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April 12, 2008

Other People's Pantries #11

From Alanna (A Veggie Venture and Kitchen Parade), in St. Louis, Missouri:

My kitchen is small but well-organized. Nothing without utility lasts long. I make good use of vertical space and watch especially for things of small size that don't overwhelm a small kitchen. I don't use expensive organizing systems, just a few pieces purchased for few dollars, ones that help me use space well.

Alanna1

This cupboard is just above my main working area which sits between the stove and sink. Can you guess my favorite color?! I'm struck that everything in this cupboard is 10 - 20+ years old. The top shelf has inexpensive Container Store tins for sugar and flour ("red is sugar, green is flour" I chant) along with specialty sugars like super-fine, Swedish crystals and demerara. The second shelf has more flour (whole wheat) and sugar (brown) plus my very favorite four -- yes, four -- colanders. I can't believe how often they're all in use! I paid $1 a piece for them many years ago. The bottom shelf holds vinegars and baking dishes. The stacking Pyrex cups are a relatively new addition (that is 10 years ago), from a Dorie Greenspan recommendation from days when I didn't know who she was!

Alanna3

Okay, NOW do you want to guess my favorite color?! This cupboard holds spices, vanilla and other baking flavorings, all within reach when I'm baking and cooking. The big jar on the top is still-steeping vanilla. The double-tiered lazy Susans are a godsend; so are the tiered shelves on the bottom shelf on the left. The red/green spice boxes are ones from Tones collected when I first started to cook -- yes, they're alphabetized. Empty spice boxes move to the bottom shelf so it's easy to know what's low/out when running out the door to the spice shop at the farmers market. The peanut butter is right in front because it's the one thing that gets used every single day. The little salt cellar on the bottom right came from a trip to the USSR when I was a student.

Alanna2

Another space that uses vertical space too, especially important because the pantry is deep and the shelves quite tall. Absolutely everything in here is either tightly sealed or placed in a zip-lock bag -- even if a bag of flour comes home infested, say, it's sealed from everything else. Even all the pasta boxes on the top shelf are sealed. Grains, rice, beans and dried fruit are in glass jars from my mother. I'm working hard to clean this out, use it less for "storage" and more for easy access. But some things do tend to collect -- if they were clothing, they'd have gone to Goodwill a long time ago. Somehow, I can't bear to throw away food.

As much cooking as I do (9 - 15 dishes a week, on average), I do it all from a small space. In fact, the small space may help me stay organized; it's easy enough to see most everything. I do have the luxury of a basement but it's reserved for large and infrequent things.

On Saturdays, we peek into Other People's Pantries.

Come on -- show us your pantry.

Here's how.

Comments

Oh I'm laughing. This is just the pantry I'd put you in Alanna! Organized to work and still lovely! I'd wish for a close up of that salt container! Looks pretty.

How fascinating! I'm hopefully meeting Alanna this June (not sure yet if at her home or elsewhere), so it was cool to peek into her pantry!!

Very fun seeing Alanna's pantry. I've been in her kitchen, but I don't think I saw inside the cupboard doors even once. Not surprised to see how organized it is though!

OMG! You have provided inspiration to clean out my pantry! I would be humiliated for anyone to see it in its current state! I envy you guys and your organizational skills. Mine always starts out looking organized, but deteriorates into pandemonium before I know what happened!

Tanna ~ So glad to provide a (middle of the night, girl?) chuckle!

Pille ~ I'll paint my kitchen cornflower blue if it means we get to meet!

Kalyn ~ No surprise we didn't look into the cupboards, as I recall, we didn't cook a bite except oatmeal & peanut butter. See the peanut butter jar: http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2006/10/great-breakfast-on-south-beach-diet.html I'm finishing a bowl this very second!

Deborah ~ Aiii don't worry. This is my sixth kitchen so "moving" is a great motivator to cull down, so is a small kitchen. My last kitchen had sooo many cupboards plus a pantry bigger than many closets (even in that house, funny). I couldn't find a thing.

very nice!

Paz

It all looks extremely well organized and those lazy susans are such a great way to reach the stuff at the back of the cabinet. At my house we reach the stuff in the back of the cabinet by taking out everything in the front. Not very efficient.

Great looking pantry! Especially like the green and red theme. I think I have a similar salt cellar, thought it was for keeping rings when doing dishes. Duh! Thanks for sharing.

That's one very organized pantry and a lots of herbs! :D

that was fun to see. I admire anyone so well organized.

A well organised and well stocked pantry! :)

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