That Goes Where?

I’ve never poisoned anyone with my cooking (that I am aware of), but I just found out that I have been storing some food items in places they aren’t supposed to be stored.

  • Apples:   They stay crisper in the refrigerator and last longer without spoiling.  Hmmm, ok.  Good thing to know, but I usually don’t buy more than a few apples at a time and keep them on the counter.  My house is always cool and I like them visible, making me more likely to eat one than grab a cookie or chips…I’m going to call this one a toss up.
  • Brown Sugar:  WOO HOO!  I’m storing this one right.  It belongs in the cupboard in a well sealed bag or container, not in the refrigerator.  I also saw a tip that it will stay softer/fresher longer if you put a couple of big marshmallows in the same container.
  • Coffee:  Beans will keep in an airtight container, open bag or can at room temperature for a week.  My Mom always kept her cans of coffee in the refrigerator.  Apparently that was wrong as moisture can kill the flavor making the coffee taste weak.  I keep my beans in the freezer, which is recommended for long term storage.  Yes!!!  Another staple I’m not screwing up!
  • Spices:  I am guilty of keeping spices much longer than I should, but at least I am storing them right. They belong in a cupboard away from heat ( so not one above the refrigerator or oven), light, and moisture to keep the oils from breaking down.  Exceptions are sesame seeds and poppy seeds, which need the moisture of the refrigerator to maintain their freshness. Toasted or plain sesame oil should be stored in the refrigerator as well.
  • Hot Sauce:  No need to keep them in the refrigerator.  They will stay good (and potent) for up to 3 years in the cupboard at room temperature.  Cool, I get to free up some refrigerator space.
  • Maple Syrup:  The expensive pure stuff needs to go in the refrigerator, the Aunt Jemima  (and other artificial Maple flavored syrups) is the cupboard.  Guess I have a new resident for those recently vacated refrigerator shelves!
  • Nuts:  Oops, I’ve been storing these wrong.  Almonds, walnuts and pecans are only good (once jar or bag is opened) at room temperature for two weeks.  To maintain the freshness of the oils within them, store in refrigerator up to 9 months and freezer up to 2 years.
  • Onions, Shallots, Garlic:  Don’t do as my mom did and store them in the refrigerator.  These need to be stored in a mesh bag or basket in a dry place with plenty of room for air to circulate.
  • Tomatoes:  Yep, I’ve been doing these a disservice too!  Tomatoes do not belong in the refrigerator, they’ll get mushy.  Put them on the cool counter.

Who knew?  Certainly not this girl!

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