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Thursday 10 January 2013

New Year, New...Spoons?

I'm never very good with new year's resolutions - I'm firmly in the 'forgot I even made any' category by the time February comes around. This year, instead of bothering to disappoint myself by not keeping the usual 'do more exercise' and 'eat less sweets' promises (which are no good in January when it's too cold to go outside and there's still a mountain of treats left over from Christmas) I'm going to find something a bit more achievable.

I will treat my wooden spoons with love. Wooden spoons are probably the utensil treated worst in the kitchen. Left in the pot, or the sink, they soak up flavours, colourings and liquid until they're cracked, brilliantly yellow and, quite frankly, disgusting. Anyone with wheat intolerances or Coeliac Disease should be aware that wooden utensils can contain a little gluten if they're also used to stir floury dishes and can cross-contaminate other food. This month, chuck 'em all out and get some new ones. They're cheap and cheerful and you can pick them up with your supermarket shop or at stores like Wilkinsons. The very pretty heart-shaped spoon and chopping board above is £17.95 from Heart & Parcel and will be my gift to myself after I've achieved all my January resolutions.

I will organise my spice cupboard. Yes, cupboard. I've been trying to learn about Sri Lankan cooking and my experiements have led me to amass an enormous collection of the spices I need to mix, roast and grind my own curry powders which are then stored in jam jars. You need to have lightening-quick reactions to open the cupboard door, as at least one jar will jump out at you the minute it sees the light of the kitchen. What I should do is get some of these RAJTAN spice jars from Ikea so I can label and arrange my spices beautifully. At £1.90 for four, I could afford to buy what I need and probably have the whole lot alphabetised by Valentine's Day.

I will stop wasting food. Specifically, fruit and vegetables. I have a dreadful habit of leaving half an onion or tomato on the worktop instead of popping it in the fridge, by the time I realise what I've done (or not done), I have a shrivelled piece of this-used-to-be-food and I have to chuck it in the bin. This year I'm going to treat my fruit and veg with respect. This onion saver from M&S is £3.50, at least what I waste every year on throwing out manky part-onions, and is definitely a wise investment for me. I might even give Lakeland's Fruit & Veg Life-Savers a try, to extend the life of the produce in my fridge's salad drawer. At £3.49 for a pack of three, they've got to be worth a go!


  1. Ooooh cheers for the reminder about spice jars! My kitchen will soon be to the point of chaos if I don't acquire some.

  2. I've not used the Lifesavers from Lakeland but I use their Stayfresh bags all the time and they are brilliant - nothing ever goes off before I can eat it (except one particularly nasty incident with a very old cucumber). They do make your salad drawer look like it's been bagged as evidence, though!

  3. Very good resolutions. I will follow suit with all three. And good point on the wooden spoons.

  4. Hurrah! Soon, we'll all have beautifully organised kitchens!

  5. Stuff that you intend to cook anyway (onions, peppers, mushrooms) can also be chopped & frozen - then shake straight into the pan as needed. Less waste, and given how fast it cooks even from frozen, arguably a saving on time & washing up ;)

    That inevitable half-bag of beansprouts also keep far better if rinsed through & then stored in a covered bowl/Tupperware with enough water to cover. Just drain before use.

    1. Re beansprouts - container should of course be kept in the fridge!

  6. Reducing food waste is a good one -my resolution is to save veg tops/peelings/veg thats gone limp but not "off" in the freezer for stock making!


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