Monday, August 31, 2020

In My Pantry

My pantry is one of the best parts of my kitchen. This month, we have installed a new shelf that’s making a big difference in organizing. The new shelf mainly holds canisters of flour and other baking supplies for Len’s bread baking and other baking. Before it was installed, we piled the the lower shelf with canisters one on top of another to fit them in. Some were also in other parts of the pantry. This is much better and freed up more space for other foods. Len had to use some imagination and hard work to fit the shelf into the existing arrangement.

Above the new shelf are my three shelves of spice bottles and cans, and
further above that are my Mona Lisa mugs. It's been a while since a new
Mona Lisa mug arrived in my collection!
Another view of the new shelf.
You can see that my pantry houses many empty jars, as well as several piles of serving platters and bowls, and some small appliances. On the floor are the recycle bin and a stash of grocery bags.

In another part of the pantry, opposite the new shelf, I store a number of metal boxes from Christmas cookies in which I keep nuts, crackers, cookies, dried fruit, etc. In a bin below the shelves I store bags with onions and potatoes. You can also see my semi-organized canned goods, oils and vinegars, and other foods. Some of my reserve canned goods and paper goods are on shelves in the basement. Perhaps I should have more neatly rearranged the pantry for these photos, but I'm showing it to you in its native state.

Asian condiments
One section is reserved for Asian condiments: Thai fish sauce, Maggi seasoning, sesame oil, soy sauce, black vinegar, ponzu sauce, and more. I like to try new ones, but I haven't had the opportunity to shop at specialty markets since the pandemic, so I am using what I already have.

One more view of my pantry. 
Just added: a new supply of goldfish.
Canisters of flour in use for bread-baking.
Yes, all the canisters have labels!

In My Kitchen in August, 2020

At the end of each month, I like to write up what's going on in my kitchen and share it with other bloggers who also post kitchen news at the blog Sherry's Pickings (link). I've been posting about vegetarian experiments, summer produce, and other cooking projects throughout the month (especially in this post last Friday: Food, Wine, Distance), so this month, I'm just telling about my pantry and the one big new change in my kitchen -- the shelf!

In my contribution to Sherry's "In My Kitchen," I also like to reflect a little bit on current events. First and foremost, the terrible ongoing pandemic affects everything, including kitchen life.  The food industry and society have in some ways have acted responsibly to help people in need. But in some cases the lives and health of workers and others have been jeopardized. As I've discussed before, I stopped buying meat from the industrial packing houses where so many workers have been infected by Covid, and I've adopted a more plant-centered diet. My sympathy for food workers also extends to the many restaurant workers and owners whose livelihoods have been disrupted or destroyed by the diminished business or permanent closing of restaurants, a situation that seems to be worsening.

Like many others, I suffer from the isolation and sadness of being locked down, but also feel guilty because I am unproductive. Above all, I am so little able to help those who are less fortunate than I am. I'm thinking of people losing access to adequate food, shelter, and basic human needs, whether from the economic downturn or from the natural and unnatural disasters that have hit several areas of the country. I hope for better times ahead.

Blog post and photos © 2020 mae sander for mae food dot blog spot dot com.


Angie's Recipes said...

Your pantry is pretty organised! Mine is so small and messy.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Your added shelf fits in perfectly, Mae. In my previous home, I designed my own pantry. I measured cans, jars, cereal boxes, etc. and created shelves that would hold them. I like what you have done, because, although my pantry was along one long wall, I didn't consider adding my food processor, slow cooker, or other cooking utensils. This was brilliant.

I, too, am feeling a bit of discomfort from this pandemic. Some days are worse than others. I have my art and blogging friends, but that doesn't make up for personal contact of anything other than two cats who sometimes fight like real children!

Martha said...

Your pantry is amazing, love it! I agree with everything you mentioned in closing as well. I hope you have a great week :)

Lowcarb team member said...

Your pantry looks very well organised :)

All the best Jan

Sherry's Pickings said...

how fabulous to have extra shelf space in your pantry. i need a bigger pantry, i keep telling hubby. i'd love a butler's pantry too :) love your mona lisa mugs. i'm feeling ok these days covid-wise - i mean mentally and emotionally. We are so lucky in QLD not to have many cases. Our Premier has been very tough about keeping the borders closed. i fear she will cop the wrath of the anti-vaxxer types who also believe that covid is a lie and a conspiracy against personal freedom... Keep safe

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh my gosh I'm having a serious case of pantry envy Mae ๐Ÿ˜‰ Having a walk in pantry must be wonderful, I would love it. Clever of your husband to find a way to incorporate that super useful extra shelf ๐Ÿ’œ

Marg said...

I would love to have a walk in pantry! Maybe in my next house!

CJ Kennedy said...

Great job of installing the new shelf. Your pantry made me eyes turn green. I love your Mona Lisa mugs and especially your Goldfish. Happy T Day

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

I love your pantry in its native state. And the under shelf basket is very clever. Your blog is so productive and may be all someone needs each day. I cannot wait for my pantry to be installed. At present we are using my bookshelf, two drawers and the cottage kitchen. Be well.

Divers and Sundry said...

I have a small pantry closet. I should post a photo lol I do try to keep it organized so I can see what I've got. It would be nice to have just a bit more space ;) I think I have that exact same crockpot!

I agree with Lavender and Lime that your blog is in itself productive and helpful, and I find the community in the blogging world encouraging.

Jeanie said...

I'm very envious of your pantry -- native state or not. (And that you have Mona there, too!) What a wonderful spot and if you detect a note of envy here, you have good detecting instincts! The extra shelf is great and must make a world of difference.

My task up here today is to clean out one very hideous cupboard I dread entering because we need more food storage. Or fewer mugs. I can move some of the lesser used dishes to the cleaned cupboard. YAY!

Liz said...

Mae, your pantry is wonderful and very organized. My own starts out that way but very soon descends into chaos. Ditto to all you said about the current isolation of Covid days. I think I would feel even worse if I didn't have the blog and all of you.

Debra Eliotseats said...

I covet your pantry (and your Mona Lisa collection). So tired of 'rona, I can't tell you. It's been 6 months since we've had a date night. :( I know that's selfish of me to consider b/c we are very fortunate in a number of ways and I know there are a lot of people still without work and in food crises. I am looking forward to 2021! Be safe and well, Mae!

francesca said...

Your pantry is looking good Mae. I wish i could re-jig mine to create more shelves, especially for flours and Asian sauces. I appreciate your footnotes at the end of your post. In times like these, it's crucial to hear the reflections of others from different countries. We have our concerns for the next few months in the USA , especially given the imminent election. Hope things remain safe in your town. Francesca,

Kim Bultman said...

Mae, apologies for not commenting earlier... or if I already did! (These days it's hard to keep track of things.) It looks like you've got it under control though with your marvelous pantry in its "native state" and IMK post. The more "real" we are with each other, the more we come together -- joyfully. There goes a kindred soul, xo. I, too, have felt the pinch of isolation, sadness (thankfully temporary), and guilt for not being more productive, but I don't beat myself up about it. We all have good and bad days -- and perhaps that's why I enjoyed your post so much, knowing that "we're not alone." Thank you, xo.