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TDG: Desperate Measures: Storage


Fat Guy
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Now, I had been under the impression that Tupperware is only available through Tupperware "consultants." Like Amway or whatever. So what's the deal?

Tupperware parties are dead in the UK, it was a news item a couple of months ago. They laid off 1700 people and hope to concentrate their sales through 'retail partners'. Another 'party sales' group called Anne Summers (SP?) is said to be interested in employing the ex-party people, although they sell plastic goods of a decidedly different nature :biggrin: .

PS loved the article.

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We passed the Tupperware HQ in Orlando just about everyday whilst on holiday last year. It's a pretty impressive place. I somehow never connected those little plastic boxes gathering dust on my shelves with a $1billion dollar business and palatial offices.

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FG, I was going to say it's too bad I didn't know about these Bourgeat Modulus containers before I started rearranging, but you know what? It's a damn good thing I didn't know about them.

As far as Rubbermaid vs. Tupperware, I see what you're saying about the rounded edges. The only Rubbermaid line I like is the plain white-topped ones, which come in the most useful shapes and sizes. It is expensive, though--I bought Rubbermaid for the most-used items like flour and sugar, and then Gladware and Ziploc for the rest. I did notice that Rubbermaid is now competing in the disposable storage market, so I had to pick up a little of that, too. My local Safeway now also sells store-brand disposable containers, but they're opaque.

I was trying to imply that cabinet rearranging is a guy thing, but maybe a sensitive new-age guy thing. We are talking about teabags and pecans, after all.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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I loved the article. I, too, have a container fetish. I currently have around 50 glass jars with hinged lids and rubber seals (my fav brand is Fido). They range in size from 1/2 L to 4 L and hold everything from baking soda to basmati rice. I have a gap between the top of my cupboards and the ceiling that nicely holds 25 kinds of rice and assorted legumes in 11/2 L jars. Really quite pretty. (My bloody appartment doesn't have any windows in the kitchen so my precious staples are not being degraded by sunlight).

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Thanks Mamster... I relate. It isn't just a guy thing.

On storing the storage containers. When I had a walk-in pantry (and will again in the new kitchen), I had a shelf space where I put all containers. Then I had a basket to hold all of the lids. The trick to making that work is to limit the kinds of containers you have. I had a truly maddening assortment. I bit the bullet and got it down to a few. I love the Ziplocs and standardized on those for leftovers. I also buy big packs of deli containers from the restaurant supply. They are even cheaper that Ziplocs for sending folks home with leftovers. I have the larger Tupperware for flour etc. but I have had those for years and don't know if I would buy them again. I really like the large, clear plastic, rectangular containers I got at The Container Store. I use them for bags of pasta, dried mushrooms, etc. I love that you can see through them so you don't have to go digging to see what you have.

The spices are a MESS! Any suggestions?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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The only problem with Rubbermaid is that they change their line too often. Once I find a container of theirs I love enough to actually PAY FOR, they stop making it. :angry: Missed my chance when Lechter's went out of business. :sad:

And no, this is definitely not just a guy thing. Dare I say again that it's an obsessive-compulsive/anal thing? :rolleyes::laugh:

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For large-quantity things like flour and Basmati I use inexpensive amazingly tough food-grade bins from the restaurant supply. (Like the ones King Arthur Baker's Catalogue sells mentioned by Maggiethecat up there.)

The 4 qt./4 ltr. size holds 5 lbs. of whatever, the 8/8 10 lbs., and so on. (They start at 1 qt./1 ltr., and range way bigger than 8/8 too.) Lids are sold separately so that when the pull tab begins to crack (which it does, in my experience, after a couple of years of heavy use) one can invest the two dollars in a new lid and carry on.

They are freezer/dishwasher safe, dunno about microwave. I like 'em for stock and similar, too -- the measurements printed on the side make it easy to know what's what.

Also, they create the perfect environment for proofing dough, with no plastic wrap no damp towel no nothing else needed. Plus, one can easily see when one's dough has achieved double or triple volume.

But they so far as I know do not have their own rose, which of course Tupperware does, and that's hard to argue with.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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I also really, really like the square Cambro (restaurant supply store) buckets for storage. Right now my cupboards are disorganized but! tonight I am buying some pantry shelving and I'm going to get them under control. And I know Cambro will be what I use, because it's heavy duty, the lids are sold separately, and I like the way it looks.

Jennie

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Yep, and my local restaurant supply has them for about half the list price shown on the Cambro webpage.

I love them so much I want to go buy some rightnow, but I need to do like mamster (whose articles I always love, by the by, so witty) and make a spreadsheet of stuff I need containers for. The ones I have are good for sugar, flour, and I've got a couple extras for brining meats and prep storage, etc.

Jennie

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Are storage boxes a guy thing?  My wife can't understand why I get storage attacks like Mamster's, go buy tons of little containers, and attempt to create a new world order.  It extends to things like tipping over my toolbox and rearranging everything (like Amelie's dad).  Another anal thing of mine is that I hate mixing colors.  So if I have a set of blue Rubbermaids, I will not buy a green or white one, even if it is otherwise of the desired size and shape.

I can assure you it is not a guy thing. I am the same way, right down to the hatred of mixing colors.

My latest bout of anal retentiveness comes from trying to rid my life of plastic. If it was good enough for my grandmother to store her goods in glass jars, then it is good enough for me.

And Mamster, I too love my Dymo label maker. I would label my cat if she'd let me!

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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Great article. In our small kitchen we have one great feature for storage — what seems to have once been a home for a built-in ironing board. The depth of the cabinet is only about 4 inches, perfect for storing bottles of olive oil, vinegar, etc. etc.

And we also have one horrible feature — a very deep closet/pantry. How do people deal with this? Something goes on the top shelf or way in the back never ever to be found again.

We don't want to buy those pull-out baskets because they won't be strong enough for the weight. Everything gets piled up until frustration takes over and the whole thing is cleaned out. Argh!

..or if you find the right size, you can't find a matching lid?  Several months ago I got so frustrated I threw out all the containers without lids...now it seems I am only left with containers that are way too small...and lids that are too big...and they still tumble out.

Did you know that Rubbermaid prints little numbers on the lids and on the containers so you can match them? They range from 0 to 12 or so... maybe bigger. When I told my friend this it changed her life.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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So THAT'S what the numbers on the Rubbermaid containers are!

I use the 21 cup Rubbermaid for proofing dough, also. It's awesome. With a window onto the dough, I really feel like I'm in the room with millions of microorganisms doing my bidding.

Of course, I didn't mean to say that cabinet reorganizing was only a guy thing, by any means. It's an equal-opportunity obsession.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Liz, you're just going to have to join the spreadsheet sister/brotherhood! Wow, you could even make a map, shelf by shelf, showing what's where in the depths of the pantry. Then you keep the list on the inside of the door. You could even color-code everything, and . . . :hmmm: uh oh, I'm getting a little carried away, aren't I? :rolleyes:

Or you could get some lazy susans (does Rubbermaid still make them?) so that you can spin stuff from the back to the front.

With labeling, too, I put being cheap ahead of being pretty: I still have boxes of pin-feed computer print labels left over from when I used to mail out a couple of newsletters. So I just write on those (contents and date), and slap them on the containers. Sometimes they wash off all right, sometimes I have to scrape them, and sometimes I just paste new ones right on top. (I use those to date canned goods, too -- but then I cut them up into little pieces. See what I mean about being cheap? :wacko::laugh: )

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King Arthur sells good, big, cheap flour buckets.

Yes, I've bought them. Imagine my horror when I saw the identical ones for much less at our local restaurant supply place and no shipping fees. I hate that! I have many big Rubbermaid ones too (in spite of the fact that the rubbermaid heiress broke my brother's heart in highschool) but I like the King Arthur/food service ones better. They're airtight but easier to open and close because of the little tab on the side of the lid. Plus you can buy dissolvable labels while you're there (sometimes time is money, you know?). I'm also fond of the French glass jars that have a rubber seal, but not for things I grab with greasy, dirty hands.

Shall we talk about where to store all these wonderful containers once the cupboard space is used up? My vote is for Metro shelving.

regards,

trillium

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With labeling, too, I put being cheap ahead of being pretty: I still have boxes of pin-feed computer print labels left over from when I used to mail out a couple of newsletters.

No, that's not being cheap. Call it "enviromentally responsible" -- both in not tossing something useful, as well as not bringing another thing into the house to store (and for which one has to buy batteries).

I date everything, and never put a leftover in the fridge in a container that is not clear. I got really sick of pulling yogurt and cottage containers out of the fridge that were full of something unidentifiable.

I also subscribe to the philosophy that a deep freeze is not a safe deposit box. :rolleyes:

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Ah, then you'll enjoy my post from yesterday (4/7/03) on The Dinner Thread. :laugh:

I also subscribe to the philosophy that a deep freeze is not a safe deposit box.
Oh, all right, I guess not. After all, I DID eventually turn those currants into jam. It only took about 6 years. :shock:
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Thanks for the storage article Mamster!

I have storage attacks too. Except I use my large collection of clear plastic Chinese takeout containers. Once they're been run through the dishwasher they're perfectly good. And I use a Brother P touch to label everything. The bulk flour and sugar are in acrylic containers but I can't remember the brand.

Does eBay have good prices on Tupperware? Just wondering.

Edited by gracelee (log)
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If I were really cruel I would take advantage of Matthew's absence (egullet road trip to Vancouver) and post a picture of what our cupboards actually look like--halfway done, and thus a much bigger mess than they were originally. :biggrin: But it's fun figuring it out, and we're awaiting a Tupperware delivery. Linen closet next. Fortunately we have far, far fewer linens than food items. (Matthew realized yesterday that we actually have nine kinds of sugar: add vanilla, already in a big glass jar, to the list.) One thing I'm thinking about adding is a plain white label on each container to write down the date last filled. We already do this on the labels of our Penzey's spice jars, and it has worked nicely.

My sister Kathleen, mentioned in the article, has a website to sell Tupperware. Please contact me if you would like the URL. In addition to the storage containers I ordered the Tupperware pastry rolling sheet, which my mom has always used. When I was a kid I always wanted a Tupperware lunchbox set. Now I have one of those Asian stacking metal lunchboxes, so my desire for neat little containers is finally satisfied.

Hungry Monkey May 2009
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So here's my question: I have buckets for some things already, but how do you figure out the required storage container size for something short of testing it out?

Like, 5lb of sugar takes up less room than 5lb of flour (duh) so the container size is different - any good strategies for mapping this out ahead of time?

Jennie

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  • 5 weeks later...
Mamster I'm glad you brought up the issue of Tupperware, because I have a question that has been eating at me for several days: Over the weekend, while on an expedition to the Hanahreum Shopping Center in Ridgefield, NJ, our crew stumbled across a Tupperware store. Yes, a store where you could just walk in and buy Tupperware, like at any other store. Now, I had been under the impression that Tupperware is only available through Tupperware "consultants." Like Amway or whatever. So what's the deal?

I have several other storage issues I'd like to discuss with you as well.

Steven, next time you are in Paramus, NJ go visit a place called "The Container Store". I kid you not--this is a SuperStore for... containers. I went in there for the first time today, and I've got to tell you... its somewhat awe-inspiring in a creepy kind of way. Take 1 part Bed Bath and Beyond, 1 part Staples, 1 part Chef Central and 1 part Sharper Image. Now toss out everything that isn't a jar, box, box of jars, wrapper, box of wrappers, carton, shelf, rack, pot, holder or vessel for something else.

Aparently they are big in Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Francisco, Washington DC and a handful of other places. 'Round here all they've got is Paramus and White Plains, NY.

Their website, which doesn't seem to do the weird-ass hybrid nature of the store justice.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Like, 5lb of sugar takes up less room than 5lb of flour (duh) so the container size is different - any good strategies for mapping this out ahead of time?

Oops, I missed this three weeks ago. The way I did it was to look on the package, which almost always gives contents by weight but serving size by volume. If I didn't have the package handy, I could usually find the information online, on a grocery delivery site such as albertsons.com.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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