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Old 09-08-2018, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
8,853 posts, read 4,823,610 times
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(putting it here instead of in House because one of the decisions in the end is to eat it)

How well do we know our pantries? Of what is in there and how long it has been around?

In the apartments, it was a long closet, floor to ceiling, in one wall of the entry way to the kitchen. Lots of room, but things very quickly got buried in the back. In the rental house, it was under stairway where it was narrower so slightly easier to see things, but probably less room.

Here in the ranch house, it is a wide closet behind french doors.

This morning, I decided to make pancakes and was looking for some open flour. I have plastic coffee bins of all kinds, but I was find more cans that had been in there forever, chicken gumbo best by 2015, than the flour (eventually did). Found things, like a jar of lumpfish caviar, which made me feel like the dead oceanographer who stocked NR-1 with all sorts of exotics.....that they found many years after his demise.

So how well do we know our pantries? How often do we organize them? Is it a seasonal thing, once in a year, or "Wow.....I guess it is time."?
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
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My pantry is so close to the kitchen that I'm in and out of there several times a day.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,354 posts, read 3,528,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
(putting it here instead of in House because one of the decisions in the end is to eat it)

How well do we know our pantries? Of what is in there and how long it has been around?

In the apartments, it was a long closet, floor to ceiling, in one wall of the entry way to the kitchen. Lots of room, but things very quickly got buried in the back. In the rental house, it was under stairway where it was narrower so slightly easier to see things, but probably less room.

Here in the ranch house, it is a wide closet behind french doors.

This morning, I decided to make pancakes and was looking for some open flour. I have plastic coffee bins of all kinds, but I was find more cans that had been in there forever, chicken gumbo best by 2015, than the flour (eventually did). Found things, like a jar of lumpfish caviar, which made me feel like the dead oceanographer who stocked NR-1 with all sorts of exotics.....that they found many years after his demise.

So how well do we know our pantries? How often do we organize them? Is it a seasonal thing, once in a year, or "Wow.....I guess it is time."?

Just did some review and tossing out this AM. But it happens just when I think of it or when the shelves are too full...that means something is usually out of date.
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Old 09-08-2018, 12:55 PM
 
3,672 posts, read 5,778,802 times
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I know the bottom and middle sections very well, but the top two where I can’t easily reach who really knows what’s in there
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Old 09-08-2018, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
8,853 posts, read 4,823,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Just did some review and tossing out this AM. But it happens just when I think of it or when the shelves are too full...that means something is usually out of date.
Right now, they aren't too full around here because they got seriously jumbled at the last camping trip in Spring. I went through, grabbed all the spices I thought would be useful, grabbed other supplies from peanut butter to olive oil. Then when I got back, things eventually got back on the shelf....in jumbled order.

One thing I noticed today were supplies from a previous way of eating. I haven't eaten canned gumbo since the apartments, maybe the rental house. I guess in moving from reality to my fantasy (of the ranch), things just shifted. That makes sense in a way since at the ranch, I have a chest freezer, and have much the greater capacity to have types of frozen fish around (even if it is chicken gumbo), and I am more cooking from that.

However, so those poor gumbos did not die in vain, I should inventory those cans and add the older to my current diet.

One of the major storage points, say an 8th or a 12th of the pantry, is what I call my out of work supply which is essentially oodles and oodles of canned spaghetti. Back around 2011, I was introduced to Chef B'orardi (and the like), I never knew about it before, and it being so cheap, I bought up massive amounts........before I found out what was in it. After I did, I shied away it, kept it around as the out of work supply (well, that's insurance, once you have it, you don't need it). As said, however, I should inventory it and then, like the US submarine in WWII which is loaded with supplies for the garrison that then fell, have to eat my way through it.

Which comes down to another point of my pantry where I want it to be stuffed to the gills, be it because just in case I get snowed in or other reason of not being able to get to the grocery store. Admittedly, I am not the most efficient when it comes to use of space in the pantry.

I adore croutons. Use them at the bottom of a bowl of pasta, in salads, with stews. When I come home from the store, say with 15-20 bags, I just find their place by throwing them on the top shelf of the pantry, wherever they may fall, such on the top of my head. In the rental house under the stairs, there was a hook, and I put them there in a mesh bag. Now that there is more room, I guess I buy them more out of control.

So there lies another question of does the pantry entertain some like how I see my video library. That is, "Pantry, I'm HUN-GRY! How can you feed me today?"

Now, I don't approach my pantry like that (it is paraphrasing Ming from 1980 Flash Gordon) for by the time I get home, I usually know what I want to eat.......but maybe I should, so I know more of what is in there.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:22 PM
 
2,683 posts, read 960,581 times
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I'm never much out of date because there is a food drive around the holidays every year and I go through and donate anything I bought and haven't used that is close to the date. Some things I wonder why I bought them at all, so I donate them, and if I find anything ancient, I toss it. I almost never do any more since this has become a yearly ritual. This summer, we got a blue bag in our mailbox to fill and leave for the postal worker to take in, so that was mid-year and I was surprised to find enough even in six months' time to give some away.
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:49 AM
 
Location: SE Florida
175 posts, read 32,381 times
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I had to stay with my dad due to dementia while my stepmom was in the hospital recovering from a serious car accident and then in nursing home. While I was there, I went through her pantry to see what she had since I was doing the cooking. I found things that were WAY past their expiration date, over 12 years in a couple of cases. Obviously, a lot of stuff got thrown out. Found out she hadn't been doing much cooking, especially in the past few years.



So, if you have elderly parents that you don't see often because of distance, might want to think about checking out their pantry when you visit.



We've got a couple of Ikea probably 7 feet tall bookshelves that we also got doors for that we use as our pantry, plus some plastic bins that we store on top of them. I'm pretty good about keeping canned good stock, which is mostly tomato products, rotated. I keep flours, other than regular AP flour and corn meal, in the freezer. We have a collection of various types of vinegars, but they keep forever. Sugars get used up fairly quickly so I don't have to worry about them. Hubs keeps bulk spices that he uses for his BBQ rubs in 1-1/2 shelves, plus we have a couple of plastic bins we keep infrequently used spices in that take up a shelf. Rice gets used up fast enough it doesn't have to be worried about. I have thrown out Bisquick because I've heard some kind of toxic bacteria or something can grow in it if it is left to sit too long. Never checked it out, but would rather be safe than sorry. Rest of canned goods that are long-term stored are things like coconut milk or chiles mostly, maybe an extra can or 2 of black beans if they are on BOGO. Any other canned goods are bought specifically for a meal that's on the menu for the week. Chocolate and baking supplies last for a good while and get used up before I have to worry about them.
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Old 09-09-2018, 11:50 AM
 
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I live in an old Victorian home that had scarcely any storage space at all when we moved in. First item on the list was building closets and shelves.

DH made pantry shelves off the kitchen on the way down the basement stairs. There I keep my frequently used staples, snacks, little extras to add to things when company is coming and condiments. The basement has shelves for other more common canned staples, a extra refrigerator, an upright freezer and a box freezer.

I see everything whenever I take the stairs so I stay familiar with what's on the shelves. There's no hard and fast rule to what gets replenished or when as DH runs errands every day out of habit and we don't do much entertaining any more.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:43 PM
 
Location: The analog world
15,551 posts, read 8,734,436 times
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Cleaning out the pantry is on my list for this week because I'm getting ready to re-stock the beans and grains for fall/winter and I just finished refilling my spice jars for holiday cooking. Most of the time I'm feeding only two, so I don't have to keep quite as much around as I did when we were a young family. I'm cutting down on the number of different beans & grains I keep in the pantry and buying just my favorites. Baking supplies include the usual suspects. Some tortillas, a loaf of whole grain bread, cans of tomatoes, and a few oils and vinegars round things out. There aren't many orphan products in there at the moment.

My fridge, on the other hand, is sized for a small army and much larger than what we need, so it's a constant battle to keep it cleaned out. My goal for fall is to cut out the waste and ensure that what I buy gets eaten.
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
17,354 posts, read 3,528,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
Cleaning out the pantry is on my list for this week because I'm getting ready to re-stock the beans and grains for fall/winter and I just finished refilling my spice jars for holiday cooking. Most of the time I'm feeding only two, so I don't have to keep quite as much around as I did when we were a young family. I'm cutting down on the number of different beans & grains I keep in the pantry and buying just my favorites. Baking supplies include the usual suspects. Some tortillas, a loaf of whole grain bread, cans of tomatoes, and a few oils and vinegars round things out. There aren't many orphan products in there at the moment.

My fridge, on the other hand, is sized for a small army and much larger than what we need, so it's a constant battle to keep it cleaned out.



My goal for fall is to cut out the waste and ensure that what I buy gets eaten.
__________

My goal too....I usually buy too many vegetables for just me, but despise waste. Tried to go to the store only every 3 weeks or so but now think I buy too much when shopping that infrequently.
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