In addition to baking bread and mixing up variations on whipped coffee, many people at home are using this time to get their kitchens in order. Ina Garten recently shared how she organizes her freezer and just last week lifestyle expert Martha Stewart joined in on the fun.
On Thursday, Stewart took to Instagram to share that she had completed a late-night overhaul of the "savory portion" of her pantry.
In true Stewart fashion, there were some over-the-top surprises (for example, she had 47 types of salt and about 27 types of olive oil), but she also shared some tips applicable to most home cooks with pantries big and small.
1. Organizing a pantry makes it easier to find things
Cleaning out your pantry on a regular basis not only makes it easier to find what you need quickly, but it will also let you know if you're running low on an old favorite.
"No last minute trips to the grocery store for a missing ingredient," she wrote.
2. Beans are not an essential for everyone
As social distancing began, many chefs and nutritionists recommended stocking up on beans since they last a long time, are versatile and inexpensive. However, Stewart’s pantry doesn’t have a lot of this staple. “I don't use very many dried beans," she posted. However, she does store a large amount of rice and grains, which are also economical and versatile meal bases.
3. Liquor has a place in the pantry
Stewart’s pantry showed “lots of liquor and liqueurs for cooking and baking,” but she shared “the serious stuff is in the wine cellar for parties or in the freezer for mixing drinks.”
Keeping the pricier pours away from the everyday liquors will keep mix-ups at bay.
4. Donate your duplicates
If your pantry isn't organized, there's a good chance you may have too much of one item — and it might spoil before you're able to use it all up. When cleaning out your pantry, consider donating any duplicate finds.
“The men who work on the farm will be thrilled because all duplicates and discards have been put into shopping bags,” said Stewart, who is isolating with several staff members including her gardener and driver, while promising to give away her multiples.
5. Variety is truly the spice of life
While not everyone needs to stock up on dozens of different types of salts and olive oils, Stewart did share that she keeps a plethora of vinegars, "many types of hot sauces," barbecue sauces and "lots of Asian ingredients for Japanese, Chinese and Thai recipes." Keeping a mix of different sauces and spices readily available will save you from repeat recipe boredom.