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Other People's Pantries #178

From Judith, in Jerusalem, Israel:

Growing up in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, I had the luxury of growing up in house that had an actual pantry in the basement with cabinets and shelves in abundance. It was like a little mini-market just down the stairs. Now that I live with my family in a small apartment in Jerusalem, I've had to get used to something else.

I kept thinking I would wait to send in pictures until I was able to organize everything nice and neat--the pictures everybody sends in are of such beautiful pantries, but I finally accepted that realistically that is not going to happen any time soon so I just decide to share it as is--warts and all!


When my husband re-did our kitchen some seven years ago, much of the space was reserved for food storage. Among the most important consideration was what to do with all my spices -- which I admit I am obsessed with.

The plastic spice rack on the door is a left over from the people we bought this apartment from. We took down their kitchen but I kept their rack. Inside the cabinet on the bottom shelf I have another spice rack I bought from Bed, Bath and Beyond on one of my visits to Cleveland several years ago. It folds out and I love it. On the middle shelf there is another spice rack I took from my parent's house. And the top shelf is a sort of mixed bag (I have a few of those shelves!) with vegetable shortening, Ghirardelli cocoa powders, marshmallow fluff, True Lime powder (there are no limes to be had here, or if there are, hard to come by and expensive) and other stuff I like that they don't have here which I stock up on when I go back to Cleveland for a visit.


The bottom of the next cabinet has 2 shelves that hold teas and specialty teas, coffee, cocoa powder and some pastas. The third shelf has some more teas and pasta, some soup powder (which I rarely use, but my husband likes to have around) and peanut butter. The top shelf has some puffed millet and kamut which I also bring back from visits to Cleveland(!), graham cracker crumbs (also from Cleveland!!) and again, teas and pasta.


In another cabinet I have on the bottom shelf grains, legumes, flours, cornmeal and rolled oatmeal, on the second shelf canned goods, tomato pastes, and dried fruits, nuts and seeds. The empty container usually holds my homemade granola, the top shelf is another sort of free-for all storage with some canned goods, some raw tahina and our fondue pot and a china set for dips and chips/veggies. I also see there is a packet of Sahlep powder (a kind of middle eastern pudding dessert) and packed chopped tomatoes.


The next picture shows my  major free-for-all storage space which holds everything from extra tin foil, snacking bars, and canned and jarred goods to chocolate chips, jams. steel cut oats and Grape Nuts cereal (both from Cleveland trips again...). And my marshmallow stash is in the container with the blue handles on the second shelf (I don't like Israeli marshmallows so I bring them over from Cleveland as well.)


Here is the split drawer where I keep my sugars, unsweetened cocoa for baking, cream of wheat (from Cleveland!), corn syrup, oils and vinegars, rices, liquors, cornflour, and the extra flour bags I always seem to have on hand. Behind it is one of the drawers where I keep my baking tins, cookie cutters, pizza pans and rolling pins.

So there it is in all its glory -- my messy pantry. I can only dream of having a pantry as nice as some of you have so I enjoy seeing the photos every week!

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I love that Judith has shared her pantry with its warts! ;-) A good pantry, if used, has warts IMHO. :-)

Shabbat Shalom Thanks for sharing your pantry with us. All of a sudden i am dying for a shawarma

Do you take clothes with you when you go home to Cleveland or just an empty suitcase so you can fill it with food items? :-) I am in the UK and love hearing about ingredients I have never heard of. Marshmallow fluff is new to me!

Thanks Shirley and Milton! Next time I eat a shawarma I'll think of you Milton :-)

A "realistic" pantry (warts and all) is the best kind! I love seeing all the stuff you have and believe it or not it you are actually categorized/organized more than you realize! Lime powder sounds intriguing!

@Susan above- I had the same question as you and chuckled out loud when I read your comment! PS you must try a "fluffernutter" sandwich: Fluff and peanut butter on white bread!

Thanks Carol, it is nice to hear the word "organized" associated with me! ;-)I would love fresh limes, but I can't get them here and I discoverd Lime powder a year or so ago at the Giant Eagle supermarket in Cleveland. Yes, Susan, I definately take an extra empty suitcase with me when I go the USA so I can stock up on my favorite food supplies!!! ;-) Thank you everybody for your wonderful comments, it is really a thrill to have people being so friendly and supportive!! Can't wait to see next week's entry....

We have missionary friends in various places like Panama and China who's regular box from us always contains foods not found there. When you get a request for "Cocoa Crispies," you know the wife is pregnant :-) I'm glad to hear of someone in Israel doing the same thing!

Please don't feel bad about showing your real-life pantry! Sometimes those show some wonderful solutions for those of us who aren't able to pull off the clean organized shelves and drawers. The eye candy pantries are wonderful, but there's no way I could keep one that way!

Thanks Gail, I also love looking at the wonderful "eye candy pantries" as you call them but know I could never manage to keep mine like that either. Glad there are others in my situation and it's nice to think that others can maybe get some ideas from my disheveled pantry shelves!!

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