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Odd kitchen habits

s
southernexpat Jan 9, 2010 12:33 PM

I was cooking at my brothers house for Christmas, and while he was in the kitchen with me he asked me, "Why on earth do you walk like that in the kitchen?" I thought about it, and realized that when I'm in the kitchen, but only then, I scoot my feet along the floor, rather than just taking normal steps. I said I have never really thought about it. Being a scientist, he's very analytical, and made me talk about it until we figured out why.

Turns out, when I cook at home I have two cats that are constantly under my feet in the kitchen. They don't beg for people food, they just know that if I'm in the kitchen sometimes I give them food, so they're just consistently very optimistic.

Curious if anyone else has odd kitchen habits that others have noticed.

  1. a
    appycamper Jan 9, 2010 12:58 PM

    we do the kitty shuffle here too.have to think about other oddities.

    33 Replies
    1. re: appycamper
      s
      southernexpat Jan 9, 2010 01:48 PM

      THE KITTY SHUFFLE! Oh holy moley that's so funny! Now that I think about it, I was puzzled as to why my blue jeans had 'thread picks' on just the left side. I just now realized that it was the kitties pointy parts digging at my leg when I'm at the computer.

      Another odd kitchen habit I've just thought about. I will NOT open a can of black olives unless I look around, make sure the cats are not there, and close the kitchen doors. Years ago we had a cat that would absolutely go berserk for black olives. He'd hiss and scratch you to get at them.

      Kitty foibles might be another thread!

      1. re: southernexpat
        r
        rockycat Jan 9, 2010 04:36 PM

        Cats and olives. And here I thought our departed Moose was the only feline olive fiend around. We invented the "pizza cage" to prevent one cat from making off with uneaten slices and never left an unwashed glass of tomato juice around lest another cat get his head stuck in the glass.

        1. re: rockycat
          s
          southernexpat Jan 10, 2010 06:50 AM

          please tell me I can find that on youtube

          1. re: southernexpat
            r
            rockycat Jan 10, 2010 06:25 PM

            Sorry. That was waaaaaay before YouTube even existed.

            1. re: southernexpat
              Bryn Jan 10, 2010 09:03 PM

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWYEkq...

              1. re: Bryn
                r
                rockycat Jan 11, 2010 10:46 AM

                A cat with table manners is a thing to be appreciated. Our kitten would actually shove his entire head into the glass. I never wanted to find out what would happen if he managed to get stuck.

                1. re: rockycat
                  a
                  appycamper Jan 11, 2010 11:22 AM

                  my cats are not so mannerly at the table but a friend years ago lived with saint kc (kitty cat) gato who folded her paws and observed a moment of silence before eating anything.

                  1. re: rockycat
                    alliedawn_98 Jan 12, 2010 10:49 AM

                    One time when I was a kid, we kept seeing a stray cat with a broken mayonnaise jar around his neck. We couldn't catch him to try and remove it. Guess he stuck his head in for water or whatever and got it stuck then broke the bottom of the jar. It broke off pretty cleanly and he went around for days like that. One day the rest of the jar had magically disappeared.

                  2. re: Bryn
                    kattyeyes Jan 12, 2010 10:56 AM

                    That's fantastic! My cat enjoys stirring ice in one of those Mason jar mugs. Left unattended, I know she'd do the same thing with eggnog...just like the cat in the video!

                2. re: rockycat
                  alanbarnes Jan 12, 2010 07:44 PM

                  >>"never left an unwashed glass of tomato juice around lest another cat get his head stuck in the glas"<<

                  Now imagine the same thing after the cat has had the dregs of a White Russian and can't quite stand up straight...

                  1. re: alanbarnes
                    s
                    southern_expat Jan 15, 2010 06:20 PM

                    Even more 'not about food' - my two kitties will NOT drink water unless it's from the water glass by my bed. Never anywhere else, I've tested it. I gotta be careful about that!

                    1. re: southern_expat
                      alkapal Jan 15, 2010 09:42 PM

                      same here. when the glass was empty, one cat would put her paw in it and pull it off the nightstand.

                      1. re: alkapal
                        buttertart Jan 20, 2010 09:40 AM

                        Our darling departed Milan always drank from a highball glass that was kept on our coffee table. He did the pulling it off the table trick too. My husband now uses those glasses for his cocktails. A toast to the dear departed. His successor cutie-pie Liam (Mr. Underfoot in the kitchen too) always jumps up on a chair at the table just as we're sitting down. Hence my avatar!

                        1. re: buttertart
                          alkapal Jan 21, 2010 07:35 AM

                          Purr-fect! ;-).

                          1. re: alkapal
                            buttertart Jan 21, 2010 07:55 AM

                            Yes ma'am, he is!

                            1. re: buttertart
                              alkapal Jan 21, 2010 08:00 AM

                              he sits up straight and seems to have good table manners.

                              1. re: alkapal
                                buttertart Jan 21, 2010 08:43 AM

                                Impeccable. And the best tail ever.

                      2. re: southern_expat
                        f
                        foodiesnorth Jan 21, 2010 09:59 AM

                        oh gawd...it is nice to know that ours are not the only psycho cats. One of our cats goes crazy when anyone brings in a bottle of water. She insists on drinking out of the cap. The cats will not drink water sitting in their bowl unless they have no alternative AND even then only if is fresh. Long ways from dogs I once had who drank happily out of the toilet.

                        My SO bought me a "sippy cup" to stop the one cat from drinking from the bed side table water cup.

                        1. re: foodiesnorth
                          LindaWhit Jan 21, 2010 10:16 AM

                          My various cats throughout the years have also always been underfoot. Food fetishes abound - the older one, Scooter, enjoys her American cheese bits, but will dive after anything that falls and once grabbed for a bit of chopped onion before she realized what it was - that didn't go over so well! With Scooter, I have to do a partial kitty-shuffle but I often forget and end up kicking her. She wrows at me, moves about a foot but remains underfoot - because you never know what goodies might hit the floor!

                          However, recently, the younger one has taken to hopping on the bathroom counter at night while I do my nightly face-cleaning and brushing of teeth, because his "treat" happens when I'm done. While he's always loved water and drinks a TON of it, Jaspurr has decided he absolutely LOVES running water...especially out of the small Dixie paper cups that Momma uses in the bathroom. That Momma ever-so-kindly slowly dribbles water out of so he can lap from the dripping water. Yes, Momma is wrapped around his little kitty paws. :-) I even managed to get a few pics of him doing this (taking a pic with one hand while attempting to dribble water for him with the other).

                          1. re: LindaWhit
                            NellyNel Jan 21, 2010 10:38 AM

                            LOL!!

                            I have four cats and each of them has their own food/drink "thing"

                            One is obsessed with the bath faucet and will only drink out of that.

                            One is obsessed with bottled water and most beverages in general (no matter what I am drinking - she has to be nosey about it and issists on sticking her nose in the mug/glass and taking a lick.(she's the one in my avatar)
                            Another will not eat out of his bowl - he will move bits onto the floor with his paws and eat it off the floor. (this gets messy but - hey)

                            And finally my old guy - who is a pig about food anyway - but he is OBSESSED - and I do mean obsessed with saltine crackers...
                            He will bother me and beg no matter what I am eating - but if it's saltines - he virtually attacks me! Snatches it out of my hands before I even have a chance! He crunches away and begs for more! It's so crazy!
                            If I had a peice of salmon and some crackers - he'd def go for the crackers first!

                            But this is what I love about them - all their little quirks make each of them so dear!

                            1. re: NellyNel
                              LindaWhit Jan 21, 2010 10:43 AM

                              Kitty Krunchies are a given in that they become itty-bitty kitty hockey pucks that skitter across the kitchen floor. They don't have mice to play with, so kitty krunchies are their substitute. :-)

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                NellyNel Jan 21, 2010 10:55 AM

                                lol yup!
                                My kitties play hockey with bottle caps...
                                I find them all over the place!

                                Funny sooey - none of my cats dig tuna too much...Other fish YES - but tuna not so much surprisingly!

                            2. re: LindaWhit
                              Sooeygun Jan 21, 2010 10:38 AM

                              I mostly have to do the kitty shuffle while preparing salad. We often have a big salad for dinner with tuna on it. When we do, kitty gets a treat, so now kitty equates lettuce prep with tuna.

                              this video is the ultimate in 'cat drinking from tap'

                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kswnj...

                              1. re: Sooeygun
                                kattyeyes Jan 21, 2010 02:41 PM

                                That video is the oddest AND BEST kitchen habit on this entire thread. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it and all the cat tales. Thanks for the hearty chuckle.

                                1. re: Sooeygun
                                  alkapal Jan 22, 2010 05:59 AM

                                  i was hoping someone posted that video.

                                  we all wonder about the water bill at that house!

                                  1. re: alkapal
                                    buttertart Jan 22, 2010 06:51 AM

                                    It is great - (and I'm wondering when the Chowgods will strike this thread dead due to untoward amount of highly enjoyable cat-related discussion).

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      a
                                      appycamper Jan 22, 2010 03:53 PM

                                      no way! cats are food! <wink >

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        alkapal Jan 23, 2010 06:38 AM

                                        yeah, me too! maybe they're being merciful.

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          s
                                          southern_expat Jan 23, 2010 03:06 PM

                                          I wish someone would, I'm sure we all have a million of 'em.

                                  2. re: foodiesnorth
                                    meatn3 Jan 24, 2010 10:20 PM

                                    I have to use bottles with screw tops to keep from "sharing" my water with one of my cats. I have some bottles with the flip up flat straw, but he has figured out how to tug it open. Plus his teeth marks have made the straw more efficient at lip exfoliation than drinking.

                            3. re: southernexpat
                              goodhealthgourmet Jan 15, 2010 10:07 PM

                              my beloved Lulu (rest her soul) was a total chowkitty, and i couldn't resist spoiling her, so she wasn't exactly svelte...but when it came to getting her paws on good food, man she was stealthy & agile! if i was foolish enough to sit down while eating pudding or frozen yogurt, she would leap into my lap and steal licks right out of the cup or bowl, and she would yowl like a lunatic if she smelled fish or poultry (i, too, perfected my own version of the "kitty shuffle" in the kitchen.) but the ultimate occurred once when we were visiting my folks. she dove onto the kitchen table, snatched an entire Zabar's chocolate croissant off a plate, and darted away with it. we were all laughing too hard to chase after her :)

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                d
                                dmd_kc Jan 16, 2010 11:52 AM

                                This deserves its own thread.

                                My favorite, recently-deceased cat (the one in my avatar) was an extremely adept food thief, and sometimes amazingly brazen. Once, he wanted the sandwich someone was holding, so he approached in his usual friendly manner, then quickly bit the hand holding the sandwich just enough to surprise, not draw blood. Kitty then promptly grabbed the sandwich and galloped off.

                                Another time, we came home and noticed the bowl of six or seven fresh tomatoes on the kitchen island had a slight modification: Each one had one precise set of cat tooth marks. Just enough to go through the skin, but definitely not actually what you'd call "taking a bite." The exact same M.O. with every tomato.

                                Or then there's the time we came home to dozens and dozens of soggy, neon-orange droplets of goop all over the place. And the now-empty bag of Cheetos puffs in the corner. He'd gotten the bag from atop a very small and wobbly cart (I'd have loved to see that on its own, because he was a 20-pound bruiser) and eaten most of them, but some he simply munched on and dropped the masticated remnants here and there.

                                He was such a weird cat, but wonderful beyond words despite his mischievous antics. He's given us decades of stories.

                                1. re: dmd_kc
                                  alkapal Jan 17, 2010 12:45 AM

                                  >>>Each [tomato] had one precise set of cat tooth marks. Just enough to go through the skin, but definitely not actually what you'd call "taking a bite.<<<<

                                  i'll bet kitty was just trying to find a tomato that tasted like a tomato! '-).

                                  i had a cat that loved spaghetti sauce,,, and garbanzos, cantaloupe and honeydew. another would snatch smoked salmon like a ninja. another liked salty popcorn.

                                  i actually had to guard against the salmon-snatcher. one look away when she was nearby, and you were out of luck!

                          2. JerryMe Jan 9, 2010 05:35 PM

                            I think the oddest would be that I have to have on a full apron, with hair tucked up before I can even pull ingredients out of the pantry / frig. I remember being at my sis's home and we'd agreed upon the menu, but then I was unable to act until I'd put on a full apron. She also has a cat (and I don't) but I never remember her kitty being in the way . .of me.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: JerryMe
                              j
                              just_M Jan 11, 2010 11:27 AM

                              I too have to have my hair up or I just can't think, my daughter calls it putting on my brain.

                              1. re: just_M
                                s
                                southern_expat Jan 15, 2010 06:27 PM

                                I shaved my head two months ago, in solidarity with a close friend who lost hers to breast cancer treatment, and it's the BEST thing I've ever done. My hair has been long all my life, trying to look young (and hide my double chin) and I never realized what a hot, irritating pain that burden was until then. I look like a boy, but I don't care. It's comfortable and I LOVE it. (She's clean now). PEACE!

                                1. re: southern_expat
                                  d
                                  dmd_kc Jan 15, 2010 09:23 PM

                                  YAY to your friend! And also to you for your support!

                            2. s
                              small h Jan 9, 2010 05:59 PM

                              Today I went into a labeling frenzy. Armed with masking tape and a sharpie, I cataloged all my plastic containers. This made sense in some cases: flour and green bean starch look very similar, and sometimes it takes me a moment to distinguish barley from bulghur. But am I likely to wonder if that is, in fact, fusilli? Or bay leaves? Probably not.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: small h
                                s
                                serious Jan 10, 2010 12:12 AM

                                what is green bean starch? and what do you use it for?

                                1. re: serious
                                  s
                                  small h Jan 10, 2010 06:35 AM

                                  It's the starch from mung beans, and I use it to make sichuan-style noodles. I started this thread:

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6392...

                                  because I was searching for a store that sold the noodles. I learned to make them instead, and now I make them all the time.

                              2. d
                                dmd_kc Jan 11, 2010 01:40 PM

                                I had my sister over for dinner recently, and as she was helping me clean up, she noted that I do something our dear mother does: I use very few paper towels, but those that I do use end up scrunched up and scattered around the counter tops. I realize now why I do it: I try to squeeze every last bit of use out of each one, so if I'm sopping up just a little bit of something, there's always the chance I'll find a little more before long -- so why pitch it?

                                Really, I usually reach for a rag, but there are some times when that doesn't work.

                                14 Replies
                                1. re: dmd_kc
                                  s
                                  southern_expat Jan 11, 2010 02:00 PM

                                  I do the very same thing! Go one step further - rinse 'em out and drape them around the kitchen to dry for use again. I get free Bounty paper towels as part of my job, and I still do this. I never saw my frugal grandmother's kitchen without six or eight paper towels hanging around drying.

                                  1. re: southern_expat
                                    a
                                    appycamper Jan 11, 2010 02:13 PM

                                    my dh does this and we joke about him accessing his inner "nonnie" (his beloved depression-era grandmother)

                                    1. re: appycamper
                                      s
                                      southern_expat Jan 11, 2010 02:22 PM

                                      Nowadays frugal is the new indulgence! Yay for green!

                                    2. re: southern_expat
                                      JerryMe Jan 16, 2010 11:19 AM

                                      Bounty is a very good brand and yep, that's what I do. I've had comments about "all the paper towels laying around". . . I'm sure I didn't have a very good explanation, tho.

                                    3. re: dmd_kc
                                      alkapal Jan 12, 2010 05:40 AM

                                      i'm a paper toweler, too. why pitch it? usually, the "lightly used" ones get soaked with water, and put on the stove in a clump to help get out the goo from my ragu sauce (because i haven't gotten a spoon rest replacement yet some 10 years after mine was broken).

                                      signed,
                                      proud depression-child-by-proxy

                                      1. re: alkapal
                                        s
                                        southern_expat Jan 15, 2010 07:26 PM

                                        Want one? I'm getting ready to pitch my collection of majjolica. Divesting of material things.

                                      2. re: dmd_kc
                                        h
                                        HLing Jan 24, 2010 05:01 PM

                                        ah, here is my paper towel club! I'm going to be snide, now, but just because it's true:) Here goes:
                                        my dear sister washes dishes "less often" than I, but when she does, she bitch about the "gross" paper towels in the sink that got soaked, and ew!, she has to touch them! Same goes for the peelings that are in the sink because peeled into the garbage I'll inevitably miss some and have extra stuff on the floor that I'll have to clean up, instead of all inside the sink and doing it once at the end....

                                        Black olives...and cats...certainly true with more than one of my cats! There's also the gnawed through honey dew melons and cucumbers that says " Thanks! how'd you know that's my favorite?!"

                                        1. re: HLing
                                          s
                                          small h Jan 24, 2010 05:06 PM

                                          I go through periods when I'm easily skeeved (or I suddenly start caring how my nails look), so I feel your sister's pain. Get her some rubber gloves. It's like a hazmat suit for the hands!

                                          1. re: small h
                                            h
                                            HLing Jan 24, 2010 06:09 PM

                                            ah yes, she does have rubber gloves....and she used to drape those wet, yucky rubber gloves on the counter! ;0
                                            No, really, i do know how she feels about the wet paper towels which is just as how i feel about the droopy wet rubber gloves....I just prefer to finish what I started, clean up my own mess rather than to have someone else feel obliged to do it, and then complain about it.

                                            1. re: HLing
                                              s
                                              small h Jan 24, 2010 06:44 PM

                                              I've been known to stand my rubber gloves on chopsticks in the dish drainer to drip dry. Whether this is more or less gross than draping them on the counter, I do not know. Probably more gross. No one's called me on it yet, but that could happen at any time.

                                              1. re: small h
                                                h
                                                HLing Jan 24, 2010 07:26 PM

                                                so, the inside of the gloves touches the chopsticks? or do you turn the gloves inside out to dry? either way, it wouldn't do so well here since I use chopsticks for food much more than anything else...

                                                1. re: HLing
                                                  s
                                                  small h Jan 25, 2010 03:42 AM

                                                  Yes, the inside of the glove touches the chopsticks. I wash the chopsticks before I eat with them. It's actually a pretty efficient method of glove-drying. But it looks weird.

                                                2. re: small h
                                                  alanbarnes Jan 25, 2010 04:13 AM

                                                  Which finger does the chopstick go into? ;-)

                                                  1. re: alanbarnes
                                                    s
                                                    small h Jan 25, 2010 06:01 AM

                                                    Why, the one that provides the best overall balance, of course. Let's just say the glove isn't giving anyone the thumbs up, and leave it at that.

                                        2. r
                                          ricepad Jan 12, 2010 11:41 AM

                                          I don't know if this counts as a 'habit', but I've noticed recently that the sound of the hood fan makes me a little frantic. If I'm cooking and the fan is on, I tend to rush things, even when I'm not in a hurry. If the fan is off, I'm more relaxed. For some reason, the hum gets me amped up. (Mrs. ricepad thinks it's funny.)

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: ricepad
                                            elfcook Jan 12, 2010 11:53 AM

                                            the sound of the hood fan makes my dog go hide behind the couch & shake. No idea why he is scared of it, but it makes me only use it when really necessary.

                                            1. re: ricepad
                                              alkapal Jan 12, 2010 04:17 PM

                                              i'm with you -- i hate the fan. i do think it increases tension somehow, like i think a windy day affects people. observe people next time it's a windy day.

                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                a
                                                appycamper Jan 12, 2010 07:32 PM

                                                really interesting. i have the same reaction to the car's windshield wipers set on high. just a slightly frantic unsettled feeling that immediately subsides when the wipers are switched to medium or low.

                                                1. re: appycamper
                                                  alkapal Jan 13, 2010 03:39 AM

                                                  i wonder if it has to do with the tempo compared with the human heartbeat --- anything faster raises tension/excitement?

                                                  ...and doesn't it make a difference if, in the case of the windshield wipers, you are the driver and not the passenger. somehow, when you're the passenger it is worse (BUT if i'm the passenger, and the wipers aren't going fast enough to clear the rain from the windshield, then it is stressful, because i can't see ahead well).

                                                2. re: alkapal
                                                  r
                                                  ricepad Jan 13, 2010 10:39 AM

                                                  I didn't make the connection until one time I turned the fan off and heaved a HUGE sigh. Mrs. ricepad asked me why I sighed, and I didn't have an explanation. I thought about it, and realized that the fan was creating some tension. After I turned the fan off, I felt relieved.

                                                3. re: ricepad
                                                  l
                                                  LolaP Jan 12, 2010 09:20 PM

                                                  Oh man, this is so true! And our vent is just one of those fake ones that blows it back into the room, so there isn't even any point to having it on. I always leave it off.

                                                  1. re: ricepad
                                                    b
                                                    Blush Jan 13, 2010 12:43 PM

                                                    I react this way to the fan as well!

                                                    1. re: ricepad
                                                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 15, 2010 10:14 PM

                                                      i'm SO glad you brought this up. i didn't have a hood fan in my old place, but i do in my new house (well, sort of, it's a pretty lame one in the MW that's mounted over the stove). anyway, reading your comment made me realize something. i've been jumpy and edgy, and yes, almost frantic while cooking in the new house. i just haven't been able to relax and find my rhythm in the new kitchen, and now i'm pretty sure it's the noise from that darn fan that's had me so unsettled!

                                                    2. s
                                                      sueatmo Jan 13, 2010 11:39 AM

                                                      When I read this first, I though "I must not have any odd kitchen behavior" because I couldn't think of a thing. Today as I was prepping my slow cooker food, it dawned on me that I am a jar saver. Not just any jar, either. Only straight sided jars ( like peanut butter jars), or small jars, straight sided or not. DH who cleans the kitchen up for me, does not understand any of the nuances. He saves any empty jars because I've fussed about thrown away jars in the past. So in the pantry are often empty pickle jars, spaghetti sauce jars, olive jars--often without lids, which makes them truly useless. Well, I admit I am partial to olive jars, impractical for anything though they are. And artichoke hearts jars. And soup base jars. But I don't want pickle jars or sauce jars.

                                                      I accept this is not rational thnking. But I do use my selected jars for food storage in my cabinets.

                                                      14 Replies
                                                      1. re: sueatmo
                                                        alkapal Jan 13, 2010 05:55 PM

                                                        i too save nice straight-sided glass jars. i also save pasta sauce jars for larger amounts of leftover saucy-type things. i like keeping food in glass if i can.

                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                          southernitalian Jan 21, 2010 10:34 AM

                                                          I buy Classico tomato sauce (4-cheese). It tastes okay but especially because I love the shape of jars. Can't get myself to throw them into the recycle bin (although I don't have room to store more then 10). I love to use them to serve Bloody Marys. But I'll also use them to hold leftover soups, gravy, etc.

                                                        2. re: sueatmo
                                                          c
                                                          contemporaryscarlett Jan 15, 2010 01:42 PM

                                                          Of course you have to save the old jars. What else would you pour the old grease in to dispose of it? There are always a few empties under my kitchen sink, along with the one that's in current use and is half-full of rancid grease.

                                                          1. re: contemporaryscarlett
                                                            s
                                                            sueatmo Jan 15, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                            Yep.I just did this very thing the other night. Except I just threw away the jar immediately.

                                                            1. re: contemporaryscarlett
                                                              s
                                                              southern_expat Jan 15, 2010 07:55 PM

                                                              My grandparents had a 'bacon grease jar.' It sat in a space under the counter, and my PaPat put all the bacon fat into it when he made breakfast (every day of his adult life). It was a three-piece tin jar, the bottom part the storage container, next the fitted straining insert, then the lid.

                                                              He added this flavorful fat to the fried fish and fried chicken that he cooked for us in his outdoor kitchen. It never GOT a chance to get rancid, and it was always delicious. I will never eat that way again, but holy cow, it was fabulous! He's 97 now, and has decided to divorce his second wife who's gone senile so he can 'play the field.'

                                                            2. re: sueatmo
                                                              s
                                                              southern_expat Jan 15, 2010 07:16 PM

                                                              sueatmo - I totally understand your jar 'fetish'! It is really hard for me to bring myself to throw them away. Smaller jars (tapered or not) are worth cleaning well, because they are more useful (teeny pimento jars are my favorite thing for storing dried herbs from the garden and small amounts of tasty sauce. I miss glass mayonnaise jars, but now that most of them have been replaced by plastic, I've had to adjust, for storing grains and beans (I live by myself and store small amounts, these containers are perfect for them.

                                                              Peanut butter is most often sold in plastic jars. I loath peanut butter so much that it borders on violence. I did learn, though, when raising my my nieces and nephews, that no matter how much I gagged on the peanut butter smell, HOLY COW how I loved those straight-sided jars!

                                                              I live and cook by/for myself, only cook meals that might have leftovers with my family uptown, have access to recycling, and have absolutly NO reason to save jars. I cannot bring myself to throw them out. They must always go through the dishwasher and be saved. I am thankful to have a huge, otherwise unused closet near the kitchen where I've installed cheap shelves.

                                                              1. re: southern_expat
                                                                s
                                                                sueatmo Jan 16, 2010 11:11 AM

                                                                I understand you completely. Although I like PB just fine. Smuckers all natural PB still comes in glass jars. Soup base jars are another jar I like.

                                                                If you are crafty at all, you could stack your jars, glue them together in a column and have either a candlestick, or a garden ornament. I am not kidding; people do this. But I digress. . .

                                                              2. re: sueatmo
                                                                LindaWhit Jan 21, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                                I'm a jar saver as well. I have several mid-sized mayo jars (obviously older since I don't think they come in glass anymore) for shaking up flour/water/herbs/spices for gravy, smaller jars for grated ginger storage in sherry or putting a small 1/2 cup of Dijon mustard when I have only a bit left in the humongous Maille jar from Williams-Sonoma, even smaller one (think sample-size preserve jars) for storing a good amount of freshly zested orange/lemon/lime rind (after they've dried).

                                                                My sister always used to throw away the jar I'd always have to bring to her house to make gravy (because she kept throwing them away!), until I finally plead with her to save one. Just ONE. I even got some masking tape and put it on the jar with "Linda's Gravy Making Jar - do NOT toss!" written on it. That worked. :-)

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  buttertart Jan 21, 2010 09:21 AM

                                                                  Count me in on this, if they appeal to me (interesting shape/good capacity). Recently found that the CH dictum that things keep better in bottles is indeed true - some fresh salsa kept for 2 weeks with very little decline in quality. Have a very nice rounded triangular in crossection pint olive oil bottle that I've been using (and moving from place to place) since the '80s. Nothing fits my hand better.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 21, 2010 09:53 AM

                                                                    YES on the "interesting shape" as well. I have some jars from Aloha from Oregon that I get tangerine marmalade in, and some octagon-shaped jars (I think mustards came in them?) that I like to keep. If I can get the label off (and when you're REALLY lucky, you get a lid without any branding), they're good for small gifts of mixed homemade spice mixes.

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                      buttertart Jan 21, 2010 10:56 AM

                                                                      My current favorite is one that fried Sichuan chili peppers in oil came in - it's in the shape of a traditional Chinese bell, with little bumpy protrusions at the top. Cute and fun.

                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                    meatn3 Jan 24, 2010 10:46 PM

                                                                    You guys are killing me!

                                                                    I have always been a jar saver, from a long, proud line of jar savers...but I have had to ruthlessly wean myself from this soul satisfying habit due to lack of space.

                                                                    I have saved my deceased ex-Mother-in-laws favorite jar (4" high squat, wide, perhaps from olives) - it just takes me instantly to working side by side with her when I use it .And she has been gone for over 20 years.

                                                                    I also have several of my Mothers jars. One is a large, straight sided jar she used for soup. Another, smallish straight sided jar was her Grandmother-in-laws, only used to shake the batter for blintzes. I lost many jars (and my treasured Chinese takeout soup containers) by sending goodies home with guests. It took me awhile to understand that they didn't understand how perfect these receptacles are! Now I only use vessels that are disposable in my mind for others.

                                                                    A couple of times a year I go through my jars and "tupperware" and match lids to vessels. Then I ruthlessly purge...I long for an old fashioned butlers pantry!

                                                                    1. re: meatn3
                                                                      alkapal Jan 24, 2010 11:40 PM

                                                                      oh, i'm WAY overdue for the tupperware-lid match-up!

                                                                      1. re: meatn3
                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 25, 2010 06:43 AM

                                                                        ::::sigh:::: A pantry. Wouldn't that just be heaven? LOL

                                                                        I also need to do need to do the Tupperware purge. While the bottoms are perfectly serviceable, the Rock 'n' Serve tops have bent or shrunk (I know they don't shrink, but it sure seems like it!) so they don't click onto their bottoms properly. I brought some Cashew Chicken leftovers to work in two of the Rock 'n' Serves, and just to be safe, I wrapped a rubber band around each one of them to make sure the lids stay on during transport. I know there's a lifetime guarantee and you can get replacements; but I don't want to make the drive down to the Wrentham "store showcase" site to make the trade there.

                                                                        I just picked up a large box of assorted Rubbermaid Easy-Find Lids containers. We'll see just how "easy to find" they are. :-) But I do need to get rid of old margarine tubs that my mother gave me a gazillion years ago. Hmmm....recycling is this week - thanks for the reminder!

                                                                  3. c
                                                                    CocoaNut Jan 13, 2010 12:05 PM

                                                                    Not really sure it's considered odd, but I cannot stand to cook in a cluttered (with dirtied dishes) kitchen. For this reason, I try to do as much prep as possible before the cooking process begins. After prep, I clean. If cooking requires use of multiple utensils, pots, bowls, etc to be dirtied to a point I can't just stash them in the washer - I can become quite frustrated while trying to clean and cook simultaneously. Somehow, it generally works out, but I'm exhausted by the time I sit down to eat. lol!

                                                                    I know it's OCD, but has occurred because my mother, great family cook that she was, would absolutely destroy the kitchen in the process of getting dinner on the table. Now, I can't stand to look at too many more dirtied dishes than what is being eaten from at meal's end.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: CocoaNut
                                                                      t
                                                                      Taralli Jan 13, 2010 12:39 PM

                                                                      Myself, sib & many cousins have a dish pan or large bowl w/hot, soapy water sitting in the sink when we cook to toss prep dishes & utensils into as we go - just like our mothers' did.

                                                                      1. re: CocoaNut
                                                                        w
                                                                        WNYamateur Jan 15, 2010 10:16 AM

                                                                        Anything in the kitchen work area not related to food prep drives me nuts. Knicknacks on kitchen counters make me crazy.

                                                                        SO likes to bring the coupons from the Sunday paper into the kitchen to sort them on the kitchen counter. My blood pressure goes up.

                                                                        I think it's so ingrained now that the biggest kitchen in the world wouldn't help.

                                                                        1. re: CocoaNut
                                                                          Midlife Jan 15, 2010 11:37 AM

                                                                          Similarly afflicted and have been married (for 40 years) to a wonderful woman who is quite the opposite. When she is in the kitchen half the drawers and cabinet doors are left open, she works at half my speed, and leaves all her prep 'stuff' on the counters or in the sink for later. Thankfully, we RARELY cook at the same time. And........... I do most of the cooking. We clean up for each other, though, so I keep saying she's got a great deal. :o)

                                                                          1. re: CocoaNut
                                                                            NellyNel Jan 15, 2010 12:17 PM

                                                                            Sort of along the same lines -
                                                                            I have to cook in a perfectly clean kitchen. so before I cook a proper meal - I clean the kitchen from top to bottom...
                                                                            I'm pretty sloppy so a clean kitchen encourages me to cook in a more thougtful and careful way!

                                                                          2. stilton Jan 13, 2010 10:14 PM

                                                                            My dear mentally and emotionally abusive mother would leave the freezer and refrigerator doors open for several minutes to mumble curses and assorted epithets at whoever dared place items in there that aren't her's, like the rest of the family... Other lovely habits include rearranging the contents of a trash container just so, getting very angry if anyone threw anything particularly messy into it; leaving a row of precisely folded paper towels along the edge of the counter against the wall; screaming for hours if there's a smidge of grease or worse, anything sticky on the table or counter; and letting the faucet run for at least 10 minutes before use. There's more but I'm trying to forget it all.

                                                                            1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Jan 15, 2010 08:59 PM

                                                                              I probably have a lot, but I am most likely in denial on the subject. The one habit i cannot break is that I have to run out of or use up all of a product before I open its replacement. I have forgotten a time or two and have violated my own rule and have found it is much easier to consolidate the old product with the new one than to try to get the last little bit or piece out of something. Or the worst case scenario I misjudge how much I have left and I end up not having enough, but didn't feel it was low enough to get more. I owe that habit to my mom.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                goodhealthgourmet Jan 15, 2010 10:18 PM

                                                                                i love this :) it drives me *insane* when i realize i'm working on two open packages of the same item! don't even get me started on cutting a new lemon or lime when i've forgotten i still have part of another one to use up...

                                                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  dmd_kc Jan 16, 2010 11:56 AM

                                                                                  My produce drawer is often a museum of desiccated halves of limes and lemons in plastic bags. And I often have a little jar of just a few ounces of leftover chicken broth on a shelf -- not enough to do a lot with, but too much to pitch. It goes bad so quickly that I end up chucking too much of it. I need to just make demi-glace with it, but that takes just that extra little bit of chopping and dirties another pan -- usually the last thing I feel like doing when I'm making a meal.

                                                                                  1. re: dmd_kc
                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet Jan 16, 2010 01:36 PM

                                                                                    i can't believe i'm going to recommend this, but i finally caved and picked up one of those plastic lemon/lime keepers at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and the darned thing actually works! keeps the cut citrus fresh for days on end.

                                                                              2. g
                                                                                garlic17 Jan 16, 2010 03:27 PM

                                                                                Does this qualify as odd? We got a new fridge. Over the years, I've saved the veggie bins from fridges that have passed through our lives. I've fitted the old bins into the new fridge so I have a series of drawers except for the top shelf. Odd part: I've labeled the drawers and we know where to put things...cheese (also for nuts and salami type things), bread, 2 veggie bins, fruit and potatoes and onions. Works great!

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: garlic17
                                                                                  alkapal Jan 17, 2010 12:50 AM

                                                                                  you keep potatoes and onions in the fridge?

                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                    Bryn Jan 17, 2010 07:23 AM

                                                                                    It keeps them from sprouting and the potatoes get nice and sweet.

                                                                                    1. re: Bryn
                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 21, 2010 10:50 AM

                                                                                      But potatoes aren't supposed to be "nice and sweet". And when the starch has converted to sugar, I think their flavor is off after cooking. I just keep my potatoes in a cool place - under the stairs going down into the basement, although I know not everyone has a storage place like that.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        g
                                                                                        givemecarbs Jan 25, 2010 12:58 AM

                                                                                        My thoughts exactly. Why not just eat sweet potatoes? He he. Potatoes rarely go bad on us. I just keep them in an open cardboard box on the bottom shelf of my cupboard. I used to buy five pound bags until I joined Costco. Ten pounds seems about right for my needs. Funniest cooking advice I ever read was about how you can save money by buying a five pound bag of potatoes, but how would a family of four ever use up that many? I laughed and laughed.

                                                                                    2. re: alkapal
                                                                                      Missy2U Jan 20, 2010 10:48 AM

                                                                                      I do too - now that it's just my husband and I, we don't use a them much - I'd have to pitch 'em if they were out. That's been my experience anyway.

                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                    mastercooker Aug 12, 2013 11:44 AM

                                                                                    I do that too. Because our kitchen is small. Maybe your just used to that, I mean my cousins and I always do the Cupid shuffle when we're in the kitchen.

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