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Other People's Pantries #102

From Peter, chef and co-owner of Pousada do Capão, in Brazil:

My pantry is spread out all over the house. Let’s just say that no one plans much ahead in the interior of Brazil, so when you need more room you put up another lean-to or shed, or you put up a few new shelves, or commandeer some space in the china cabinet, whatever it takes. Here is it called a gambiarra, a kind of makeshift, short-term, yet often highly creative solution to a problem. 

And so, there are staples like rice, beans, flours, oils, sugars etc. in a small room off the laundry.



There are the most frequently used condiments and spices, baking ingredients, oils and vinegars in use, on a shelf in the kitchen right next to the stove. 


Then, more exotic ingredients chocolate, coconut and coconut milk, tapioca, heavy cream, olives, capers, palmitos, and less frequently used spices are stored in the bottom cupboards of the dining room cabinet where we keep glasses and silverware.


In a small, dark keeping room off the living room I stash all my aging liqueurs and fruit desserts. 


Then I have 4 refrigerators –- one in the kitchen for general refrigerator stuff; one in a little ell off the guest dining room for breakfast items and already opened jars of jams, jellies, spoon sweets, and cheeses and yogurt, ripe fruits, butter; one in a separate common room for overflow items when the inn is full and there is no room in the others; and the fourth as yet unused, but it is only a matter of time.

I have 3 freezers too –- one next to the pantry fridge with frozen fruit pulps, various ice creams, logs of frozen cookie doughs, an occasional frozen tea bread; one in the laundry with meats, prepared dishes, fresh tomato sauce; and one in a back shed with everything else. And I have a large cooler for beer, still and sparkling water, soft drinks, white wines and espumantes discreetly positioned in the corner of the dining room.

I am really very organized, even though it may not look it. I know where everything is, exactly, in a kind of spatial, visual way. So when my dear staff tries to help me by cleaning up after me, I often have trouble finding things until I gradually get everything back to normal.

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

Come on -- show us your pantry.

Here's how.

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Four fridges? I'm going there!

My pantry is spread out all over the house. Let’s just say that no one plans much ahead in the interior of Brazil,

I must be a secret Brazilian!!! :)

thanks for the post

I love the aging liqueurs! I really must go age something!

The "dark keeping room" is my favorite! Thanks so much for sharing.

I want four fridges! I have two and can never find anything because they are too stuffed. Mostly with condiments.. :)

As my kids would say, that's one sick pantry! (translation: great, cool, awesome)

noble pig, Natashya - 4 fridges are great, yes, until you have to defrost and clean them in rotation!!

milton - so it's time to come out!! You are welcome.

pam - some of my experiements have been in there aging for 2 years plus - my major problem is that I never remember exactly what I did so I can never really reproduce a result that I like.

Melynda - Thanks. I am running out of room though. This year, aside from liqueurs we made loads of spoon sweets both to serve and to sell - lemon, fig, mango, peach, papaya, pineapple, quince, banana...Time for another pantry expansioin?

Judy F. - I guess sick is kind of like wicked? Thanks

Hi Peter,
Thanks for sharing your pantry ! It just made me miss Brasil. It's funny that when you are in another country, how much you miss and start to value your own. And gambiarra just made me LOL, it is the "jeitinho brasileiro" (the way brazilian do ?!), hahaha ! Hum, those compotes are mouthwatering, especially if served with some cheese from Minas Gerais. You probably miss the sour cream and creme fraiche as much as I miss requeijao and catupiry !

Eliane - You are welcome! I think it is more the "jeitinho mineiro" in these parts. Minas Gerais is a world all its own, né? I improvise sour cream with creme de leite and vinegar, but you are right, it is just not the same. But being here in Serro (São Gonçalo do Rio das Pedras is a district) means we do have the best Quiejo de Minas.

The shelves with the aging liqueurs and the homemade canned items in front of the stone wall, reminds me of what I imagine a hobbit hole to look like. hahah! It is beautiful!

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