Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Let's Talk Pantries

I have had many friends go all ga-ga over this pantry in my home.  Do I think it is special?  No, it's way too small and since I've had larger ones in previous homes, I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking when I designed this house and it was built!  I do know, I was thinking there was only going to be two of us and I did not need the large size pantries I've had in the past.  Little did I know that I was going to increase my interest in cooking, distance to the nearest grocery store was further than I liked to travel and maybe the world might spin out of control and I would have to survive off my stash for months or maybe longer......that was 22 years ago when we started the 6th house building project.  How time does change things!

 If you like to store many food products for easy one stop shopping for meals, have a large family to feed or feel you need to prepare for the unknown then think BIG, BIGGER AND BIGGEST that you can work into a home!

French doors look nice in my kitchen and go with two other glass swinging doors.  Okay, that was a good decision but not allowing more space for storage I will forever kick myself. So if you are in the house planning stage, no matter at what point in your life then think long and hard about the pantry, how you cook and what your needs are.

I am a STORAGE FREAK - always have been and so I like to have LOTS of things on hand for cooking.  On these shelves see my last discovery a year or so ago, which I really love - GLASS JARS - all the same jars filled with everything I can think to put in them, at eye level, some labeled and ready when I need them. These nice jars are sold on Amazon.com but you can also buy them at Walmart for a bit less money - around $5 each.  They hold a good couple of pounds of grains, beans, corn meal, brown sugar - which btw, stays moist in the jars for months and months with no problem - just make sure you close the lid well when you are finished.  

I also have the neatest bins that sit on the floor under the last shelf that I designed and lucky for me, my husband built for me many years ago.....what a shelf and space saver they are for canned goods.  There are lids on the top of each box to make it easier to pack the boxes to the very top and handles to pull forward for easy access.  I have 12 of them to hold various sizes of canned goods of the varieties I use the most often.

 The left side of the pantry narrows down for space because there is a fireplace that backs up to this wall in our living room.  Because of this much narrower space and because my husband used to like to drink wine with his evening meals I had this nifty wine rack built on the wall.  As you can see there isn't many bottles of wine on the rack anymore.  He doesn't drink wine all that much any longer so I use the shelves for all of those odd shaped things like dog biscuit boxes, bags, wrapping paper, long white serving plates, cast iron smoker and so on - whatever I can shove in there.

On the floor in the above photo and this one you can see large food safe bins.  Big blue one is dog kibble storage box, the rest are large quantities of rice varieties and flours which are always bought in 25-35 pound amounts.  I keep a big closet storage area with these types of bins in my basement that are filled to the top with everything from beans to oatmeal and when one of my glass jars gets empty then off to the basement to fill it up.  On the top shelf I store large items that I use infrequently like over sized roasting pans, super sized stainless steel bowls, ice cream machines and NEVER used dishes.

So if you are thinking pantry keep in mind that there is never enough space - bigger the family then the bigger the pantry should be.


  1. Sondra, your pantry is divine.
    You have used EVERY square inch to it's fullest !
    You are to be commended. ;)

  2. Thank you Rose. My pantry is always a project in transition since I'm always looking for new ways to jam more in there, sort of like my clothes closet!