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Other People's Pantries #56

From Michele, in coastal New England:

We were together for more than three decades, two sharing this pantry which he built. When we parted, this was the most difficult room to face.


Memories of preparing and sharing meals together weighed so heavy that I finally threw open the doors and bared the cupboards. All of what he liked best in one pile to give to him, mine in another. Where there were two and even three of an item, I shared. Oh yes, I kept some of the special stuff just for me.



I painted the walls a brilliant white, added an overhead light and then got rid of the plastic baggies he so loved which feel disgusting after six months.


I switched to glass containers and arranged the pantry so it made sense to me, even alphabetizing my spices, I’m embarrassed to say. Reclaiming the pantry as a room of my own gave me hope and faith that I will continue to share food, life and love with others.

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

Come on -- show us your pantry.

Here's how.

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I can't decide if this stor is sad or life-affirming. What I do know is the pantry is gorgeous and extemely well-organized. Thanks for sending it in!

I think it's both. If the kitchen is the heart of the home, opening the pantry to new possibilities brings hope and eases the pain.

Ditto to Michel and Laurie's comments. I love the door to the pantry.


Don't be embarrassed about alphabetizing your spices - there are lots of us out there.

Bravo to Michele for opening those beautiful doors and eloquently sharing her story.

A very touching pantry post. Making your space your own is both scary and a sign of strength. I love it!

Kudos, Michele. Your pantry looks wonderful. I love the stained glass doors and the sign that says "Cook." May you have many more decades enjoying the products of your pantry!

A touching story, and one of the most beautifully organized pantries I've ever seen.

Thanks for sharing your story Michele. Love your pantry and wish you many more years of sharing the goodness of your ingredients. And I agree, plastic baggies get so grimy.

Amy, It's nice to know others alphabetize. I make fun of myself doing it, but it really is easier to find an item that way.
Julie, It's also nice to know others share my distate for the way plastic baggies start to feel after awhile. Nothing you want near food you're going to eat!

pantry in dalmatia are...maskadur...but your's is very original as a blog idee..

Three decades is a heck of long time and good for you making it your own now. Plastic bags are yukky and your pantry looks great, most people would love a pantry that well organised.

Thank you Michele for showing us your pantry and sharing your story.
From above, I think that this is life affirming since we can all be prepared but not for everything.
Haven't gone so far as to alphebetize just yet.

This is such a metaphor and a wonderful reminder of what we can organize (the pantry and our responses to what happens to us) and what we can't (life and the future). I love that you share some of the ingredients but take back the pantry for yourself. It's inspiring and makes me want to work on my own!

Thanks to everyone for the supportive and complimentary comments about my pantry, and for some wonderful insight. The pantry as a metaphor for what in life we can and cannot control and how we can try our best to continue to enjoy.

I love the look of your pantry and the stained glass doors and the sign that says "Cook” just throws it over the top. Alphabetizing spices – It’s on my “To Do List” to my credit I do think about it often and pray some day the sprite moves me.
Because food is everything to me I can relate to the metaphor of love, loss and rebirth. I believe the under the ashes there is always a Phoenix waiting to be born.
And I agree, plastic baggies get so grimy not to mention they degrade the food that is kept inside them, really they should only be used for transport.

Those are the most beautiful pantry doors I've ever seen.

If you don't alphabetize your spices, how do you find what you need?

I'm remarkably disorganized in almost all aspects of my life, but if my spices weren't alphabetized, I'd never find a thing.

The pantry doors are from Home Depot many years ago.
Kim, I can't match your eloquence but agree that somehow the love of food becomes threaded into all of life's riches and losses and even manages to bring hope.
Erika, I didn't alphabetize for years which is why I had two and three of everything!

I love what you did to make your pantry "yours" after all these years. It is gorgeous, clean and so practical, yet fun.

Always great to see how other chefs stock their pantries. I do inventory once a month myself.

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