pantry of pride
So I mentioned that I have an itty bitty condo in Chicago in the city. It's so small that it doesn't have a pantry. This was hard for me because I love all the kitchen gadgets and I also try and cook most things from scratch at home due to my anti-inflammatory diet of sorts. This means being able to store lots of lentils, beans, rices and things. I'm also a baker so of course there's all the flours, sugars, Nutella containers and things that are necessary for all good things. Luckily, the builder built up. As in my cabinets reach the sky. Well, the sky to me as I am only 5'6" on a very good day. So yes, I do keep 2 step stools in my kitchen otherwise I would only be able to reach the first 2 shelves in all my cabinets.
So what does one do when faced with this sort of situation? Well, first - you only keep what is essential. This means that I am brutal in my selection of appliances that I keep around. Second, you have to be very organized. The second that chaos reigns, you might as well as stop cooking. It would be hard to even know where to start and my phone would definitely have the UberEats app readily available. (I was going to say, on speed dial but wow, that's not even applicable anymore!). So, I am pretty proud of my pantry right now I must say. It was a labor of love and it's a constant battle with upkeep and love talks. But I feel like the two of us have a good understanding with each other finally. Take a look and feel free to weep with envy because when I see those walk-in pantries on Pinterest, I have a good weep but then I move on!
Oh yes! Did I mention my built in espresso maker?? Makes the pantry look that much sexier doesn't it?? This week, that might be my most favorite thing in my kitchen. Seriously.
So how does the magic happen? It all starts and ends with the magic ingredient! OXO Containers!
They get the job done. Air tight and clear and come in different sizes. They are the best!!! They are also an investment because they are not cheap. However, it all comes down to economies of scale. I buy larger quantity of things like beans and grains because I have a place to store them and I don't have to buy a bunch of smaller, more expensive bags of things. For instance, I buy dried chickpeas in bulk instead of all the cans at the grocery store each time. My magical Instapot can even cook them in bulk without pre-soaking! Less processed and canned items means more health benefits and cost savings!
The other thing to think about is which size container is suited for what things. For instance, you wouldn't want to keep nuts for too long because they will spoil. So I put those in smaller containers that I refill more often (I keep my extras in the freezer so they last longer). I keep the stuff that I use the most often on the shelves that I can reach - flour, sugars, rice, etc.. The things that I only use on occasion - lentils and special flours (rice, chickpea, coconut, etc) go on the top shelves. Planning is a huge step in the pantry setup process.
The other benefit of having clear containers is that you can easily see what's in them and you can easily tell when you need to refill something. I also label the ones that look similar (if you have ever put powered sugar into something that requires rice flour, you know what I am saying!). Some of the OXO containers even have scoops that come with it and a handy place to store them on the back of the lid so that you don't have to fish for them each time. I mean, that's just smart. I only want smart things in my smart home!
In case you guys thought that I was kidding about my shelves reaching the sky and my inability to reach them without a step stool...I gift you with proof:
You see?? I will devote another entire post on my other pantry items as well as my canned goods and my kitchen appliance storage. Oh and my spice drawer!! That was a monster too! This is good stuff people! You don't realize what an organized and well thought out pantry and kitchen will do to your enjoyment of cooking until you try and do it in your sister's house! Oops, hopefully she isn't reading this. Actually, she damn well better be!! She can't get mad because I organized her whole pantry (and kitchen cabinets!) for her not too long ago and it was a HOT MESS!!!! I offer proof!
Yes, she now has these containers as well as the plastic containers that I am always using too now.
LINK TO ALL THE THINGS:
OXO food containers - check it out, they have all the sizes and variety packs (some with scoops and some without) - I got the 20 piece set...ok I got 2 of them lol
Plastic food containers - can't stress how helpful these are in everything. I use these for my extra spice storage too (you'll see in a later post)