Try a few of my tips for a less stressful, more organised Christmas and a fridge a little less stuffed.
1. The Big Chuck Out
Check use-by dates, get rid of weird stuff no one is going to eat, things that are growing or composting, are completely unidentifiable or have freezer burn. Consider moving some of the things you keep in the fridge that don’t actually need to be there, even if only for a short time. Foods you probably are refrigerating, but shouldn’t | Stuff.co.nz
2. Ew Yuk!
Give it all a quick clean, an ammonia based cleaner will kill germs, or use a vinegar/water solution for a natural clean.
3. Match It Or Toss It.
Find all those might-be-useful takeaway and plastic containers with lids to store loose ingredients or leftovers. Recycle stained old containers and reuse lidless containers as drawer dividers. Zip lock bags are great for storing pre-cut salad ingredients if you squeeze the air out.
4. Chill Out.
Consider hiring or borrowing a small (or large) second fridge for the holiday, honestly, you’ll think you’re in heaven.
5. If It Fits, It Sits.
Adjust shelving to fit your ham, turkey or chicken and big bowls of trifle or salads, while the shelves are less full.
6. Food Safety Is NO 1!
Wrap it, cover it, chill it, keep it low if it’s raw. Keep raw chicken or turkey on the lowest shelf, well wrapped and in a leak proof container. Food health and safety | NZ Government – Govt.nz
7. Layer It.
Use large sturdy aluminium or plastic plates or platters as lids on cling film wrapped bowls to help stack. Or invest in smart serving bowls with airtight, stackable lids.
8. Ham Sammies.
Wrap your leftover ham in a ham bag, or use a big tea towel or pillow case, soaked in water and vinegar. Store it low in the fridge (it’s cooler down there) and refresh the cloth with the vinegar and water every 2-3 days.
9. Chilled Chooks.
Cooked meat can be frozen for a few weeks if wrapped well. Boneless portions in zip lock bags are super quick to grab to make quiches, sandwiches, salads or pies.
10. The More The Merrier!
To avoid having leftovers… Invite more people!