keep this one more organized. It occurs to me a lack of organization is responsible for more wasted food than any other single thing.

I could weep for all of the times that a bowl of pasta or package of carrots got lost in the back of the refrigerator and found only after it became too foul for anything but the compost heap.

I am not just throwing away money when that happens although I am doing that; what I am also doing is throwing away life’s energy and the gifts from our good earth. It’s sinful to me and I am determined to do something about it.

Glass baking and storage dish

Our Glass Baking and Storage dishes go from oven to fridge and back again. Made in USA, available at Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio and at Lehmans.com.

In my case, that something is getting rid of my plastic storage containers. I can’t see what’s in them and I never remember to label, so more often than not, they become the food graveyard, where leftovers go to die.

I have been accumulating glass storage containers for some time. Some are simple jars, washed and dried and useful for storing liquids. I have been haunting tag sales and thrift shops looking for the containers from the 50’s, the Pyrex of my mother’s kitchen, difficult to find as I’m not alone in realizing just how useful they are.

I have committed to buying some containers new as well. Yes, new containers are an investment, but not, I’m quite sure, as high as tossing out food. And these have the vintage look that I love.

4 Cup Glass Baking and Storage Dish

4 Cup Glass Baking and Storage Dish.

12 Cup Glass Baking and Storage Dish

12 Cup Glass Baking and Storage Dish.

I am having so much fun figuring out the best layout for the new ‘fridge. I realize in typing these words that they make me sound like the most boring person on the planet.

“What did you do last night?” “Oh, I designed the interior of my refrigerator again.” Well, I may be boring but with a tidy refrigerator, at least I’ll be happy. And I’ll be able to make the best use of all my leftovers.

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Kathy Harrison

About Kathy Harrison

Kathy Harrison is the author of Just in Case, Another Place at the Table, and One Small Boat. She is a national spokesperson for both foster parenting and family preparedness and has appeared on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and National Public Radio. She lives with her family in western Massachusetts.