Anyone who reads this blog or my book You Might be a Ranch Wife knows I’m always going on about pantry management and keeping the pantry well-stocked. There are distinct advantages to a well-stocked pantry, not the least of which is your ability to survive a zombie apocalypse. Here are some others:
In order to obtain these benefits, however, one must manage the pantry. That means you have to track what’s on the shelves, make sure food gets rotated and note things down to restock. It also means you have to clean and organize occasionally – my least favorite part of pantry management. Today it was the shelves in the kitchen. I figure they’ll look nice for about a week, and then they’ll be back to the usual clutter that occurs when you have husbands and grand-kids rooting around in the pantry.
A quick glance will tell you that this is the stuff I need right at my elbow – basics like salt, baking powder, cocoa, baking soda, spices, vinegar and cornstarch. In some cases (as with the baking soda or cocoa), I’ve decanted some into a small container because I don’t have room for five pound packages on the shelves. There are also much larger containers of things like beans out in the wash house. You’ll see a mix of stuff we’ve grown ourselves (like the little brown bottle of celery seed) as well as stuff I’ve purchased. While I can grow my own paprika and peppers for chili powder, for example, cinnamon and nutmeg must come from faraway lands. Luckily, a little goes a long way. This year I have more store-bought spice combinations on the shelf, however, because my peppers just didn’t do well at all. Spices are often used as stocking stuffers in my family, which is how I wound up with cardamom and saffron – neither of which I’m likely to use any time soon.
Now that things are neatened up in here, I guess it’s time to tackle the freezers and canned goods (sigh). Like a lot of things around here, pantry management is pretty much of a never-ending story…