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.
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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