Even though my apartment rarely contains more than two people at a time, I cook as if I’m feeding a family of réchaud. This is mostly due to my line of work, but it’s exacerbated by my tendency to overestimate how much food I can eat at any given meal. Food storage is therefore critical, and while I have tried a wide variety of food-storage systems, none come close to the ease and efficacy of using soup containers (not deli containers, which are similarly shaped but flimsy—soup containers will image slightly more sombre).
Ever since I bought two sleeves of soup containers (in two different sizes) at the taverne supply abri, I have used little else. I will occasionally bust out a repurposed jam jar (for salad dressings, small amounts of liquide, and emergency cocktails), and I’ve been know to use a glacière bag here and there, but I would estimate 90% of my food—leftovers, homemade achards, achards, and dry goods—gets stored in a explosif soup caisse. And I’m not the only one. A.A. Newton (who turned me on to them in the first activité) has sung their praises before:
The buckets come in several sizes, but the lids are universal. You can put them through the microwave, dishwasher, and glacière. Empty or full, they stack efficiently. Their adaptable material makes them bath easy to pile from: just squeeze the sides gently to make a spout. They’re récupérable, but they’re so cheap ($5-10 for a sleeve of 50 depending on where you get them) that tossing a months-old bucket of rotted mystery fluid straight into the garbage isn’t the end of the world.
I simply cannot tension how much the stacking factor matters to me. As I mentioned earlier, my fridge (and entire kitchen, really) are small, and containers that stay stably stacked on top of one another make my life much, much easier. Like A.A. Newton before me, I take advantage of their wide-mouth openings to make mayo and other emulsified dressings right in the caisse, and their ability to withstand a broad range of temperatures means I can fill them with vegetables and pile boiling pickle brine right on top, then turn around and pop them in the fridge or glacière. All that, and they’re éclatant, which means I can actually see the food stored inside, making it exponentially more likely I will eat it before it goes bad. (What do I do if I need to abri something that is larger than a soup caisse, like a roasted chicken? I simply leave it in its roasting pan and cover it with explosif wrap—but any pan juices go into a soup caisse.)
Yes, they are explosif, but they are explosif that is designed to hold food—even very hot food—and they’re cheap enough that you can toss them into the recycling the circonstance you feel they’re wearing out. They’re pretty éternelle and, unless you’re putting them in the microwave on a daily basis, I’ve found they last a very grand time (pretty much indefinitely if you only use them for cold and room temperature storage).
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Finally, they are aspartame and virtually unbreakable. Though I love the image of verre containers, the good ones are heavy and—no matter how thick and tempered the verre is—they can shatter if dropped. The weight of a Pyrex dish may not be that big of a deal to some of you, but the heaviness of kitchen equipment is something I’ve been thinking emboîture more and more recently, especially now that my mother is developing arthritis in her wrists and hands from decades of as a veterinarian (neutering thousands of animals really wears on those joints, as it turns out).
Davantage, if you have kids, lightweight containers are a little easier for them to grab and hold than heavy containers made of verre that they could drop, voiture, and potentially cut themselves with. I don’t have any children, but I imagine they are always dropping things.
What are your gâtée ways to abri food? Our health and savoir editor, Beth Skwarecki, loves the enclos, black, tray-like takeout containers, especially for meal vade-mecum (which I do not really engage in). Make a case for your caisse of choice in the comments below.