Food Storage and Leftovers

Foods & Drinks

  • Author Ruby Cupp
  • Published March 30, 2018
  • Word count 701

Fresh Food Storage

Oh, the dilemma. What's for dinner? Cooking is hard when there is not many to cook for. Most recipes are geared to servings for 6 or so. What do you do with the leftovers? Persnickety won't eat them. Make something that you like, or something you can recycle! Persnickety won't know the difference. Mom wasn't joking when she said we were having 'Mystery Food' or Mystery Meat'.


Menu planning is one way to take care of the problem. The Persnicketys of the world do not like leftovers. They must be disguised, and the best way is to plan your menu. For example, don't have stew the first night of the week, have tacos. The next day it could become taco soup with leftover corn, canned tomatos, chopped onions. Cooked shrimp becomes shrimmp scampi the next night, and if that does not do it, make a shrimp stew with cream of potato and cream of shrimp, along with some half and half, garlic, and red pepper. Leftover corn, green beans, noodles, squash? Vegetable soup. Keep some chicken stock around, and stock your kitchen with basics like cream of mushroom and chopped or diced tomato. The noodles become both soup with carrots and celery and another noodle salad. The raw carrots become saute carrots or boiled carrots. The roasted vegetables become lunch the next day! So, how do you keep food fresh if you can't recycle? Use casseroles for pot roast, soups for ground beef.

If you simply cannot recycle, most leftovers (spaghetti, lasagna, casseroles) are good for a week, as is cooked meat. Soups and beans will last longer for several weeks. Shrimp is a matter of days. Milk is usually good a few days after the date. Then, of course, the freezer is the answer. Some casseroles can be frozen. If it has a lot of liquid, its generally not a good idea. Use a good container! Don't use plastic, and keep a stock of aluminum foil and use it generously to freeze. Be sure to mark it with the item name and date. Breads, muffins, and cookies freeze well too. Many times excess batter of anything can be refrigerated for a week.


The following are some tips for the basic foods you store. Dry goods should be stored airtight, so always use plastic baggies or a container with a lid. Most people keep bread or chips on the counter--use cloves! It keeps the ants away--this works with cinnamon and bay leaves too. Ants won't cross the line of the spices, so put around the kitchen window or where the counter and kitchen wall meet. Bay leaves work to keep insects away in general, so sprinkle a few in the pantry. Potatoes are good for awhile but when they start sprouting, don't wipe or cut off the sprouts. At that point throw them out or plant them (you can put them in water or soil). If potatoes are a little weak in the knees but mostly firm, cut them up for that vegetable soup.


Store eggs pointy side down. They stay fresher, and that is important if you don't eat them every day or bake. The way to tell if an egg is fresh is to put it in water. If it floats, its a bad egg. Boiled eggs stay good for a very long time--think Easter eggs. Don't store your raw tomatos and cucumbers together. The cucumbers will go bad quicker due to gas from the tomatos. The same is true of apples--apples should not be stored with any other fruit because it will make the other fruit go bad quicker. A lump of suger will keep the cheese fresh, because it absorbs the moisture. Carots and radishes that look dry can be revived with cold water. Put a cut onion, or a potato, in the fridge to keep smells away. Baking soda (open) works well too. Replace the onion or potato every few days, and the baking soda once a month. As well as absorbing odors in the fridge, apples and potatoes will keep your bread fresher if stored in the bread compartment (just don't forget that it is there).

Ruby Cupp (yes, that a real name) loves to cook and loves ceramic cookware. Ruby helps run a ceramic cookware website,[](, which sells both sets and individual ceramic pots and pans.

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