one of the few things that did not get done after we reassembled our newly remodeled kitchen was the pantry.
i’m not sure why.
i just never got around to it.
until a few weeks ago.
the first step in my plan was to make a grand list of everything i felt a well stocked pantry (in our home) would need; purchase it, and then organize the shelves with all the goods. because we try to eat fresh as much as possible i only access my pantry once a week or so with the exception of oatmeal which we eat nearly every morning. in deciding what should belong on the shelves, i brainstormed all of my go-to recipes that could come together in a hurry (such as pumpkin dump cake), recipes i use for unexpected company (pasta tossed with pesto and pine nuts), recipes i could use if i missed a trip to the store or was suddenly in the mood for comfort food (such as a tuna casserole). i also added to the list a somewhat wide variety of dried beans that i try to use weekly on our soup night. the result was a grocery list several pages long which took considerable time to purchase and put away.
next step was to figure out storage for some of the dry goods such as beans and pasta. now, i understand that this could have been very simple but i am a storage snob. i like everything in my home to be pretty as well as functional; so for me, this part of the project took a bit of time.
my first consideration was modular tupperware. i thought long and hard about this for a while, and i really liked the idea. i noticed however, while looking through the catalog that the lid color had changed since i last purchased tupperware. if i wanted to be able to add to my container collection over time (which i did), or need to replace a container, i wanted to be able to do it with the same product. i wanted everything to be uniform. in the end, the tupperware option was voted down.
so, one afternoon while i was browsing through our new cucina italiana magazine i saw an ad for these:
and we decided that was the perfect solution. i purchased along with them a fancy label maker capable of lots of fonts (i love fonts of all sorts) and went shopping for my pantry goods.
the result looks something like this:
grains and legumes....
i couldn’t be more pleased.
that done and out of the way the next step was organizing the spices.
yes, i did see that way cool idea all over pinterest of putting the spices in tiny jars and painting the lids with chalk paint. i have to confess i was a tad bit envious of the genius of the person who thought that up. however, i like my labels to be read on the front and i had already purchased these from bed, bath, and beyond:
i also wanted to use my new label maker.
i didn’t need to collect any more spices like i did pantry goods. i did need to narrow down what i had, getting rid of anything that had expired or gone stale.
i also needed to wash all the little lids and jars by hand, having learned they were not compatible with the dishwasher.
then i had to let them dry overnight and then some to ensure that the contents would not get damp.
quite a process……
the clothespins are for drying the jars. a little trick i learned from martha stewart
the fun part was loading all the contents into the cute little jars, and of course labeling them in a fancy font.
they fit perfectly on my narrow little pantry shelves and as with the canned goods, i’ve been very happy with the result.
discussion underway about a new camera...
so far the stocked pantry has worked wonderful and helped to offset our monthly grocery budget. we just have to remember that once something is used it is put on the list so we always have what we need. much easier said than done, believe it or not.