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December 26, 2009

Other People's Pantries #100

From Michelle (What's Cooking Blog), in San Rafael, California:

With my daughter home sick today (presumably with H1N1), I was feeling a bit stir crazy and decided to reorganize my kitchen cabinets. It was definitely time -– I was starting to buy items at the store and then find the same thing buried behind other food. Plus, I was at my wit’s end after pulling out yet another empty cereal box!  (My kids tend to pull the bag out of the box to pour their cereal, and then forget where it lives.)

When we moved into our house, about a year and a half ago, my father-in-law helped me convert one of the two hall closets into a pantry. We installed baskets on the door to hold canned goods.  Unfortunately, I had it loaded down so much that the door started to sag. I have since lightened the load and keep the rest of the canned goods in the kitchen. Mostly, though, this is where I keep items that we don’t use very often, such as pie plates, serving platters, our ice cream maker, crock pot and outdoor serving pieces.

Michelle5

Right beside the door when you enter our kitchen, we have a tall and deep cabinet that I use for storing food. The depth can become a problem, since things tend to get lost in the back. On the top shelf, I have cans of food on the right side, a box of bulk nuts in the back, and some pumpkin seeds and Indian food towards the left. Below that is my favorite shelf! I use the coated wire “drawers” to hold grains and pasta. They are fantastic because they can hold similar items together and allow me to utilize the full depth of the cabinet. To the right, I have bulkier bags and boxes of rice and polenta.
 
Michelle4

On the shelf below the grains, we keep our snacks.  The box on the right contains bars and fruit leathers for the kids. Towards the back, I keep all of the unopened bags of chips etc. In the front, we keep the items that are open and available for snacks or school lunches. Right now, the kids are most excited about our “boo chips!” The homeless cereal bags are below, next to a tub of Nutella that my daughter loves on toast, topped with melted cheese. (She is very proud of that creation!)

Michelle3 

This cabinet is above the counter to the right of our gas stove. I keep items in here that I want easy access to while I am cooking. On the left side are vinegars, oils, broths and miscellaneous sauces and condiments. The right side contains our cereal (mostly sticks and twigs and oatmeal) and some sweet treats, such as cookies and our stash of Halloween candy. Notice that they are out of the kids' reach -– to be doled out on occasion.
 
Michelle2

This cabinet is above the counter to the left of our stove.  This is where I keep all of my baking ingredients, such as flours, sugars, honey, extracts, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate.
 
Michelle1
 
Thanks for letting me share.  Now that I can see the back of my cabinets again, I feel pretty accomplished :-)

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Comments

Seriously organized, looks great. I love the first cupboard, with all the upright storage, easy to see what you have, simple access. A wee jealous ;-) I have never understood deep cabinets - everything does get hidden behind other stuff...working on fixing my own issues with that in my home. Thanks for sharing - hope your daughter is feeling better; her nutella/cheese combo sounds interesting. Two of my favorite things, I had never thought of putting them together! ;-)

Very nice. I too had the duplicate purchased problem until I got organized as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

Vertical storage for platters and such is the best, after years of stacking baking pans and trays in a cupboard I finally got vertical storage by drilling holes through a pantry shelf, and running wooden dowels to the shelf below it (with indentations drilled to accept the dowel ends), now all my baking pans, large platters, and cutting boards are easy to access.

Where did you get your plastic coated pull out drawers, I've never seen them before?

Thanks for this fun challenge, Lydia! Now only if my cabinets still looked this nice :-)

What is really nice is there is a little bit of empty space - room left to grow -nice! must be a good feeling to have that project done!

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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