Some Things Don’t Need Refrigeration
Cyndy sent me an article entitled “Things That Don’t Need to be Refrigerated.” She found the post on All Recipes and thought it a good one to opine about on my blog. When I read the list, I sighed. I’m doing too much of it wrong. My mother did most of it right. But old habits are hard to break. Here’s what I discovered.
- Basil, I learned, hates cold. It should go on the counter in a jar or glass of water and lightly covered with a plastic bag. My daughter taught me this one.
- It seems that bread actually gets stale faster when chilled. When I was a kid, we always had a bread box taking up space on the counter. When I was raising my family, the bread stayed out and was eaten before it ever thought of getting stale. Now I refrigerate—or freeze a portion.
- Cake can stand countertop storage unless it has a fresh fruit, whipped cream or cream cheese content. I’ve always followed this one.
- Coffee. I treat this one right, too. Coffee deteriorates faster in the fridge. Best to just keep it in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
- I store honey in the cabinet as recommended.
- My hot sauce has a place of honor on my refrigerator door. But the article said it’s flavor wouldn’t stay as strong there. Oh, well, I’ve grown used to weak hot sauce.
- I have no problem keeping melons out of the ice box (as we always called it in years past). There’s never enough room in the fridge for melons, unless you cut them into chunks.
- Onions, potatoes, garlic I wrongly store in the refrigerator vegetable bin. The article suggested a root cellar, panty, unheated basement, or garage. I have none of those, except a distant garage. I don’t want to put on tennis shoes and a jacket just to retrieve a baked potato for dinner. It’s a lot easier to swing open the refrigerator door.
- When I was growing up, homegrown tomatoes sat in the windowsill—as they should. They were eaten within a few days. Since I keep my tomatoes longer, I now refrigerate.
- If you want butter to be spreadable, leave it out. But refrigerate if you want it to last longer. I want both, so I get spreadable, Irish butter and refrigerate it.
Unloading Old Habits