Other People's Pantries #180
From Yolanda, in Manila, The Philippines:
Like many typical urban Filipino homes, my house is actually made up of two kitchens. The so-called "dirty" kitchen outside the main house, between the garage and the laundry area, is where I do most of my cooking. It is also where the house helpers do the basic -- messy and stinky -- food preparation: cleaning the seafood, pounding the shrimp heads, dressing the chicken, chopping the vegetables, or barbecuing the meat. It is a holdover from the outdoor prep-area of the provincial fiesta, where cooking and food preparation are done in the yard, camp-style.
The "clean" kitchen, on the other hand, is where I cook using modern appliances -- blender, mixer, oven, toaster, microwave, rice cooker, and coffee maker; the fridge is also in the clean kitchen. In other words, the "dirty" kitchen is low-tech; the "clean" kitchen, high-tech.
My regular pantry in the "clean" kitchen has three floor-to-ceiling built-in cupboards with 10-inch deep shelves.
Two cupboards hold breakfast/snack/baking staples and buffer supplies; the third (not shown) holds small appliances/gadgets, lunch bags, and kitchen linen. My baking flours, yeast, and more herbs and spices are stored in the freezer.
Recently I had another cupboard built in my "dirty" kitchen -- an early Christmas present from me to me -- to hold my spice rack and everyday cooking staples.
It is also in the "dirty" kitchen where I keep my bulk supply of rice (25 kilos for a month's supply) and palm vinegar (6 gallons for a year's supply). We eat rice 2 to 3 times a day and use a lot of vinegar in our cooking -- food tends to spoil easily in our very humid weather and a little vinegar in the marinade, saute, or braise helps prevent this.