By Emily McLaughlin
So you think you found the perfect living situation, eh? You are co-inhabiting a just-big-enough apartment with a few of your closest friends, all of whom get along great and do not share any of the same exes. You are all very busy during the week and look forward to hitting the town together on the weekends. Everything is going just swimmingly, in your eyes. But wait… there might be an elephant in the room, or kitchen to be exact.
One thing I learned while living with three other girls in a tiny Amherst apartment is that most of my frustration existed in the kitchen. We never “fought” over anything big, but were all pretty particular about where things went in the cabinets, in the fridge, on the counters, etc. Each of us had different priorities when it came to food. I knew not to be using the toaster when Holly got home since she was most definitely going to want toast or something of that nature. I knew not to mess with Jennie’s yogurt in the fridge, because she was certainly going to go looking for them in the morning. I learned that Hannah loves to buy sauces, marinades and other tasty food enhancers, so there always has to be room for those. As for me, I am kind of crazy about how things are organized. I like to keep my things grouped together when sharing a fridge so that I can see them and know what is mine to eat. Food is a major source of life… don’t mess with mine.
With all of that being said, while living in my small Amherst apartment I began to realize that we might not be using our refrigerator, counter space and cabinets appropriately. Well, I mean that everything in the refrigerator didn’t necessary need to be in there and things on the counter might have needed to be refrigerated.
When I moved to Watertown, MA with Hannah and Kathleen, this question about where to store things came up again. Hannah and I picked up some cute jars to store flour, sugar and other baking necessities in. We realized that these things can’t be stored in the sunlight, but rather a cool, dark place. Our next thought was where to keep our fruits, vegetables and other produce items so that they keep longer.
I did the research for you, here are some of my findings:
Cool, dry location – (countertop works here)
Orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon (longer storage in fridge)
Basil (grow your own!)
Refrigerator – (typically in a drawer, covered with perforated plastic)
Herbs, asparagus (snip the ends and store upright in a glass of water)
Summer and yellow squash
Ripen on counter, then refrigerate
Of course, most fruits and veggies might stay longer if they are refrigerated in a dry drawer, however doing so is not completely necessary. If you are going to eat your countertop fruits and veggies within a week’s time, then don’t waste the fridge space and spare some for your roomies.
Other things to note:
Storing fruits and vegetables together is a big N-O. It will cause them to rot faster… no body likes rotten produce.
Don’t rip your bananas apart prematurely. Doing so will cause your bananas to rot faster because you have broken cells and are allowing microorganisms to grow. This goes for most fruits and veggies — keep ‘em whole.
Stay healthy, store appropriately. Add your tips below!