Posts Tagged ‘white vinegar’

This is one time you don’t have to look at the expiration date on a food item.  Believe it or not I have a list of 10 items that seem to have the shelf life of a millennium  and I don’t mean a Hostess Twinkie!

When stored properly — in an airtight container, kept in a cool, dry place — there are a number of pantry staples that can last just about forever.

We’re not talking until the end of time forever, although some of these staples just may hold up that long. Rather, when stored properly, these items can last years tucked away in the pantry.

The Twelfth Of Never Is A Long, Long Time!

The Twelfth Of Never Is A Long, Long Time!

The Simplest Reason Why Food Goes Bad
There are a number of reasons why food goes bad, but one of the main causes is bacteria growth. The main culprit for bacteria growth in food is moisture — when moisture is present, it creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

These foods either aren’t very susceptible to moisture and bacteria growth, or actively discourage bacteria (as in the case of alcohol). Others of these depend quite a bit on proper storage.

10 Foods That Can Last Nearly Forever
A common theme in extending the shelf life of these foods is storing them in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.

1. Salt: Salt is a preservative, and when stored in a cool, dry place, it will last a really long time.

2. Rice: While the shelf life of brown rice holds at about twelve months, white rice — including jasmine, basmati, and arborio varieties — will last indefinitely when stored properly.

3. Honey: Because this natural sweetener has a low water content, it can last for years when stored in a sealed container and kept in a cool, dry spot. Even if it crystalizes or the color changes slightly, don’t throw it out — it’s still perfectly safe to eat.

4. Sugar: Sugar is another sweetener with no expiration. This includes all varieties — white, brown, and powdered. Be sure to store it in an airtight container to prevent moisture from dampening the sugar.

5. Vinegar: While all varieties of vinegar won’t last indefinitely, distilled white vinegar will last forever.

6. Pure vanilla extract: Pure vanilla costs a good deal more than its imitation counterpart, and for good reason. Not only is there a huge difference in taste, but pure vanilla also lasts a lot longer.

7. Dried beans: Store dried beans in a dark, dry place and they will last indefinitely. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that older beans may require longer soaking and cooking times.

8. Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a go-to thickener for pudding, sauce, and gravy. Most recipes use only a couple tablespoons, yet cornstarch is usually sold in large packages, but don’t worry — this is totally okay since it doesn’t have an expiration date. Just remember to keep the lid completely sealed and store it in a cool, dark place.

9. Maple syrup: As long as it’s unopened, pure maple syrup will last forever.

10. Alcohol: Even if it’s been opened, distilled liquor — like vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, and tequila — will last forever.

This blog post has been excerpted from The Kitchn (http://www.thekitchn.com/) of http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

Thanks to my friend, Gail, chief sourcerer for Pbenjay for sending me the link to this article.

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I guess that’s a pretty crazy title and I better explain it.  If you think this one’s weird, I almost titled it CATCHING BEES WITH HONEY AND HOW TO CLEAN.  Enough – this is Thursday’s post and so I have some top tips for you.  Not 10 this week, just 9 BUT they are really good to know. 

Your Clean Machine in a Bottle

Your Clean Machine in a Bottle

Cleaning from within  was my attempt at cleverness – look within your kitchen cabinet and find that bottle of white vinegar which is probably way in the back because you haven’t used it since Easter when you mixed dyes for Easter eggs.

White vinegar, unassuming and cheap! It’s your miracle method for cleaning and it’s antibacterial too.  Let’s start in the kitchen.

1.  CUTTING BOARDS:  If you’re cleaning your cutting boards with water or bleach (oh no!) then STOP right now.  Wash the board with white vinegar and scrub it with a rough sponge or brush.  Vinegar is safe for human consumption, bleach is not!

2. SPONGES:  Just like the cutting board, vinegar is your best bet for cleaning and disinfecting your germ-prone sponges.   Soak your sponges in white distilled vinegar overnight. In the morning, rinse the sponges in cold water, then allow to dry naturally.

3.  COUNTER TOPS:  Your counters see a lot of direct contact with food, raw meat, and human hands…so not a good combination!  Unlike water, vinegar disinfects your counters, and is safer than bleach or harsh chemicals. From this day forward, vinegar is your counter top’s new best friend! Simply mix equal parts white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, spray and wipe!

4.  FRUIT AND VEGETABLE SUPER CLEANER: You definitely need to give your store bought produce a good washing. The process of farm-to-table is loaded with pesticides and wax coatings (gross right?). Clean with vinegar!  Use your sink or large basin and fill halfway with lukewarm water and 1 cup of vinegar.  Wash the vegetables, rinse with water and let dry – you will NOT taste any vinegar.  Vinegar is a particularly fab way to wash your fruits and veggies because it easily breaks down the wax coating and kills bacteria and mold. No joke, the editors of Cook’s Illustrated set out to find the most effective way to wash fruits and vegetables, and vinegar came out the clear winner, beating antibacterial soap, water and just a scrub brush in removing bacteria.  I wipe fresh strawberries with a paper towel soaked in a water and white vinegar mix.

5.  WILTED GREENS:  White vinegar can work wonders on wilted, tired lettuce.  Soak the leaves in a bowl with 2 cups of cold water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar for 10 minutes. Finish with a hearty rinse. If you plan to use the lettuce in salad, dry it using a salad spinner and use a vinegar dressing like apple cider vinegar, balsamic or red wine.

6.  CARPET STAINS: Here’s a no-fail recipe; Fill a spray bottle of 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water.  Spray it directly on the carpet stain, and after letting it sit for a few minutes, dab (press down, don’t rub) the spot. Be sure to test the solution out on a small portion of your carpet before cleaning with vinegar, just in case. Vinegar is able to get out almost everything, 

7.  WINDOWS:  It’s finally sunny and pleasant out, yay! Time to let the glorious sunlight into your home by giving your windows the best clean of their lives! Mix  1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 4 drops of dish soap. First spray the windows and wipe clean with a (microfiber is best!) cloth. The real secret to streak free windows is to wipe dry with newspaper.

8.  REMOVING OLD WALLPAPER:  Difficult wallpaper is no match for white vinegar! Apartment Therapy’s Kate Legere found that cleaning with vinegar, or dousing really, was the only way to remove 20 year old wallpaper. Her technique calls for boiling hot water, vinegar, and a spray bottle. First she removed all possible wallpaper, then mixed equal parts boiling water and vinegar into a spray bottle. After a liberal spraying session, she waited for 5-10 minutes then gently scraped away the stubborn wallpaper with a putty knife. The tougher spots took a few more vinegar and scraping sessions, but after an afternoon, the 80s wallpaper was completely removed.

9.  COLOR RESTORER:   The best way to restore color and vibrancy to carpets is by cleaning with vinegar.  Mix together in a foam dispenser: 2 teaspoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon household ammonia, 4 tablespoons liquid dishwasher detergent, and 1 cup of water.  Apply the foam solution directly, and blot with a sponge. Divide up the total surface into small areas to maintain your focus. For sturdy fabrics, scrub with a flat brush to work in the vinegar.

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