Nester's Needs looks for innovative kitchen and home gadgets that are worth buying.
Following a spectacular summer cookout recently, I discovered there is one thing of which every kitchen is in desperate need: an adequate supply of food-storage containers.
After guests had downed their fill of grilled chicken, hamburgers and baked beans, a friend and I looked around the kitchen. There was a banquet of food left over, and we had no where to put it.
I scoured my friend's cabinets looking for more containers but, of course, he only had two containers. And no lids. A kindly neighbor graciously loaned him a few of her plastics, but I had already learned my lesson.
With these handy food keepers, hopefully you will never be stranded with mounds of leftovers and nowhere to store them.
•Since bulky containers take up too much space in a small refrigerator, Tupperware's new Flat Out! line features containers that shrink or expand to the needed size and available space. The containers also collapse flat for easy storage. Coming from the tried-and-true Tupperware brand, you know these containers mean quality and are built to last. The Flat Out! set includes two three-cup, two four-cup and one eight-cup containers, and a storage unit for lids. The retail price is $22.50 for a three-piece set and $57 for six pieces. Tupperware is sold online at www.tupperware.com.
•Liquid leftovers can cause a bit of a problem. Just ask the bottom of my refrigerator, which has seen its share of leaked out soup spills. Aiming to rid the world of these messes, Ziploc has introduced the Twist and Loc storage container. The lid twists like a regular jar lid and features a leak-resistant seal. Available in two- and four-cup sizes, the container has measurement lines so you can see how much is poured in. Finger grips on the side and wide-rimmed, ridged lids make for easily handling. The Twist and Loc containers are sold at area grocery stores.
•The Vintage Glass Food Storage pieces from the Container Store are a modern twist on classic cookware. Made from heavy, tempered glass, the containers are dishwasher-, freezer- and refrigerator-safe, and can be heated in the microwave or in the oven. Food can go straight from the oven to the freezer, and left-over foods straight from the fridge to the supper table, without the need for any extra dishes. The 16-ounce Vintage Glass Storage container retails for $5.99 at the Container Store.
•Almost as bad as having no food storage is having too many containers, and the resulting in-cabinet avalanche. To this end, the Durable Organizational Rack from Rubbermaid is ingenious. Matching containers and their lids are stored right next to each other, and the dispenser design allows easy access. The open-air styling keeps dishes dry and clean, and the expandable rack design can accommodate additional containers as storage needs grow. The 31-piece rack is sold at area home stores.
E-mail staff writer Anna Ferguson at email@example.com.