Getting Your Kitchen Ready for Back to School
The Absolute Bare Minimum You Can Get Away With
This is not going to be a post about how to color coordinate shelf liner for your fridge in this season’s hottest colors. I am not going to debate whether wicker or rattan baskets are better to store your nori cutters in before you snap a pic of your kids’ bento lunch to post on Pinterest.
Hint: you don’t need a basket, just throw them in the back of the pantry because your children will look at you like you’re trying to serve them dog poop if you try to get them to eat rice balls and seaweed, no matter how cute you make it.
I am a mom in the ‘burbs. My number one priority is actually getting breakfast, lunch and dinner made and into my children. If those two things happen it makes me feel like I’m Snow White with the little tweeting birdies dropping a flower crown gently on my head.
This is a nice change because I usually feel like Sloppy Lunch Lady growling “You eat what I serve you!” to children that are apparently on a hunger strike.
So as school is looming if you too are breathing a sigh of relief because you’ve made it another summer without someone calling Child Protective Services about the number of times in a row your children had pizza, let’s take a few of these last golden moments to get ready for the solid craziness that is known as Back to School and trying to feed the family on a regular basis.
The bare minimum and most important thing
you can do to make cooking life easier is to
get stuff out of your way.
Clean Out The Freezer
I don’t mean emptying your freezer, unplugging, defrosting and scrubbing it. I mean:
- If it’s in the freezer and you don’t know what it is, THROW IT AWAY.
- If you know what it is and it’s been over a year THROW IT AWAY.
- If it hasn’t been over a year, but you know you’re really not going to make that Lidia Bastianich octopus recipe THROW IT AWAY.
- If your neighbor shot it and gave it to you proudly like a cat on your back porch and you’re not going to eat it THROW IT AWAY (Just me?)
Clean Out The Fridge
- If your refrigerator door is so full of condiments, odd ingredients for a one off recipe and packets of takeout restaurant bbq sauce/soy sauce/whatever that the door sags and creaks when you open it THROW IT AWAY.
- Anything that you can’t remember when you bought it but you’re sure you had a different hair style or fewer children THROW IT AWAY. Trust me, if you miss it you can buy more.
Clean Out The Pantry
- The container with 2 tablespoons of rice, the stale bag of chips no one will eat, anything expired THROW IT AWAY.
- The thing you buy because you know you should eat it but you just can’t make yourself (I’m looking at you sardines) do yourself a favor and if it’s still good donate it to your local food pantry, or if it’s not THROW IT AWAY.
There WHSHEW! You’ve decluttered and are officially ready to be a mean, clean, cooking machine! Treat yourself to a glass of wine and try to ignore how dirty the fridge is now that you can actually see into it.
Shelley is a personal chef, wife and mom who shares her Weekend Fancy + Weeknight Fast recipes at www.ChefintheBurbs.com. She is a master at getting food on the table while sneaking off to the garage fridge for more wine. Click here for instant access to her free Weekly Meal Planner Template.