Spice up your baking

In March 2015 I started a new job and embarked on a new journey – a journey to make living life easier.  This has now become my slogan for the company which I started from this blog.

This is my goal and the start of my mission statement
This is my goal and the start of my mission statement

Clearing out clutter and getting rid of possessions that no longer serve their purpose and are just taking up space, was part of this.

I joined a group called Declutter 365 and quickly realised that, because it was American, it really didn’t suit our South African lifestyles.  I had to go back and look for past posts to help me sort out my stuff! This is how ‘We’re getting Sorted’ came about and it was time for my next step.

As I rarely bake anymore, I went through my baking utensils stored under my sink and got rid of pieces that were now rusty (there had been a slow leak). I didn’t get rid of everything but I found missing pieces and put them together.  If I couldn’t find what was missing, or repurpose it, then it was put into a box and I dropped it off at the dump.

DAY 1

Your 15 minute task for the day is to clear out your baking goods and make sure that what you have is a) usable and  b) necessary. This means, if you don’t bake you don’t need a ton of baking tins!

I use these loaf tins only about every 6 months or so to make my cinnamon bread, but I use the baking trays regularly.
I use these loaf tins only about every 6 months or so to make my cinnamon bread, but I use the baking trays regularly.

DAY 2

When I first started meal planning for my family, instead of standing in front of the fridge, or cupboard, trying to decide at the last minute what to make, I went shopping in my own kitchen. The first thing I did was take everything out and get rid of boxes of food that had expired. Then I went through the cans. Expiry dates are actually just telling you that the manufacturer will not guarantee the quality of the product after that date.  As long as the cans aren’t bulging they are usually okay! That being said, I threw out anything that had expired more than 2 years before which, sadly was quite a lot. With what I found in my cupboards (including the fridge and freezer), I didn’t actually need to go shopping for nearly 3 weeks. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/index.php/2015/06/30/i-own-my-kitchen/

Day 3

Spices are essential ingredients in all foods and as long as they are stored in airtight containers and in a dark, dry place, they should last quite a while. Here I once again have a really good collection as cooking is something I love to do and I like to know that no matter what recipe I try, I will have the required spices and herbs on hand. My favourite ‘go to’ spices are Paprika, garlic salt, onion salt/ powder (from America, as this is no longer available here), Masala, curry powder, mustard powder, black pepper and salt. Do you have any spices that you can’t cook without?

I have a good collection of spices, but if you don't use them often, they get stale
I have a good collection of spices, but if you don’t use them often, they get stale

Day 4

Continuing on from clearing out your pantry cupboard, keep sorting through what you really need and what you know your family will eat and, if necessary, what kind of meal you can make that will disguise the foods which they don’t eat.

Day 5

Make an inventory of what you have. This can be used as a “shopping list” and the items on the shelf are what are in the grocery store. Go to the link and type in what you have and this site will find you recipes that make use of your chosen ingredients. http://www.myfridgefood.com

It is coming up to the Jewish holidays of Passover, so for all the kosher members of the group, stay calm! Read the calendar and possibly get a head start on next week’s work which will be clearing out your fridge and freezer!

Please remember to share how you are moving along and if you are winning, or need some help. Post pictures when you can please.

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