From Julia (Cook.Grow.Eat.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts:
This is the post that will make you really grateful for the kitchen and pantry you have!
Despite my hardest efforts, I am not independently wealthy. So when I bought this house, I had to make compromises -- I opted for the driveway, garden and separate dining room in a great neighborhood as opposed to the large, functional kitchen. I know, I know, I used to be a professional chef, and the kitchen still didn't rank.
Nine feet by seven feet floor to ceiling. That gives me precisely 7 cupboards (plus one above the fridge, but since I'm short that cupboard gets relegated to rarely used storage). Four are used for cooking and eating supplies -- you know, plates, mixing bowls, glasses, cutting boards, etc.. Which leaves me 3 for the pantry. Honestly, it's plenty for me. If I had kids or cooked with more convenience items, I might need more.
I have the "Asian" cabinet. I cleaned it for you. Because most things I buy from Chinatown come in bags, I ended up storing them in Ziploc bags once they're open. It doesn't do much for pictures, but it's functional. Lots of curry pastes, coconut milk, bonito flakes, seaweed, dried mushrooms, noodles, condiments and starches of all manner.
Next is the "baking/Italian" cabinet. Flour and sugar in the bins, plus other miscellaneous supplies. I usually have a pound or two of dried pasta, too, and tucked in the back are a few cans of black and white beans. No canned tomatoes -- the 60+ jars of tomatoes I canned this summer are in the basement.
To maximize every inch, I've tucked a few pantry items among the kitchen equipment. Rice lives next to the skillets. And the less used cooking alcohols and vinegars fit snugly behind the mixing bowls.
With only four drawers, I had to think carefully about committing one to spices. But with a few utensil bins on the counter, I was able to make the space.
On Saturdays, we peek into Other People's Pantries.
Come on -- show us your pantry.
*Other People's Pantries is booked into late December. If you'd like this feature to continue, please send in your pantry photos. Pantries are featured every Saturday, in the order in which they're received.
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