I confess: I’m not very good at food planning. Whenever I go to the grocery store, I often break the cardinal rules–that is, shopping without a list and with an empty stomach. My rumbly tummy and brain often have conversations with each other that go a little something like this:
Brain: “Hm, let’s see. We have lots of ingredients at home for lasagna, so let’s grab the necessary extra ingredients to round out what we need. A batch should last us for at least a few days, so we save money, stay well fed, and don’t risk having extra food going to waste in the fridge.”
Tummy: “Lasagnaaaaaa! Oh, that sounds good. You know what else sounds good? Mexican food! And that Japanese soba and shrimp recipe from Cooking Light that we love so much. How about that giant roasted pork shoulder and salsa verde recipe we made last year? We could do that, too! And look, all these herbs are on sale, maybe we could just grab a bunch and come up with some crazy fun meals “Top Chef”-style and blog about it! Can we also get some Ben & Jerry’s? Oh hey! Oreos are half-off! Don’t we have a coupon for that somewhere in our purse? Let’s wander each and every aisle to make sure we’re not missing out on any amazing deals!”
Brain: (pauses and sighs) “Ok, whatever you want.”
My wallet, on the other hand, takes a beating as I leave the store with a giant cart of food I didn’t really intend to buy.
Anyway. I digress. Somehow, magically, most of the food I bring home gets eaten, but any fresh herbs I’ve bought invariably go to waste. You know how it goes–one minute, you have a nice, green bunch of cilantro, the next, it’s turning into smelly black mush held together by a twisty tie.
Eventually, after my stomach gets filled with food upon returning home from the store, my brain starts working again. Recently, I brought home some cilantro, and, fearing I wouldn’t get to use it much before it started to turn, I untied it, chopped off the ends, and stuck the entire bunch into a Mason jar (as shown in the picture above).
I tented the veggie bag over the cilantro, like so:
..then stuck the whole thing in the fridge. I took these pictures about a week and a half ago, and the cilantro is still going strong after a water change or two. I’ve also used this technique with Italian parsley, and I’m sure it would also work with basil and other herby things.
Granted, this isn’t a groundbreaking stuff–I’m sure if you Googled “storing cilantro” you’d find the exact same advice. I guess I’m just here to tell you that yeah, it works. So…there ya go.