Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Humble Pantry

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In every home (upper flat/trailer/house) we have lived in . . . I have always found a way to fashion a pantry. The need to have a stockpile is flowing through this Midwestern girl's blood! It makes sense to have a supply of canned foods on hand for so many reasons!

  1. Buying cases of canned goods when they are on sale (and I mean really on sale) will save you tons of money! And don't forget to clip out those coupons for canned goods to save even more! SAVES MONEY
  2. Will get you through tough financial times. PUTS FOOD ON THE TABLE
  3. Gives you a store to put together food for a son/daughter or neighbor that's fallen on hard times. HELPS OTHER
  4. Decreases the amount of times you "have to run to the store for just 1 thing"! SAVES TIME and FUEL
  5. FEEDS YOU DURING EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ~ when food supplies are nonexistent or limited. Depending where you live, that could mean a drought (the current drought we are experiencing in the US is causing food prices for people and livestock to rise), huge storm, earthquake, fire, flooding, power outage, gas shortage, illness, unexpected guests or family members moving in . . .
I also now have five 6-gallon buckets filled with two kinds of hard wheat berries, soft wheat, rye, oat groats and an assortment of other grains in smaller bags stored in, of all places, my sewing area!

I am very fortunate in this home, to have a wonderful pantry for canned goods, and baking supplies. In our other homes, we always installed large plywood shelves in our hall closet. As the Keeper of my home, I feel it is my responsibility to be prepared for whatever comes our way. I take my job very seriously and keep enough in surplus to care for us humans and our pets and livestock.

We have 2 upright freezers to store meats, nuts, homemade pesto, marinara sauce, homemade pizza sauce, applesauce, lemon curd, homemade pies, scones, breads, buns, herbs and spices, rice, homegrown veggies, homegrown fruits, juices- lemon grapefruit, orange and all our parrots' food (nuts in shells, baked sweet potatoes, mixed veggies, and assorted seeds for the small parrots). We have a large container in the garage with extra food for our cats, as well as, extra kitty litter and portable cages if we have to move our pets or livestock.


The two photos above make up 1 of 2 sets of cupboards in my pantry. I clean, take inventory and reorganize these cupboards about once every quarter. This set holds my canned goods and the extra jars I save for special homemade syrups, hot sauces, gourmet mustarts, etc.
Every can is labeled with the suggested expiration date . . . Bottom cans have the date on the tops for easier reading.
Cans on upper shelves have their expiration dates written on the front.

While doing the quartly inventory of your pantry, turn each can upside down to let the juices run back through your fruits and veggies. This will make your canned fruits and vegetables last longer.

I love opening my pantry cupboards and seeing all my cans and jars neatly arranged! I can tell at a glance what I have. What I didn't show you was the messy baking cupboards to the right! They are in sorry need of being reorganized! Later . . . Over at Julie's

Have you been reorganizing any of your cupboards? I'd love to hear about it!

Oh, and if you have a great recipe for baked beans that taste like BUSH beans, please send it to me. I have 8 pounds of baked beans in the freezer that I'm embarassed to admit I made . . . let's just say they don't taste a thing like BUSH beans . . . I hate to throw them out, however, they're yuck! Help!


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