What do you keep in the fridge?

by Rocky Mountain Stepmom

I refrigerate ketchup, mustard, flavored vinegars, hot sauce, and basically anything else that I can wedge into the fridge. I got this from my mom. DH thinks that not all condiments have to be refrigerated. How about bread? Nuts? Flour? Peanut butter?  The current stick of butter in the dish?



148 thoughts on “What do you keep in the fridge?

  1. ketchup, mustard, flavored vinegars, hot sauce, All in the fridge.

    How about bread? Nuts? Flour? Peanut butter? Never

    The current stick of butter in the dish?

    No, but I do know people who keep it in a dish in the cabinet refrigerated.

  2. Yeah, this is a really narrow topic, so feel free to expand to whatever you want. I was scrubbing out the fridge because of my in-laws’ impending visit (which I survived!) and I started ruthlessly throwing stuff out to make space. I also moved some stuff, like mustard, to the shelves.

    Feel free to talk about any storage strategies or whatever you want. Do you keep your kids’ SAT and ACT scores in the fridge, or in the cupboard?

  3. Do you keep your kids’ SAT and ACT scores in the fridge, or in the cupboard?

    LOL. We keep bread/bagels in the fridge, because otherwise they go moldy so quickly. I keep butter in a dish on the counter with no special precautions because we go through that pretty quickly. Never has time to go rancid. I keep nuts in the freezer, and always toast them before they go in a salad.

    Latest salad obsession: arugula, avocado, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, with balsamic vinaigrette.

  4. feel free to expand to whatever you want

    ok, I will. Our toaster oven died earlier this week. It was a Viante: https://www.amazon.com/CUC-04E-Electronic-Toaster-Enameled-Interior/dp/B008F50HXM which is currently unavailable. Except for the actual clock which never worked correctly on this one or the one we had before (same model), it was great for toast, warming leftovers, cooking small things.

    Tomorrow I will go buy one so we can have one functional for breakfast on Sunday. Like I said, we will use it mostly for toast, but also for warming small amounts of leftovers when we don’t want to crank up the big oven and microwaving wouldn’t be appropriate. Recommendations, please.

  5. I keep ketchup, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce all on the shelf. Always have with no problems. I briefly dated a guy who ran a commercial bakery and he said bread is better in the freezer, as the temperature of a fridge is perfect to grow some molds/bacteria on bread. Nonetheless, I store bread in the fridge as well as freezer.

    I grew up in a really humid, buggy place, so generally keep anything closed up tight rather than on the shelf for fear of bugs and staleness.

  6. Like my Tar Heel friend, I am currenty really into arugula. I had a wonderful salad of arugula, roasted red peppers, burrata cheese, balsamic and evoo at Mia Bella in Cleveland on Saturday.

  7. I’ve always refrigerated ketchup, mustard, hot sauces, soy sauce. I blame my parents, who have a fridge packed with a million condiments, and now I do to. I should look at changing this habit, as we’ll be going with a counter depth fridge soon and isn’t have the space like my current one.

  8. We keep all condiments in the fridge after they are open. We keep bread in the fridge, we don’t go through it quick enough. Peanut butter is refrigerated after opening if it is the all natural stuff, not if it is Skippy or Jiff. Butter is always refrigerated, like bread, we don’t use it fast enough to leave it out. No to flour. DW likes to keep nuts in the freezer for some reason.

    I also like to refrigerate most fruit – I like it better cold, and cookies (yes, I buy cookies) because I think they are better cold.

  9. We keep mustard, ketchup, bbq sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, curry paste in the fridge. We keep a stick of butter in a butter dish by the toaster (unless it’s super hot and it starts getting melty). Similar to Lark, we go through butter quickly. We keep bread in the fridge – it seems to keep longer that way. If I have extra bread/bagels, I put them in the freezer.

    When my FIL died and we were cleaning out his fridge, we found his vegetable drawer in the fridge will filled with chocolate bars (snickers, kit kats, etc.). Similarly after my mom died and I was cleaning out her freezer, I found it was full of Dove chocolate. So given this genetic inheritance on both DH and my sides of the families, the odds seem high that the kids will be cleaning out lots of chocolate from our fridge and freezer

  10. I recently learned that soy sauce is supposed to be refrigerated, so I moved our bottle to the fridge.

    I had a delicious salad the other night – arugula, tomatoes, some type of little pepper, burrata and a vinaigrette.

    Scarlett – if you are ever in town, you might want to check out Crust in Tysons. Very casual. Good pizza (the best I have found around here) and their other things have all been excellent.

  11. My condiment rule of thumb is that if it contains sugar, it goes in the fridge. Otherwise, mold could be a problem. So ketchup goes in the fridge, as does that sweet chili sauce, but soy sauce stays out. I do keep the doubanjiang and gochujang pastes in the fridge too, because they are so thick and gloppy that they seem like they could get mold.

  12. I think what you keep in the fridge vs. not is partly due to climate and to what level you climate control your home. First, if it says “Refrigerate after opening” – it goes in the fridge. Given our hot and often humid weather, most other condiments go in the fridge as we don’t use them enough fro them not to get moldy by the next use. SO grew up with butter in the cabinet drawer – but he grew up in the northwest and the only really hot month was August.

    Bread tends to go in the freezer if not going to be eaten in 5 days. Some of it get moldy even faster…we avoid those brands.

  13. There are some things that are messed up by being refrigerated, notably tomatoes and chocolate. Chocolate gets that weird powdery thing on it when refrigerated and tomatoes lose their taste. Of course, supermarket tomatoes in winter have no taste anyway so it doesn’t matter much with them.

  14. “Did you know that people in Europe do not refrigerate their eggs?”

    Because they aren’t washed and it protects them somehow, right? Whenever I get eggs from people who have chickens, they tell me I don’t need to refrigerate them, but I always do.

  15. Regarding appliances –

    Toaster oven – we replaced ours fairly recently and I still don’t care for it. I am watching your recommendations. The old one could be hung under the top cabinet, which gave us more counter space. I couldn’t find one that could be hung for a reasonable price, so there it sits. We use it a lot. My biggest complaint is the first set of toast comes out as desired, the next set gets too toasted on the same setting. I am guessing because the oven is already warm, but it still toasts the same length of time?

    Counter-depth Fridge – Our fridge is still going strong, but it will be 15 years old this Christmas (as will our stove, washer and dryer). We cannot have a standard- depth single door due to the kitchen layout and we couldn’t get the door all the way open. But, I dislike the side-by-side. Has anyone gone to the counter-depth/french door/bottom freezer type? We are a family of 4 when everyone is here, but with one college freshman and a HS junior in the fall, I am thinking we won’t need as big a fridge going forward.

  16. Sort of on topic: I am going out of town for a week and am encouraging my family to cook instead of get take-out every night, as DH will suggest. I have agreed to make some marinade and DD will cook as long as I’ve done some of this prep for her. The marinade is canola oil, lemon juice and spices. Do I refrigerate it? Freeze it?

    In general, I have the same habits as Rocky. I have just started freezing sandwich rolls. Prior to that I just threw things out when they get moldy. I rarely buy bread anymore, but I’ll try freezing it next time I do.

  17. “the first set of toast comes out as desired, the next set gets too toasted on the same setting. I am guessing because the oven is already warm, but it still toasts the same length of time?”

    That’s my (science-y) DS2’s opinion.

  18. Growing up, we had a second fridge in our basement. I wish we had that set-up in our current house, because we only shop once a week, and the first couple of days after the weekly grocery run, the fridge is way over-stuffed. However, we could never get anything bigger than a tiny dorm-sized fridge down our ancient, narrow basement steps, so we have to make do with just one. (First World problem, I know.)

  19. Becky – I’d refrigerate that marinade. It won’t solidify at refrigerator temps and since we refrigerate open bottles of lemon juice I think it’d be safer.

  20. ” Do you keep your kids’ SAT and ACT scores in the fridge, or in the cupboard?”


    Here are the things that I think I might be doing wrong.

    Things I keep in the fridge that I suspect I may not need to: hot sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce

    Things I don’t refrigerate that are really no different from the things above: worcestershire sauce, vinegars of any kind, mirin

    I do refrigerate butter, vinaigrettes (even though I never refrigerate the ingredients), nuts (we go through a Costco sized container in less than 60 days), and peanut butter (we buy the processed stuff). I throw pine nuts in the freezer because they do go rancid in between batches of pesto.

  21. In my first marriage we disagreed on peanut butter, both fridge/no fridge and smooth/chunky. So I bought two jars. You’d think everyone would be happy. No. It was a fight that was supposed to be won or lost with a tally on the aggrieved side of the ledger.

    I keep my chunky all natural peanut butter on the shelf. Butter on the counter. Vinegar and oil on the shelf. Nuts, coffee beans, most spices in airtight and/or out of sunlight containers. All refrigerate after opening condiments, jellies, garnishes, dressings go in the fridge. We use those plastic organizer trays to hold all the jars. We keep spare cans or bottles of seltzer and soda on the shelf and stick new ones in at night to chill. Veggies and fruits that are immediate use, including tomatoes, stay on the counter. We don’t drink beer. Shelled pecans, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chopped parsley or other excess herbs, duck fat, hamburg/slider buns, extra bread, Pillsbury pie crusts in the freezer.

    Probably the only weird thing we keep in the fridge is red wine after opening. We don’t have a wine fridge and the ambient temp is too warm even with vacuum sealing for the bottle to last. I know, we should just drink it all at once or at worst the next day, but that is not how we roll.

  22. I have been very happy with the older version of this Cuisinart toaster oven. We use it almost every day since we keep bread in the freezer and pop slices into the toaster when we’re ready to use. I would have gotten the larger version if I had more counter space. I really like using the toaster oven instead of our big oven for anything that fits, like pizzas and casseroles.


    We refrigerate almost all condiments. Peanut butter goes in the pantry to stay soft. We have a butter keeper with a water reservoir that we keep on the counter.

  23. Soy sauce is a fermented product and temperature control is important to what bacteria grows in it so once opened, I think it belongs in the refrigerator. As I’ve told my kombucha brewing friends, “I get the benefits of probiotics, but what about the risks of malbiotics?”

    Vinegar based stuff is acidic and won’t, under normal conditions, mold. But from what my Dad says, everything molds in Florida, so I could be completely wrong. “Normal conditions” refers to a climate where at least 12 hours out of 24 are below 60 F year round. :)

    I keep the unopened bread items in the freezer, but I buy ~8 at a time and we have three or four open items (bread, raisin bread, English muffins, bagels) in the pantry at any given time. When the kids aren’t eating school lunches, we’ll go through an item/day.

    Keeping mustard in the refrigerator is probably unnecessary but it’s our family habit.

  24. “We keep bread/bagels in the fridge, because otherwise they go moldy so quickly.”

    @ Lark – I wonder if this is a product if your climate. I don’t have this issue at all, even in the summer.

    @DD – NO! Cookies should always be a little warm. Not practical to have them out of the oven all the time, but I will zap them in the microwave.

    That is, unless they are gooey butter cookies. (only eat half a cookie and it’s fine)

    “Did you know that people in Europe do not refrigerate their eggs?


    Yes – but I still refrigerate mine. They also drink that horrible super-ultra-pasteurized shelf-stable milk from a box with no flavor at all. UGH.

    Did you see this about refrigerating tomatoes? I will do it if I need them to stop ripening, but in-season tomatoes don’t usually last long enough for it to be a problem.

    @Becky – I vote for fridge for the marinade too.

  25. Haha! We have a feisty family divide over chunky or smooth peanut butter preferences, so we keep jars of both.

    Our kitchen fridge is smallish, but we have another regular size fridge in the basement and a freezer in the garage.

  26. Only one person in our house (my second kid) eats peanut butter and he doesn’t care what the texture is. I ate so much of the stuff as a kid, out of necessity, that I cannot face it now.

  27. Rocky – You used the word “cupboard” I always say “cabinet”. Regional? Sort of like “sideboard” vs “buffet”, I guess. “Pantry” refers in my world either to a separate mini room or a large closet/cabinet/open food shelving area in the kitchen. We have floor to ceiling narrow spice and can/bottle shelves that I call the pantry. We have a full length cabinet with four tall shelves some of which contain dry food that DH calls the pantry. And two upper cabinets with food/spices on either side of the range.

  28. I was recently in Europe and a friend shared a story about the parenting culture at his kid’s elementary school I thought you’d all enjoy.

    Apparently these parents are VERY concerned about their kids sugar intake so for school birthday parties the thing to do is to serve each child 1/2 of a banana. No cookies (not even a half), cupcakes, ice cream or the like. A half of a banana.

  29. “Did you know that people in Europe do not refrigerate their eggs?


    Yes – but I still refrigerate mine.

    We have to refrigerate them because our eggs are washed. This process removes a natural protective barrier that, when in place, allows eggs not to be refrigerated.

    Also it seems in Europe they vaccinate the chickens against salmonella and that also means they don’t have to be refrigerated. We don’t require vaccination but due require refrigeration.


  30. We refrigerate the same condiments as everyone else, along with nuts, chocolates, and some spices. We keep soy sauce and peanut butter in the pantry.

    I’ve mentioned it before buy we love Land O Lakes butter with olive oil and sea salt. So delicious on bread!

  31. We don’t have too many condiments. Eggs and butter are refrigerated. Bread is in the pantry and eaten mainly for breakfast. The main fridge excluding the feeezer and veggie drawer has plenty of space because it’s mainly used to store the few leftovers we have.
    The second fridge in our garage is mainly used for its freezer compartment. We have a large walk in pantry where all the dry goods are stored. Overall we have enough space. MIL tends to store more than is necessary in the freezer, we could get by with less freezer space.

  32. On the eggs in Europe – growing up we always refridgerated store bought eggs. Even the ones from my grandma’s backyard went in the fridge when we were collecting eggs for Easter (longer period before being eaten).
    We never drank much milk, but had plenty of yogurt, which always went in the fridge.

  33. @ Meme, we also refrigerate an open bottle of red wine. I agree it makes it last longer, and room temperature in our house would be a disgustingly warm temperature for a glass of wine.

  34. In the home country due to warm temperatures and fear of spoilage most things went into the fridge. However, the older folks never got used to drinking water, juices and soda chilled. They always want liquids closer to room temperature. It’s a big generational difference.

  35. We really like our Breville toaster oven. We have the smallest one and we use it for warming up stuff and for toasting.
    We’ve had it a few years and it’s a great appliance.

    Typical NYer here, we only buy fresh bagels and we do not refridgerate. We slice and freeze if we buy too many bagels.

    Our condiments and butter are in the refrigerator. I never put tomatoes in the refridgerator.

    I just started to keep nuts in my freezer. I got the idea from some of you because of the pantry moth stories.

  36. We keep Tabasco (r) in the fridge, but not Franks, even though I think they are chemically equivalent. We keep the store bought Franks Buffalo Sauce in the cabinet, not the fridge. But lately I’ve just been making my own wing sauce with Frank’s regular and butter so I refrigerate that.

    Natural PB, all varieties in the fridge, but Jif regular not.
    Soy, Worcester, not in fridge. Sriracha, Syrup, Hoisin & other “Asian” cooking sauces and pretty much all the other condiments in the fridge. So we’re a little/lot schizo about stuff. But no one has gotten sick based on our food handling “process”.

  37. “They always want liquids closer to room temperature.”

    That’s interesting. My Florida relatives always prefer chilled drinks. DH and his family keep an empty glass in the refrigerator or freezer so whatever is poured into it is cool.

  38. My overseas Indian colleagues, most of whom had many international postings, lectured me on the bad effect of cold drinks on digestion, and additionally on the need to sip water along with a meal, not drink in big gulps.

  39. There are some things that are messed up by being refrigerated, notably tomatoes and chocolate.

    I totally disagree on chocolate. It needs to be hard. If it’s left out, it becomes much too soft.

    @DD – NO! Cookies should always be a little warm. Not practical to have them out of the oven all the time, but I will zap them in the microwave.

    We need to clarify our cookies. I’m referring to packaged ones like Oreos, Fudge Stripes, etc. – the ones you get in the cookie aisle. Those are gross when they are warm.

    I agree that homemade cookies or homemade-style from the bakery section are much better warm and should not be refrigerated.

  40. Meme – my view is that because there was no refrigeration, cold drinks at home are a newer phenomenon but the old thinking got passed down. So, for instance Americans who grew up drinking cold drinks are none the worse for wear. BTW, the seniors don’t like it when I question long held beliefs.

  41. I just found this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/tipsandtricks/31-foods-that-should-never-be-kept-in-the-refrigerator/ss-AAygmTH?ocid=ientp It’s a slideshow, but I clicked thru it with no delays. I think I agree with everything mentioned except for the syrup.

    I went through it. I know melons can be kept out, but I like fruit cold. I also disagree on syrup – real maple syrup needs to be refrigerated after opening. Aunt Jemima can be left out. I’ve already mentioned my disagreement on chocolate and peanut butter.

  42. Meme – my view is that because there was no refrigeration, cold drinks at home are a newer phenomenon but the old thinking got passed down.

    We lived in England for a few years when I was growing up. My parents were hosting a party and my mom wanted to put the beer in the fridge and my dad said they shouldn’t because the Brits always drank it warm. So they put some in the fridge and left some out, and the cold ones went much quicker than the warm ones.

  43. Everyone I know prefers chilled water. Me, I microwave tap water before I drink it because I prefer to chug a big glass of room temperature water. OTOH, for gin and tonics I like lots of ice. ;)

    If I ever see the butter/olive oil/ sea salt Land o Lakes in stick form I’ll buy it. It sounds delicious, and our usual salted butter is not salty enough. Restaurant butter usually seems saltier.

    This idea is probably not scalable outside NYC and only works if you like bacon, but lately we’ve been buying our bacon at the deli salad bars located all over NYC. Their price per pound is about 1/3 of the pre-cooked bacon in our grocery stores.

  44. July, It’s in a tub. I don’t think it comes in stick form. Just the right amount of salt.

  45. “They also drink that horrible super-ultra-pasteurized shelf-stable milk from a box with no flavor at all.”

    I like that milk. The only milk I can really tolerate.

    I don’t like cold drinks, either, except for iced tea/coffee. But I prefer everything else closer to room temp.

  46. Interesting. Meme, I also say “cabinet”.

    We keep soy sauce, hot sauce, vinegar, PB, and the current stick of butter out. Bread is also out (we go through it fast esp. with school lunches and, ahem, Nutella bread in the morning). Cookie dough goes in the freezer if I’m not making it right away. Ketchup, jam, etc., in the fridge. All fruits go in the fridge except large stone fruits and pears, those go on the counter. (Cherries go in the fridge.)

    I like room temp water, otherwise it freezes your teeth while guzzling. We buy the Kirkland liter bubbly water. I need to get a Brita bc our water here is hard and tastes it, but haven’t done it yet. For flavored seltzer and coke zero, etc., I like those cold. White wine in the fridge – we don’t drink red.

  47. @DD – AHH. I was thinking of the grocery store bakery cookies, not Oreos. That makes sense. Although I’ve never tried putting Oreos in the fridge. I guess I will have to do a side-by-side taste test!

  48. “the Brits always drank it warm”

    This is a common misconception of Americans because, historically, beer/ale was not refrigerated in pubs because the kegs were kept in a basement where ‘room temperature’ was something like 55-57(f). So things were served cool by our standards, but not cold (a la Heineken which recommends serving at 40-45).

  49. “real maple syrup needs to be refrigerated after opening. ”

    Oh yes it does. It molds. It is really gross, and expensive, to lose a big jug of maple syrup that way.

    I like to drink my water with plenty of ice. I have one of those hydroflasks that keeps water cold forever on my desk at work at all times with lots of ice & water.

    I like that LOL olive oil blend butter in the tub as well.

  50. Am I the only one who can’t stand room temperature food and drinks? I need cold stuff to be cold and hot stuff to be hot. I tend to eat quickly because I want to eat my meal while it’s hot. I’ll heat my plate up in the middle of dinner at home but you can’t do that in a restaurant.

  51. Things I like room temp include nuts, and I’m fine with both mass-produced and hand-crafted cookies that way, most fruit I prefer to be not-just-out-of-the-fridge cold.

  52. I have never used or lived in a home with a toaster oven. What do you use it for? How is it better than a toaster?

  53. Birdie,
    Thanks for the pizza recommendation!
    Are you getting in all of your last DC experiences before the big move?
    After we moved away, DS1 reminded me that we had never taken him to the top of the Washington Monument. Before they moved to their current admissions system, there was always a line and it was easier to say “we can always come another time. ” We had family in town once on a school day who wanted to go, so we let the younger ones miss school and went along with them, but DS1 was in High School and we thought he couldn’t afford to skip. Then that box was checked off and we never thought about it again.
    We never made it to Monticello either, but the boys all went on school field trips so that one was covered.

  54. “I like fruit cold”

    I can’t eat cold fruit, as I have really sensitive teeth, and biting into a cold peach or strawberry or whatever is agonizing for me. I will take fruit out of the fridge and leave it to warm up to room temperature before I eat it. If I’m in a rush, I will fill a bowl with hot water and put the fruit in for a few minutes to warm it up.

    I have always preferred room-temperature water to cold water. Also, I never drink anything during meals. In between meals I drink plenty, but never during.

  55. BTW, the seniors don’t like it when I question long held beliefs.

    I literally laughed out loud.

  56. well, first and mostly, making toast
    but they all come with shallow “baking pans” if you will that are perfect to hold a few perhaps-not-so-healthy for you frozen snacks for which cranking up the big oven just does not make sense.
    Also, you can fit small corning ware baking dishes in there if you want to re-warm some leftovers that might not be very tempting if you nuke them.
    Some are big enough to hold 9×13 pans or 12″ diameter (frozen) pizzas, but when they get that big they do take up a lot of real estate on your counters and at that point are really, IMO, just for apartment dwellers who don’t have a real oven available.

  57. Denver – the best place for that is to get the stone bowl meal in a Korean restaurant. It is the only way the food stays HOT until you eat it! :)

  58. July – I microwave my water too! You’re the first person I’ve come across who also does this. Unless it is really, really hot outside, I don’t like cold water. My family thinks this is quite odd.

    I usually say cupboard. I’d say cabinet if it’s not in the kitchen. My mom grew up in Palo Alto – maybe it’s a west coast/east coast thing?

  59. Birdie – Use of toaster oven, in addition to what Fred said, in our house:
    (1) You can melt cheese on your toast – this is the highest use other than “regular” toast
    (2) If your butter is really cold, or cream cheese, you can put it on the bread, pop it in the oven for a couple a minute or so and it softens while toasting your bread.
    (3) Simple way to make garlic toast for 2 people – Someone in my house does this a lot who isn’t me.
    (4) We use the quilted bag/microwave method when cooking two baked potatoes, but then crisp them up in the toaster oven. Could bake them the whole time that way, but that seems to heat up the kitchen as much as the regular oven.
    (5) DD#2 makes small batches of cookies – like the toll house that come from the refrigerator section or she’ll half a recipe we have.

  60. They are cabinets – the under the counter or over the counter type. It is in the cupboard when it is a small closet in the same room as the kitchen, but you can’t walk into it and shut the door. It is a pantry if it is a different room or a big closet (walk in size).

    I like the filtered water out of the fridge, but some things need room temperature to mix well – bullion, some drink mixes, etc. I warm the fridge water in the microwave to room temp to mix it, but then either heat it (bullion) or pour over ice (drink mix).

  61. Why aren’t you using a tea kettle to heat the water? Microwaving water – never heard of anyone doing that before. I’m not a big fan of microwaves.

  62. Kerri – We don’t own a tea kettle or a coffee pot for that matter (do pour over coffee). Microwave takes less than 60 seconds (ours anyway) to boil a cup of water. Tea kettle takes much longer.

  63. DenverDad, I agree that chocolate should not be all melty and mushy, but chocolate in the fridge forms this weird powdery effect, and then the texture goes bad. I looked it up – I think it is called a “sugar bloom”. In the summer, I just don’t keep chocolate in the house. I buy it in the mega chilled supermarket and eat it right away

  64. Electric kettles are the absolute fastest way to heat water, with a regular tea kettle on the stove the second best way.

  65. But I have another weird microwave vice… I like my coffee to be really really hot. The drip maker does not make it hot enough for me, and neither does the podmaker at work. So after the machine dispenses my coffee, I walk it over to the microwave for an additional 30 seconds.

  66. I also put the dinner plates in the oven on warm before serving dinner, so that the food doesn’t get chilled by hitting a room temp plate. I learned that trick from my mother.

  67. “chocolate in the fridge forms this weird powdery effect, and then the texture goes bad.”

    IME, this can be avoided by not leaving the chocolate in the fridge more than a few days.

  68. Becky, the most common use our toaster oven gets is toasting sandwiches. I like to get the cheese to melt over tomato slices. DW likes to melt cheese over ham.

    Ours has convection, so it’s also handy for baking small quantities, e.g., just enough fish sticks for our dinner.

  69. I never know if my language use, including “cupboard” v “cabinet”, is regional or just something I picked up from Mom.

  70. Austin, if we still wanted a near direct replacement for our old spacemaker, I’d be tempted to buy a similar model and make an under cabinet bracket or shelf for it.

  71. “When my FIL died and we were cleaning out his fridge, we found his vegetable drawer in the fridge will filled with chocolate bars (snickers, kit kats, etc.).”

    Similarly, my FIL’s fridge contents was mostly chocolate bars, although he also had Oreos and Nutter Butters. He lived alone his last few years, and I think that’s what he often ate in lieu of meals.

  72. Prior to getting a microwave in the home country, it was just heating things up on a gas stove. But our tea times started to vary and a hot cup of tea was a must, so then the problem was solved by putting in in a thermos type tea pot. We didn’t get a microwave until I grew up.
    We didn’t have tea bags till later because in the absence of a microwave most people brewed loose leaf tea in a pot for the whole family not individually. It’s amazing how technology changed certain things.

  73. “he said bread is better in the freezer, as the temperature of a fridge is perfect to grow some molds/bacteria on bread. “

    I’ve read that from multiple sources, and it is consistent with my experience. We keep our bread products in the freezer and take out just what we’re going to eat, e.g., if I want one sandwich, I’ll just take out two slices of bread.

  74. “My condiment rule of thumb is that if it contains sugar, it goes in the fridge. Otherwise, mold could be a problem. “

    Our rule of thumb is the same, but because stuff with sugar tends to attract ants.

  75. “I recently learned that soy sauce is supposed to be refrigerated, so I moved our bottle to the fridge.”

    I’ve never learned that. Our soy sauce in the dispenser stays out in the kitchen, the gallon jugs are kept under the sink.

  76. I never know if my language use, including “cupboard” v “cabinet”, is regional or just something I picked up from Mom.

    I always though cupboards were free standing and cabinets were built in.

    For example Ms. Hubbard’s cupboard:

  77. Becky. I make toasted sandwiches on the stove with a cast iron griddle. I prefer two sided, but i can do open face. And hamburgers. And fried egg for bk fast sandwich. If there is a need to melt cheese, i just put a domed pot or pan lid over the item for a minute. I am glad to be rid of toaster ovens, even the fancy big ones, and i had them for years. I have the convection microwave hybrid for tabletop baking.

    And i love my toaster.

  78. Oh, and here’s a link I forgot: Weird Al’s “Living in the Fridge” (parody of Aerosmith’s “Living on the Edge”.

  79. Those of you who microwave your water, why don’t you just get warm water from the faucet?

  80. I don’t microwave my water, but I don’t use warm tap water because I was always told that warm water leaches more chemicals from the pipes. Maybe an old wives tale?

  81. DD. For the same historical reason you fill up a teakettle or pot with cold water. Hot water over time corrodes both the hot water heater and the pipes, so hot water from the tap contained bits of rust and was for external use only. The instant hot water at the sink that was a UMC add on was cold that ran through a heating unit right under the sink.

  82. “‘Those of you who microwave your water…”

    …might not need to do so here, where our tap water is noticeably warmer than I’ve experienced on the continent.

    I remember talking to friends from college who’d also moved to SV, and one common comment was about cold water from the tap.

  83. I like to wash my bathing suits in cold water in the sink when I stay in a hotel. I called housekeeping to complain that I had no cold water. They laughed and said, it’s Aruba and that’s as cold as it’s going to get from the tap.

  84. Microwaving water? Blechhhhhh

    I use the tea kettle. Tea made from water in the microwave tastes awful.

  85. I use the tea kettle when I want hot water for my tea. And I use the microwave when I want warm water for regular drinking. Yes, I know it’s weird. At work I use the insta-hot tap – but we don’t have one of those at home. Microwave is faster than waiting for hot water from the tap.

  86. I would never drink water from the hot water tap for the reasons mentioned above. To heat my drinking water I put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, just to take the edge off the cold temperature so I can easily drink it down quickly. Otherwise I have to sip it slowly if it’s too cold. When I travel to warm places like the southwest, the water from the cold tap is typically fine to drink as is.

    We used to have problems with lead in the water because lead solder/pipes were common around here. We’ve had our water tested several times, and used to use only filtered water for consumption. Over time pipes were replaced and the water company started adding inhibitors that prevent leaching. Out of habit I still let the water run from the faucet about 20 seconds before I use it.

    Boiling water in the microwave can be tricky, but I’ve got it down to a science so I know that one minute and 44 seconds is perfect for a mug of tea.


  87. Scarlett – I need to ask the kids if there is something they want to do before we move. I think we have done most of the stuff (usually when we had visitors), but the kids were/are young so they probably don’t/won’t remember all that much. One thing that I have always wanted to do is go to the big Mormon church. I have driven by it so many times but have never stopped (and I think they do tours).

  88. This is discouraging for those of you with super-smart daughters.

    Researchers Just Found A Bias Against Female Job Seekers You SO Wouldn’t Expect
    Photo Credit: AdobeStock

    READ MORE: Job Search, New Job, Research

    According to new research, the better the grades a female student gets, the less likely she is to land a job interview. One would assume it’s the opposite — and it is… for men.

    An April study from Ohio State University found that women may be penalized in the job market for their academic success, and that’s especially so if they major in primarily male-dominated field of mathematics. The researchers submitted 2,106 dummy job applications to over a thousand entry-level positions around the country, and they found that male college graduates with higher grades led to more callbacks — those with the highest grades (A and A-) received the most callbacks. The highest achieving men received callbacks 16 percent of the time, and the men with the lowest grades still received callbacks at a rate of about 11.7 percent.

    The same couldn’t be said for women, however, who actually received less callbacks if their grades were higher. While women who were moderately successful were rewarded with more callbacks, women with the highest grades were less likely to receive a second call. In fact, they not only received a lower rate of callbacks than their B-earning peers, but they also received even less than men with the lowest grades in the study. They only received callbacks nine percent of the time.


  89. ” use the tea kettle. Tea made from water in the microwave tastes awful.”

    What would be the reason for this.

    As for Mooshi’s comment about drip machines don’t get the water hot enough, and kettles don’t get the water hot enough, but microwaving it after those processes adds the right boost, I’ll say that each device gets the water to about 212 degrees at sea level. The issue is that the container it is poured into cools it down. When you subsequently microwave it, you add some of that heat back to the coffee.

    Sometimes when I know a person liked really hot coffee, I’ll preheat the mug with just water from the Keurig, then dump it, then make the coffee. Do that, and it will be hot.

    Your drip machine boils the water. But then it dispenses it into a cold glass pot, and then you pour that into a cold mug. You can’t blame the drip machine for that,

    On the DIY front, FIL and I successfully installed a bathroom faucet. I’d had a long week of work, I initially wanted to call a plumber, but he’s just about fully retired now and eager for a project, so I let him convince. Neither of us could have done it singlehandedly, but two minds interpreting the vague instructions, and one person to hold pipes from above the sink, and me to turn wrenches below got it figured out.

    Then when it wouldn’t stop a tiny leak no matter how hard I tightened a section, he offered the Teflon tape that he’d advised DW to buy, and that solved the final challenge.

    Now, in the powder room/downstairs bathroom, I have the waterfall style faucet I’ve long thought was the coolest faucet design I’d ever seen. And I have a lot more familiarity and comfort with basic plumbing, so if a pipe is leaking a little, I’m confident in my ability to disassemble it and Teflon the threads.

    MMM would be proud.

  90. In Denver, according to my myriad cooking thermometers, the water only gets up to 202. Theoretically that’s the perfect temperature for making coffee, according to coffee wonks. I don’t like it scalding hot so I’m fine with it.

  91. And yes, I understand that it’s about the altitude. No need to explain it to me.

  92. I always fill the mug with warm water before I pour coffee, but it still isn’t hot enough if it came from the drip machine. It is hotter if the water comes from the tea kettle. When I make coffee that way, I bypass the glass container, so that probably makes a difference. I just pour the hot water into a Melitta filter on top of the mug.

  93. I usually microwave the coffee, because I am making two cups in series from the best value gadget in the kitchen, the use your own ground coffee single serve Hamilton Beach. The first one gets cool while the second one is being made. If I make only one, I run 4 oz of water through the machine with no coffee into the cup I am going to use. That heats up the cup and the internal parts so that coffee is hot enough.

    And I swear by my electric teakettle – got it 13 years ago at the co store.

  94. In China, you always find an electric teakettle in your room. That is where I first encountered them. Very convenient device. I will be sending one with my kid when he goes off to college

  95. I had an electric kettle in college. It was one of the only appliances that were allowed in a dorm room. Perfect for heating up water.

  96. use the tea kettle

    In the UK, due to standard 220v electrics, an electric kettle can boil water in 120 seconds. In the US, at 110v, it takes 237 seconds. Well, you might say, good for them. But the US does have 220 volt service. That’s why you can have a 220v plug got your stove, dryer or Tesla. The power to your house is 220 volts, they just step it down to 110v for various historical reasons. So my question, could you have a plug in your kitchen wired to supply power to a 2800w 220v British style electric kettle?

  97. It looks like China is also 220v.

    Before anyone knew whether AC or DC was better, Tesla and Edison fought out their discrepancies through intense experiments. Eventually, AC current won, and Westinghouse Electric in the US adopted the 110 VAC 60Hz standard. As this became the standard for American power, European power companies arbitrarily decided to operate at 50 Hz and push the voltage up to 240 in order to improve distribution efficiency. So, most European counties adopted 240VAC 50Hz as standard, which eventually spread to parts of India and Asia.

    In the US, they eventually switched to 220v due to the greater efficiency noted above. But, because we were one of the first country with electricity, we already had an installed base of 110v appliances. And that’s why 110v socket power stuck around, even though it’s inferior.

  98. Louise,

    Is there AC involved somehow? Or screens? It seems like a lot of heat, humidity and bugs. Glamping: all the discomforts and annoyances of camping combined with the high price of staying in a hotel.

  99. “And that’s why 110v socket power stuck around, even though it’s inferior.”

    It’s much safer than 220V or 240V.

  100. “Before anyone knew whether AC or DC was better, Tesla and Edison fought out their discrepancies through intense experiments.”

    We were taught that AC is better because it is easier and more efficient to step down AC voltage than DC. This facilitates transmission at higher voltage, which can be done on smaller cable and with lower loss, then stepping down to lower voltage near where it will be consumed.

  101. “So my question, could you have a plug in your kitchen wired to supply power to a 2800w 220v British style electric kettle?”


    But it would require a couple slots in your breaker panel, and if your panel is already full, you would need to replace some breakers with half-height breakers, or if your panel is already full of half-height breakers, you’d need to add another panel, or replace your panel. Then you’d need to have new wiring run to your kitchen, and punch a hole somewhere, perhaps in your backsplash.

    IOW, not cheap.

    If the extra 117 seconds is that big a deal, you might instead consider a hot pot that you keep hot all or most of the time (I would recommend turning it off when leaving on vacation). Even faster than 120 seconds, and much less expensive.

  102. Do you really like your coffee at or near 212 degrees F?

    That’s way too hot for me, to the point of scalding my tongue and causing pain. If I got coffee that hot, I’d take steps to get it cooler before drinking, e.g., wait for it to cool, add cold milk, add ice.

    IIRC, I’ve also read that regular ingestion of very hot liquids correlates with increased instances of mouth and throat cancer.

  103. “The power to your house is 220 volts, they just step it down to 110v for various historical reasons.”

    Very few, if any, homes have stepdown transformers.

    The 220V to homes is typically two hot legs at +/-110V with a neutral leg at 0V. Most of your breakers are 110V, connected between one of the hot legs and neutral. When 220V is needed, typically a double breaker is used, with the two hot legs connecting through the breakers to the circuit.

  104. Finn. Mooshi doesnt drink her coffee at 212. Dont be overly literal.

    Here is actual anecdata. My little machine above puts out hot water at 185 to 190. A bit lower than the 195 coffee purists suggest, but close enough for 33 dollars. After it seeps through the grounds and flows into the cup, it is 175 to start , max 170 and the end. Even with a preheated cup, it is 160 by the time you lift it off to drink, or less if it sits there. 140 to 160 is most peoples range, but up to 175 is still just hot, not scalding. Since I add cream, i have to put it in the microwave so that it isnt cold. If a hot coffee drinker stands there with teakettle 205 water and does careful pourover in small bits, she probably drinks it black and it will be hot enough.

  105. I’m sure I’m going to regret asking this, but what the heck :)

    Finn, if you already have a 220V outlet for your oven, and assuming the tea kettle is going to go in the kitchen, why can’t you put another outlet on the same circuit?

  106. Oven connections typically are dedicated just for the oven, and are not readily accessible. You would need to pull your oven out to access it.

    I’m not sure about this, but I think building codes would not allow it either.

  107. If a cup of coffee is too hot for me to hold without burning my fingers, then it’s probably too hot for me to drink without burning my tongue.

  108. Hey, if you guys are looking for a fascinating documentary series, Netflix has “Wild Wild World”. Six episodes about the takeover of Antelope, OR by the Rajneesh commune in 1981, and all the crazy-ass stuff that happened afterwards. Some of you are too young to remember it, but I was in college and on the West Coast, so it was a big deal.

  109. “Microwave is faster than waiting for hot water from the tap.”

    And wastes less water.

  110. “To heat my drinking water I put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, just to take the edge off the cold temperature so I can easily drink it down quickly…

    Out of habit I still let the water run from the faucet about 20 seconds before I use it.”

    Would keeping a pitcher of water at room temperature obviate the need to microwave the water as well as reduce the waste?

    My mom used to keep a pitcher of water at to allow the chorine smell and taste to dissipate before drinking.

  111. Thank you Meme, you have the temps on the nose. And I am a black coffee drinker.

  112. “Would keeping a pitcher of water at room temperature obviate the need to microwave the water as well as reduce the waste?”

    I’ve tried this but it just requires too much forethought. Plus another thing to keep on the counter. So I go with wasting water.

    Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! We celebrated yesterday since one of our kids has to work today.

  113. RMS – I debated whether to watch the series. Rajneesh and his followers moved to the home country after that, there was always a lot of sensational news about what went on at his ashram and the politics among his followers.
    What went on in Oregon was not really touched upon.

  114. Happy Father’s Day to all the Totebag dads! Anyone doing anything fun to celebrate? We had our family Father’s Day outing yesterday — we all went stand-up paddleboarding for the first time. Really fun!

  115. Happy Father’s Day to all of our dads.

    We are going to a big graduation/Father’s Day party today. It’s a perfect day for this type of party, but we have a long drive because it’sl DH Long Island family. There is so much beach traffic on a typical Sunday night on Long Island, but tonight will be crazy because of the US Open and Father’s Day.

  116. It’s nice that DH and his 86-year-old dad are at Yellowstone together. The latest installment of the saga is that they’re in a motel near the park. Turns out that when you’re 86 it’s pretty hard to get in and out of a tent. Also, the necessary overnight bathroom breaks (and there are many when you’re 86) are a complicating factor.

  117. Rhett

    The places where I have been glamping get desert cool at night, so AC is not a factor. Each hut has a private toilet at a minimum, full facilities with hot and cold water at the deluxe level. In Africa the staff warm the bed with a hot water bottle. In Patagonia there was a wood stove. In Greenland it got down to freezing each night with a tiny stove and tons of blankets, but it was in an otherwise inaccessible location so better than a tent. I cant imagine no AC in the summer in the humid parts of Texas, or on the roof of a hotel in Beverly Hills. I havent been to the ones in the jungle, thats not my bag, but i googled a couple in costa rica and they were more like bungalows than tents and had AC.

  118. We’re just going to go to a movie and get pizza, nothing exciting.

    DD had her interview at Kumon yesterday, such as it was. She said the owner just talked about the job and said she’ll call tomorrow about a start date and such.

  119. We are watching relentless World Cup! (BITD I snagged a rare soccer playing non-Latin.)
    Tonight my sister and I will take our dad to dinner

  120. Louise, I happened to be watching the series with a guy whose sisters had joined the Baghwan in the 70s, and one of whom is still part of the group. (Welcome to California!).

    There was some criticism that the series didn’t really explain why Rajneesh was so attractive to so many people. And most of the focus was on Sheela, who was the one who organized the arson and the murder attempts on the judge and federal prosecutor and several other people. I still can’t believe she tried to murder officers of the court and wound up only serving 29 months. Total sociopath. And now she runs a home for the aged and disabled in Germany! Super creepy woman.

  121. Rocky — Does this mean that your in-laws are all gone from your house?

  122. We are still in the car due to Long Island traffic. It will take us 2 3/4 hours to travel 60 miles. I do not unserand how or why people flock to the Hamptons every weekend. The traffic from May to September on Sundays is insane.

    They had cakes for all of the graduates and dads. I can’t believe that DD is done with middle school. It was slow torture, but high school seems so final.

  123. RMS – thanks for the recommendation of Wild Wild Country. So interesting so far!

  124. Lauren, is your DD going to go to an exam school?

    Feel free to not respond if you want to keep that private.

  125. DH got to sleep extra late yesterday (12:54!) and then fixed the attic door and put together the zip line in the yard by himself in the afternoon while I took the kids to their last skating show, then we went out to dinner after the show and cast party. :) Fun for everyone!

  126. Finn, Lauren does not live in the city. I believe her town only has one HS.

  127. The Bronx Zoo was great. I was worried it would be too hot but it was nice and shady. We also grilled out – just some bratwursts.

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