It's February now, and I've moved to phase two of the Pantry Project which is about not buying anything that won't be used within a week or two. I'm not always successful at that, but I'm getting better at saying, "No, I don't need those things. I have plenty of other stuff to use up first." which really is the point.
I managed (finally) to get my kitchen rearranged, no small feat, let me tell you since while it looks as if I have ample cabinet space, the truth is that one is virtually inaccessible without a step ladder and grabby stick and two more have lost a substantial amount of space to the duct from the range hood/microwave. Why they didn't run it straight up through the top of the cabinets and then out is beyond me, but then this house is a study in bizarre choices and awkward construction. The housemate and I refer to it as "a benevolent Hill House." Yet another cabinet is ginormous, but most of the space is inaccessible because the door is located at the far end. (I use it for baking sheets and rarely used small appliances.)
In any event, I did want to share an end-of-project photo to prove that I actually did finish. To the left is my pantry. It's all open and I'd prefer if it had doors, but I can't afford that right now. Maybe one day I'll learn how to make doors, or be able to afford to have them made (It'd probably be a custom job since the niche was constructed for me when we re-did the back exit.) I love having all the packaged food here because that's my kitchen desk to the right, and while I sit there, I can look at the shelves and think about what I might fix for any given meal.
Everything that doesn't go in the fridge or the seasoning cabinet is here. As you see, there's a LOT of stuff, though two of the six shelves hold mostly baking items which I consider to be (in general) a bit different from cans of soup and boxes of pasta. Kitty food also takes up a big chunk of space.
Since I've started baking two or three loaves of bread a week, I'm going through flour and yeast at a good clip, also dry milk, honey and millet. I'm also using up the mixes I've had in my cabinets for way too long. So far I've made Bob's Red Mill rye bread (a clear winner; soft crumb, slightly sweet, good sandwich bread) King Arthur Flour sweet almond bread (dry and surprisingly not as tasty as I'd have hoped) and one other KAF bread mix which I can't recall, in part because it ended up being a complete failure. I also made gingerbread and chocolate cake, and I'm finally down to two mixes: One more chocolate cake and a KAF brioche mix.
I made a curry the other night from a mix I got through the Amazon Vine program (Briefly, if you're a member, they send you free stuff, you evaluate it and write a review.) It wasn't great, it wasn't bad, but I used it to get rid of one package of ground beef that had been sitting around here for way too long. If you're sharp-eyed, you'll see that I have about five or six more boxes of Indian food mixes sitting on the shelf.
Tonight's supper will be saffron risotto and chard with ginger. If I can arse myself to fix some lentils to go with them that'll be great, otherwise I'll just let it go. What I really want is an Italian beef sandwich from Marco's.
- In praise of the pantry (kitchenslattern.wordpress.com)
- The Pantry Project (tracyrowan.org)
- Organizing Your Kitchen (apartmentguide.com)
- How to Not Change Your Pantry (outofsickdays.com)
- Choose and Prepare the Pantry Space (frugalrecipes.wordpress.com)
- Start Setting Up Your Pantry (frugalrecipes.wordpress.com)