Kitchen Tip: The Disposable Container
The biggest problems I used to have in my pantry was that there were too darn many bags. Bags of quinoa, black beans, and lentils lay scattered and hiding half used packets of dried mushrooms and seaweed. I’m not the most organized person in the world but sometimes, trying to find the right bag would drive me crazy. Not to mention my roommates packet of instant rice would somehow mix in with it. I’m generally too cheap and lazy to count to get individual containers for all these items.
Enter the disposable food container.
Outside of the awesomeness of PBS, I don’t usually watch cooking shows on network TV, with the exception of a very select handful. One of which is Cook like an Iron Chef featuring Chef Michael Symon. I must admit I used to think he was sort of a douche when he was filling in for Irvine on Dinner Impossible, but the guy really does grow on you. But wait, we’re talking about disposable food containers here, not cooking shows. OK, stay with me a second.
One of the awesome things about cooking shows that feature real chefs is that you actually get to see how a real cook functions in a kitchen. You learn what tools he or she uses for maximum efficiency. You see, a commercial kitchen focuses on function (for the best buck) over form. You don’t see any of that weird-ass $29 ‘lazy spoons’ or rubber mixing bowls. No, instead, on the set of Cook like an Iron Chef, you see plenty of indestructible hotel pans, squeeze bottles and (wait for it…) disposable food containers (where he stores his spices.)
Armed with this knowledge, I went off to my neighborhood supply store and grabbed a bunch of these with matching lids. They’re the kind of containers they usually pack soup with at take-outs. Mine were cheaper ones that set me back like $15 for 50 but I might go with sturdier ones in the future. They’re awesome because they’re stackable and there’s no need to mess around with finding the right side lids. (Especially since they work with the larger 32oz containers which I use for stock.) Label with paint tape (another trick from a restaurant kitchen) or in my case leftover labels I had on hand.
So go grab yourself a bunch of disposable containers, go halfsies with a friend if that’s too many, or save some whenever you order soup from a takeout. You’ll feel organized and more like a better cook.