Monday 15 August 2016

Walk Though My Pantry

Hello!  Thanks for dropping by.  Today I'd love to share with you a bit of my home.  Not so that you can see all the food I have, but to share with you about how I've been changing how I store my food.  I have been attempting to get away from plastics and have been starting to store my foods in glass mason jars.  I love how they look, and that you can see what you have easier.  For now I've been just using a sharpie marker to label the jar lids, but one day I hope to have different labels for some of the jars.  Most of the jars that I am using for this are older jars that I've been collecting.  I love the old Ball, Kerr and Gem jars. I have even found some old Canadian mason jars.

Above is my spice drawer close to my stove.  I found that the little pint jars fit perfectly in that drawer and when I open it up I can easily spot what I need with those labeled lids.  I found the pattern free online a few years ago.  I am hoping to one day find another pattern to update them, but for now they are very functional.  

Here I have my dry beans and lentals stored in jars now, and they are easy to get to.   I make huge batches of beans in my crockpot and then freeze them for quick meals, but also use smaller amounts in soups and such. I just use a whole bag of beans at a time for the crockpot.  Then I of course have my jams in jars (like in the bottom left) and all the extra space in this cupboard is waiting the new batches of jam that I'll be making this fall.  For now I've just placed the fruit in the freezer so that I can spend the time outside.  Yukon summers are so short I like to not spend them inside.  I know this may sound lazy to some, but for me it's a better choice, for when I can jam, I usually do a lot at once.  I've never been good at doing little bits at a time.  You could call me a project girl.  
I also have found a place in town where I can get large amounts of real honey!!!  SO I now have enough to cook with as well as sweeten my tea. :) 

Here in this cupboard I store my rice in jars (short and long grain).I got these jars at a garage sale and the lady was so happy that I'd be interested in using them.  I'm hoping to find more like them.  One really cool thing that I have just discovered (and are in the boxes on the top shelf) are mini noodles (not orzo) but little stars, bowties, and letters.  They are "baby food" but I love using the dried noodles in soup and corn beef hash.  Lots of room in this cupboard and I'll be putting more canned jams in  here later. 

This is my baking cupboard.  I have different flours on top, cornmeal, arrowroot powder, icing sugar, croutons, and extra salt in jars.  Then my crackers and some extra noodles.  I have been trying to make more from scratch, but for quick meals I use rice noodles.  I have also been buying extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil in large amounts.  Much cheeper that way.  I also keep a bucket of oats in this cupboard so that I don't have to haul out my big bulk bag when I need some.  

I love buying in bulk when I can, but I don't have a cool room so I try to be careful not to over do it. :)  I also try to buy organic whenever possible.  But for me, organic flour is SO expensive that I don't do that very often.  I try to think of it as this, when I make bread from scratch at least I'm cutting out all the "additives" that you get in store bought bread.  I do have a grain mill that is missing a little attachment to go on my Bosch and one day if I can get it I'll try grinding my own flour.  

Here is our flour, oats and chip cupboard. My bulk flour I will always leave in the paper bags since they need to breathe.  I have tried to cut chips out of our diet...but alas that has not happened.  BUT! I have been able to get my family to change to healthier options, and no more chips flavoured with msg and other bad ingredients.  Now if chips could just not be made with canola oil!  

Here is my odds and ends cupboard.  On top are corn chips and rice crackers and yes...cheese-its. :)  They are my husbands favourite snack cracker from the USA.  His family was just here visiting and gave us a few boxes.  Then my canned goods and extra spices.  My vinegar, vanilla and other odds and ends that I put in this lower drawer (that pulls out) so they are handy.  I put the extra spices in jars and this section of my pantry was the most noticeably changed.  I tossed SO much plastic from this space and it feels so much less cluttered and airy.  I still have some things things that I want put into jars...but have run out of extra jars.  SO they'll wait for later.  I feel like I've been able to make lots of progress and that is so nice!  

Now just for this drawer....I have yet to find a way to get rid of using plastic bags.  I do have lots of glass containers in another drawer with the rubber lids, and use them as a first choice. Have you gone plastic free?  What are your favourite alternatives?  I'd love to hear them.  

I also found this great little stainless steel bucket at the free store and use it to put rubber bands and wooden clothes pins and muffin cup papers in.  That way they don't get lost under the boxes.  

Well, that's my pantry.  I also have ceramic canisters on my counter for easy access to some ingredients like salt, baking soda, sugar, cornmeal, and cream of wheat.  
I'm not fancy like Pinterest, but I wanted to share what I've been doing to organize my pantry so that it's more functional and not using so much plastic.  I do recycle the plastic it comes in though.  We have a great recycling centre at our local dump and it's all easy to sort out for processing.  I guess it's all just a work in progress.  I do think that the little efforts we make are important.  Trying to make things healthier and prettier for our homes and families.  

Thanks for dropping by!  I hope you have a wonderful day!



Danielle Dunn said...

the pantry is always full of good stuff but then it's also a good way to hide the treats that you don't want someone else to find! LOL. :)

JES said...

I love looking at people's pantries! Yours is wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! :)