A Tour of the Working Pantry

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This is my pantry. For a long time, it was a wreck and a mess. It came with those flimsy faux wire shelves, and they were falling off the wall, so they couldn’t hold anything of any weight. So, my dad came and built these wooden shelves for me. He used my Thirty-One Your Way Junior Cube as a height guide. I wanted to use those to organize some of my things, and that was a good height as well because a quart jar can go there. So, he built, good, strong, sturdy shelves, and he built them higher than I had before. In the very top spot, I have thermals for picnics.

The next shelf has more Thirty-One cubes which house plastic bags, other paper products, and cake decorating supplies. Cupcake liners, my silicone cupcake liners that looks like flowers, and reusable toppers. The next shelf has one cube, which holds small packages, like tea and jello, but mostly noodles, like those lipton sides. and rice. The rest of the shelf is devoted to cake mixes and other boxed things. I am slowly trying to transition from using those to all scratch, but sometimes it is just handy to have a cake mix on hand.

The  following shelf is the best shelf. It is the Shelf of Jars. I put all my dry goods like flour, sugar, coffee, bisquick, rice, pasta, couscous, etc in jars, along with my dehydrated spices and vegetables. I keep larger, half gallon jars stores in another cabinet for storage, and refill these as they get lower. It makes it so much easier to actually use things when you can see them.

Shelf of Jars

I bought the chalkfboard labels from Amazon, and I have another sheet of them if I need to make more jars. There’s a jar of each of the spices we  grew ths year: lemon basil, basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, mint, chives. There are dried tomatoes, green peppers, hot peppers, red peppers, broccoli, mushrooms. I dried some mustard greens, and there’s a jar of those in there as well. If you would prefer not to use your canning jars, start saving spaghetti jars and pickle jars. They will work just as well. Half gallon jars are not recommended for canning, so I use mine for this,  and many of the jars on the shelf have a chip somewhere, so I can no longer can with them. A few others are old, or are an unusual brand, so I decided to use them this way rather than risk them breaking in the canner. Still earning their keep on the shelf. :)The final shelf has canned food, commercially canned food. Even though I think homegrown is best, we do not grow everything, and the best thing for any food source is to diversify. The things on this shelf are mostly beans, but I also have corn, mushrooms, a few tomato products, pineapple, more beans (I LOVE these Cochina Latina beans, and I hit a sale), and a few sauces. I need to find a copy recipe to make Lawry’s Caribbean Jerk sauce myself, because it is SO good.

This is by no means all the food in our house, because you notice there isn’t much home canned food here. I joke that the whole house is a pantry, because it seems I have jars everywhere. However, these are the things I need and use when I am cooking a meal, this and the rest of my spice cabinet. I consider this the Working Pantry, and everything else is the Storage.

One the back of the door, I have another Thirty-One item, which I use for on the go snacks. One day perhaps I will find time to make my own granola and fruit snacks, but we are not there yet and Mister and The Kid like quick things. This is the Wall of Snacks, and each pocket is filled with granola and fruit bars, and fruit snacks. They can grab snacks really quickly, and I don’t have boxes everywhere.

The picture below is from right after I finished organizing everything, but the ones at the beginning of the post are from the other day. You can see there isn’t much difference. Maintaining the pantry has been very easy, and made

The Wall of Snacks

I wish I could say the rest of my house was this organized. Perhaps one day!

Happy homesteading!

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