Elizabeth's Cure: The Kitchen Cleanup

Liveblogging the January Cure 2014

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"How clean do you want me to get the kitchen before you take your 'before' pictures?" Nick asked earlier this week. The Kitchen clean-up is one of my least favorite but the most necessary parts of the January Cure.

We cook a lot, but our kitchen can get pretty disastrous. No matter how much I clean, the floor always looks dirty. I think that's just what the floor looks like, but with all the different kinds of bins necessary for compost and recycling, sometimes it feels like the whole space is dedicated to the care and feeding of trash.

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As bad as the floor gets, the cabinets were probably the worst of it. There were definitely some spices (and probably loaves of bread) in those cabinets that were a year or two old at least. So the cabinets desperately needed some reorganization.

I recently saw pictures of a friend's kitchen and was impressed to see all her spices, beans, grains, and legumes were artfully arranged in pristine, uniform mason jars. I considered making the switch to that sort of elegant mason jar lineup myself, but when I looked at my own sorry, mismatched collection I decided I just couldn't in good conscience throw away my dozens of repurposed but perfectly functional jam, peanut butter, and Nutella jars and buy new, prettier jars to replace them. It just seemed wasteful.

So I satisfied myself with emptying the cabinets, purging any ingredients that had not been used in an eternity and were not likely to be used again anytime soon, and stacking up what was left in a semi-organized fashion.

As an unexpected side effect of that process, I now have a lot more space in there.

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When they're all organized, the jam jars aren't so bad. I just need to figure out a way to label them, because while telling turmeric from cinnamon is not a problem, some spices look a lot a like, and nobody wants to be the person taste-testing all the red powders to figure out which one is chili.

More on Elizabeth's January Cure:

(Image credits: Elizabeth Licata)