QI'd love to get started on some early spring cleaning, and organizing our pantry is at the top of my list. Do you have any tips to help me out? Thanks!
Great idea, Lucy! In fact, I like to start every New Year by cleaning out and restocking my pantry. I know fresh ingredients will help guarantee I get the best results every time. And, when you’re baking at home, keeping your kitchen stocked with fresh ingredients makes it even easier — and more fun — to make a spur-of-the-moment batch of cookies or cupcakes.
The first step in organizing your pantry is to get rid of ingredients that are past their prime. When you buy anything new, label it with the date so that it will be easy to see what’s fresh and what’s not. Many people don’t realize that even dry ingredients, the “nonperishable” ones we keep around seemingly forever lose quality or effectiveness with age. While you’re sorting through your pantry, here are some guidelines to keep in mind.
- Honey keeps for about 12 months at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
- Brown sugar keeps for about 4 months at room temperature in an airtight container.
- All-purpose flour keeps for about 6 to 8 months at room temperature in a tightly covered container.
- Whole spices keep about 1 to 2 years and ground spices about 6 to 12 months. To preserve flavor, avoid exposure to light and air.
- Eggs keep 3 to 5 weeks in the refrigerator and are best stored in the carton they were purchased in.
Once you’ve sorted, labeled and arranged your ingredients, how about baking up a batch of Honey Orange Cookies?
Here's to spring cleaning, Lucy!