Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Indecent Exposure

Here it is, my secret shame, my pantry, exposed for all to see. There...I've done it! I feel a bit relieved now that it is off my chest. I had been meaning to come out of the closet, so to speak, for some time, but just couldn't quite bring myself to do it. But then Mark Bittman shared his pantry today and I couldn't wait any longer. I doubt anyone would suspect how bad it has gotten because I am a pretty good housekeeper. Even though our place is crowded with three kids, a cat and a dog, my white slip covered furniture is still white (with frequent washings) and the house is generally neat and tidy. But I have really let my pantry, dare I say ALL my closets, slide into a place so deep and dark it might take weeks to excavate them.

I've long suffered from a pantry paralysis of sorts, brought on by deep seated envy of people who have "real" pantries...the walk in kind with shallow shelves and room for everything a home cook might need or want. Big enough to feed a family of five indefinitely, and more importantly, big enough to FIND all the food stashed away. Hiding away on the crowded shelves in my tiny pantry I have at least seven types of flours, multiple sugars, six types of rices, spices, snacks, cereals, nuts, dozens of different types of oils and vinegars, and we won't even discuss my baking supplies (sprinkles, cookie cutters, food coloring and flavor extracts). Each time I take something out, something else tumbles down, threatening to dent my floor or my foot (I'm not really sure what is worse). And trying to remove something from the bottom shelf requires an extra measure of patience, as there is heavy stuff (like a cast iron griddle) precariously balanced on other heavy stuff (like a large crock pot). I break out into a sweat (or a barrage of cursing) every time I need to get my ice cream maker or pasta machine. Sigh...

So there you have it. I'd love suggestions on how to fix this problem, if you have any. And in the next few weeks I will try to pull it together and post another picture...the eye-pleasing "after" kind.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Our pantry is also a total disaster -- it includes several indecipherable (to me) east Asian ingredients, as well as an entire Indian grocery store.

Recently, I declared that instead of two shelves being completely mixed up, one shelf would be for legumes and the other for spices. This was actually progress for us.