The title describes my pantry. The word pantry comes from the French word pain which means bread. Modern pantries are seldom used to store bread instead it is a small room or closet in which food, dishes, and utensils are kept.
Ever since the renovation of The Glade we have had a dedicated pantry for such items as oversized bowls and roasting pans, canned goods, dog food, seldom used appliances (waffle iron, extra espresso machine, mixer), cook books, etc.
Charlie also keeps his myriad snacks in the pantry in old dog treat jars.
The whole place is a shambles.
Today I took a stab at straightening it up just a bit. Don’t tell Charlie but any outdated food has been trashed. I’ll never eat it; he’ll never eat it; and it can’t be donated. Cans have been lined up according to type.
Plastic containers have been matched up with their corresponding lids. Anything with advertising or missing its mate is history.
The January task in terms of cleaning and straightening the house starts in the kitchen. The kitchen is used to some extent everyday and from time we put a heavy load on its resources.
We don’t have many drawers in the kitchen but the ones we have are packed to the gills with table linens and utensils.
Some of the utensils are seldom used but when I need a cherry pitter I happy to have one. I’m going to try to be ruthless with useless items. Then I’ll organize so the most used items are easily accessible.
It can be easy to carelessly throw pots and pans and bowls into cabinets, so I plan to remove all the cookware and wipe off the revolving shelves. This year I did get rid of a bundt cake pan that horribly ruined a cake.
There is lots of space in the cupboard but frequently used pieces should be near the front.
Our pantry holds everything that needs to be easily accessed or, conversely, is seldom used. It needs an organizational once-over. I can organize canned goods by type, check expiration dates and get rid of foods you’ll never eat. Unexpired and shelf stable foods can be donated to your local food pantry.
One of the worst areas are storage containers without lids and lids without matching containers. We organize this a lot but it is difficult to maintain.
While I don’t actually have a spice rack I keep a number of spices and herbs in a narrow cabinet near the stove. I’m almost afraid to look at the expirations dates.
Refrigerator and Freezer
During the holidays the refrigerator and freezer were used and abused more than usual. We must eat or store the large volume of food that we prepared. Everything will come out and we’ll wipe down the insides and clean all the shelves and bins.
We have 2 sinks in the kitchen under which we store all manner of cleaning products. Some products like Goof-Off we seldom use but are absolutely necessary when a sticky situation arises.
Perhaps I can whittle down the products and reorganize the spaces.
I’ve been writing quite a few posts about what I’d like to accomplish and cook in the near future.
Sug and I went out to a lovely Friday lunch with a friend. We all ordered salmon and spinach.
I went to see the new Mary Poppins movie and I loved it. It’s so fun and uplifting and just a little naughty in a child friendly way.
I made cranberry sauce, toffee sauce, and tea wafers. The two sauces were quick and easy. Unfortunately I accidentally doubled the butter in the tea wafers. They’re still delicious but a little crumbly. The crumbly bits we’ll use on ice cream.
I arranged some white roses both on the dining room table and in the living room.
In the kitchen I arranged some red and orange foods in Longaberger baskets on the island.
It won’t be long now until the Christmas celebrations begin. One more day.
Charlie has been complaining for a long time that our dishwasher leaves a film on the dishes, especially the silverware.
From time to time I have cleaned the filter in the bottom of the dishwasher.
This time we first soaked the very dirty filter in Dawn detergent and very hot water. Then I covered it with baking soda over which I poured some white vinegar which did loosen the grime. We used a brush to scrub the filter until it was clean.
Unfortunately because Charlie prefers to wash dishes by hand the inside of the dishwasher has become moldy and dirty.
The suggestion we found on the internet was to put a cup of white vinegar on the top shelf and to run the machine on the “sanitize” cycle.
The sanitize cycle helped very much.
Finally Sug used her Magic Eraser to clean all the crevasses and seals.
We have had our refrigerator for about 4 years and I felt it’s time to change the filter that cleans the water and ice on the door.
The recommendation is that the filter be changed every 6 months which is when the blue light turns red. I did some research and found out the light does not turn red when the filter becomes clogged. Instead there is a chip that counts off the months.
Since there are only 2 of us in the household we figured the filter does not become unusable in 6 months.
I did a little more research reading reviews of both official Samsung filters and off-brand models. I decided to get the real albeit expensive filter.
I bought the refrigerator from Best Buy so I ordered the filter from the same store. In our area the “store” could get the item in 3 or 4 days but I could pick it up immediately at the local “warehouse”. The item must be pre-purchased and the item number and an ID presented to the guard in a booth outside the warehouse fence.
Then when the order has been pulled I was allowed to drive around to the loading dock where my purchase was delivered to me. It took about 20 minutes from ordering to delivery.
Charlie screwed the new filter in its spot at the lower corner of the refrigerator side of our side-by-side.
While we accomplished a lot at The Glade this summer — renovated 2 bathrooms — I’ve looked back at some of my projects lists from earlier in the summer and more than a few things have been left undone.
In July I had hoped to stain the 2 sets of unfinished pine doors — the mudroom and the pantry. I bought some light stain to mix with the dark stain I had been using to change things up just a little. Weather permitting, I think I can finish these doors in the next two weekends.
Another summer goal was to organize all my clothes that were cluttering various closets, bed and floors all over the house. This I have done. But still undone is a serious look at the clutter in the mudroom closet which is also one of the set of doors that needs to be stained.
The pantry has become a disorganized mess also. Charlie likes to store things — grocery bags for example — on the floor. It’s horrible and I plan to take control.
Little by little we’ve been whittling away at the pile of trim in the hallway. When every room has baseboard I plan to make another lumber order to finish the face frames for both the master closet and the master bedroom shelving which is not yet finished.
I know we can’t hope we can accomplish all this in 2 weekends and I’m comforted to have a plan.