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Other People's Pantries #130

From Lana (Bibberche), in Southern California:

We live in Southern California, loving every minute of it, even though life as we knew it changed on us without warning -- we left Ohio in 2008 after we lost everything (material) we owned, due to recession. I wish I took the pictures of the pantry I had in my house. That one was a beauty. But considering the size of the apartment we live in, I cannot complain about my pantry space now.

The cabinets are very deep, and getting something from the back is like playing Tetris! 


The top upper left houses my preserves, jams, chutneys and oils (some small kitchen appliances are in the back). In the top upper right live all the cereals and breakfast foods, a gallon of sunflower oil, and in the back plastic plates, spoons, and napkins.

Lower left shelf is for condiments -- Asian, Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, for vinegars, sherry, port, marsala, etc. Some more of the appliances live behind. The basket holds small cans, like sardines, anchovies, pates, tomato paste tubes. Lower right shelf is for canned goods -- tomato products, beans, tuna, coconut milk, etc. and snacks for the kids. The shallow basket holds chocolates and sweets.

The bottom upper left holds big stock pots in the back and the plastic container with grains, dry beans, lentils, etc. Underneath is the container with baking supplies, and on top of it a small drawer with piping tips, pastry bags, food gels, etc. All the way on the bottom are baskets for onion and garlic in the front, and potatoes in the back.

The bottom upper right is the home of pasta and rice, bulk foods, etc. Underneath are flours and sugars, and on the very bottom I keep trays, baking racks, serving platters, etc. In the back I keep choppers, potato ricer, nut grinder and various seldom used items.

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Hi Lana,

Really liked your post and appreciate your strength and composure in dealing with recession and more over admitting the same. My heart goes for your post, and of course you. Best wishes.



With deep cabinets you've got it organized to function beautifully.

is that a jar of sambal oelek i spy on the lower left shelf? If so; awesome!

Thanks for sharing your pantry and best of luck in CA

The pantry as a metaphor for starting over - how perfect! Good luck in California!

Great organization and I would recognize those King Arthur flour bags anywhere! You look like a first class cook, everything organized and a great variety in your pantry.

You have to be organized with deep pantry storage like that! It looks like you are. We don't have the storage here in Florida like they do up north, especially without any basements! Good luck in starting over hope CA treats you well!

I had the same problem of deep cabinets and playing Tetris. One day I had it and measured my cabinets and got storage baskets that fit. That way you can pull out the basket get what you need and not have knock everything over in front to get something in the back. Much easier!

Thank you, Lydia, for letting me share the contents of my pantry!

Arundhati, I appreciate your kind words. Keeping my head up and doing whatever is necessary is the best example I can give to my children.

Milton, yes it is sambal! We have a wonderful Asian store near by, well-stocked and much more affordable then regular grocery stores. Every time I go there, I come back with something new to try. And Lydia's side was my guide many times.

Ted, that is so true. I also bought 2 magnetic spice racks which I am slowly filling with spices. My life is full of metaphors:)

Melynda, with such a limited space I have to be very organized. I was not willing to give up any of the books or kitchen "stuff" when we downsized from 3500sq.feet (with finished basement) to about 960. I love to cook and it has been my therapy in the last couple of years. Thanks for thinking I am good:)

Lyndsey, apartments here do not have any storage whatsoever. And I know one day when we buy the house there will not be a basement. I guess we have to pay the price for living in paradise:) Thanks for great wishes!

Betty, my sister and her husband live in Frankfurt, and their apartment here is much smaller than ours. So I do not complain to her! I am on the lookout for the baskets that fit. The ones I have are the remnants from the house, and while useful, are not perfect.

MyKitchenInHalfCups, I consider myself really lucky, because there is a lot of room in there. It just takes a bit of work to get to certain items.

I can not comment on your situation exactly as I have not lived it - but for sure there is a certain freedom in not "owning" so much stuff - living simpler, in a smaller space forces you to love what you own and only own what you love.
Best wishes!

Carol, that is so true. We had to downsize, but kept 7 shelves filled with books - we could not part with them. 'And, of course, the contents of my pantry (which grew in California!)
Thanks for good wishes!

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