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The greatness of empty yogurt containers


Fat Guy
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They are so versatile. Just today I saw recommended in Cook's Illustrated that you can use the lid as an underliner for your peppermill. Empty yogurt containers make great little storage canisters, disposable or reusable mise-en-place bowls, molds, whatever.

How do you use them?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Right now we are using yogurt containers to hold paint as we re-do the kitchen, living room, dining room and hall. No clean up - we toss them at the end of the day. Easier than lugging gallon cans of paint and if one gets knocked over, it's only a small loss and small cleanup! And it will HAPPEN!

But my daughter and I collect them to use as "doggie bags" to send leftovers home with guests - no dishes to reclaim.

I also use them to store home-made ice cream for a short while.

The lids make stencils for tuilles, too.

I use the lids under bottles of vegetable and olive oil in my cupboards to catch drips.

I keep a couple of lidded containers under the sink - one with dishwasher powder and one with SOS pads - better than cardboard which can get damp and soggy.

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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Which brand do you think makes the best containers? Stonyfield Farm, right?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm glad someone finally started a thread on this important subject. My yoghurt container collection recently got too large for the small store room it had recently been occupying, but luckily the old woman in the apartment next door died and I closed a quick and very advantageous deal with her grieving relatives. I've had the walls removed and the place fitted out with large steel drawers of a kind originally designed for image libraries -- they keep the yoghurt containers at the right temperature, in low humidity, and free from dust. The main taxonomic principle I've applied is diameter, followed by depth; within this are grading systems for different qualities and thickness of plastic. Containers that are not circular in cross section are kept in their own area, while non-plastic containers are not admitted.

Of course, uses are too myriad to fully recount, but my favourites include taping them to my ankles to catch water splashed from the sink when I'm washing saucepans (and thereby protecting the floor), cupping them over parts of my body as armour when cooking with fresh chilli, and making tall towers as centrepieces for the dinner table on formal occasions.

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"Important" is exactly the word I was thinking of when, last night, I spent three hours trying to describe this subject to a group of newly arrived Canadian immigrants. Which reminds me, given my role as moderator, I really must insist that any mention of an application also include at least a volume measure plus other relevant data pinpointing the variety of yogurt container, and that any mention of a body part specify the body part, and furthermore, preemptively, that the official spelling is yogurt not yoghurt. Thank you.

[Edit: Please note, for those of you who posted on the subject of yogurt containers in pastry applications, "ecotourism," or issues relevant to the "Ministry of Rum" message board, I have -- after denying no less than three separate sets of appeals -- split this topic in four. I encourage you to follow the appropriate links.]

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I've been using empty yogurt and soup containers for years. Mum too. I put cut lemons limes and small stuff in the small ones so I don't have to use cling wrap or other superfluous materials, and the large ones for freezing bananas and other fruits for shakes or bread, or storing cut vegetables in the fridge. Actually, I use them for all leftovers and taking food out of the house.

I have a couple in my tool box for hardware and brushes etc.

But yeah, I mise en place and use the lids to catch stuff too.

I also use them for pudding and custard and er... jello (don't even have to dirty a bowl).

I recently bought a large amount of ground beef and separated it into pint and quart containers. Working well, so far.

If my milk is on the brink of spoilage, I portion it out for whatever recipes I may use it for and freeze it.

If I'm going somewhere in a car in the summer, I freeze water for myself and the cats. Plus, the frozen containers keeps their carriers cool.

I like Stonyfield Farms for the small ones, the large one can be anything.

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"Important" is exactly the word I was thinking of when, last night, I spent three hours trying to describe this subject to a group of newly arrived Canadian immigrants. Which reminds me, given my role as moderator, I really must insist that any mention of an application also include at least a volume measure plus other relevant data pinpointing the variety of yogurt container, and that any mention of a body part specify the body part, and furthermore, preemptively, that the official spelling is yogurt not yoghurt. Thank you.

[Edit: Please note, for those of you who posted on the subject of yogurt containers in pastry applications, "ecotourism," or issues relevant to the "Ministry of Rum" message board, I have -- after denying no less than three separate sets of appeals -- split this topic in four. I encourage you to follow the appropriate links.]

Sorry, Fat Guy, but in two OFFICIAL languages it's YOGOURT!!!! eh Canada? Don't risk a visit by the language police! Remember Bill 101!

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna, eh? It's yogourt in French but I'm pretty sure it's yogurt in English.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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The OED gives multiple spellings: yoghurd, yogourt, yahourt, yaghourt, yogurd, yoghourt, yooghort, yughard, yughurt, yohourth, yogurt, yoghurt

There’s also a related fermented milk product yaourt, variants, yao(o)rt, you(a)rt.

Edit: Added even more.

Edited by g.johnson (log)
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Oh yeah, I love yogurt containers, and their cousins, quart soup containers from takeout Chinese restaurants (which have the added advantage of being clear).

The big ones are all-purpose storage: in the freezer right now I have a dozen or so holding chicken, beef and lamb stock. The little ones are perfect for freezing single servings of pesto, too.

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I use Brown Cow yogurt containers, because that's what we eat. Great for stock, leftover soup, and dal.

Until my sister intervened and made her buy a proper container, my mother used her Dannon container for scraps, peelings etc that needed to be taken to the compost maker. She kept a plate over it by the sink.

Yeah--we get great clear doggie bag containers from the Japanese restaurant.

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ALERT. ALERT.

The small containers (8 oz. -- 227 g.) of Stonyfield Farm yogurt no longer have lids. They have been replaced by a tin-foil covering (similar to Yoplait). They claim the new lid will reduce land-fill usage by 270 tons.

Save your yogurt lids, Stonyfield will NOT rise again.

Perhaps we must start a black-market in recycled lids? It gives a new meaning to buying a lid.

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Loufood: "Our yogurt containers here in France are clear glass and terra cotta."

Not so fast and superior. Some come in flimsy plastic and paper containers, little stronger than dixie cups, particularly the non-artisanal corporate no-fat brand. Is it "svelte" or something ssing about?

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Loufood speaks the truth! :biggrin: I bring home from France, read that again: I bring home from France as many of the glass, glass with plastic lids and brown stoneware ones that I can fit into my luggage! My husband tries to look the other way as my collection grows on the mantle in our hotel room. I have trained the housekeeping staff not to touch my empty yogurt containers!!

Once home, I use them for jams and jellies, with parafin or with the plastic lid. The stoneware work fine in the oven for custards, and a couple are in duty as sugar bowls and potpourri (lavender) holders! I always think I have enough and that I won't cart home anymore, but faced with the option of tossing one out or leaving it on the breakfast tray, I slink into the bathroom and wash it out. Sad compulsion.

And yogurt in French is yaourt. wink:

eGullet member #80.

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We have the very best yogurt containers here in the Pacific Northwest...Nancy's, from Springfield Creamery (just outside of Eugene, Oregon).

Beside being made from a durable plastic and having a good, tight-fitting lid, these come with little drawing of a bucolic farm scene that might have been drawn by a flower child in the late '60s. They also are linked to Ken Kesey, whose cows contributed milk and who, along with Ken Babbs, helped get the creamery going.

We use both 1 and 2 qt sizes mostly. We call the containers "hippy tupperware."

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Regarding loufood's glass containers, I bring home from France, read that again: I wash out and haul home from France as many of the glass, glass with plastic lids and brown stoneware ones that I can fit into my luggage! My husband bites his tongue as my collection grows on the mantle in our hotel room. I have trained the housekeeping staff not to touch my empty yogurt containers!!

Once home, I use them for jams and jellies, with parafin or with the plastic lid. The stoneware work fine in the oven for custards, and a couple are in duty as sugar bowls and potpourri (lavender) holders! I always think I have enough and that I won't cart home anymore, but faced with the option of tossing one out or leaving it on the breakfast tray, I slink into the bathroom and wash it out. Sad compulsion.

And yogurt in French is yaourt, still another spelling. wink:

eGullet member #80.

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Anna, eh? It's yogourt in French but I'm pretty sure it's yogurt in English.

Three different brands all in both languages - yogourt it is. :huh:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This would certainly !! not be a recommended use, but back in the day, a friend of mine used empty yoghurt containers as his stash. :rolleyes: His parents hated yoghurt, as did his male friends, so it sat happily in the back of the fridge, unmolested.

Could hide small valuables in them, I suppose, when out of town. Jewellry and such.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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The little ones are perfect for freezing single servings of pesto, too.

Hi Andrew!

My favorite way to store single servings of pesto is to pour the pesto into an ice cube tray sprayed with Pam. Once they're frozen you can pop them out into a big zip-lock freezer bag and they keep very well. One or two cubes in a can of tomato or minestrone soup jazzes it up to almost tasting homemade. :cool:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
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