Home Forums Living Spaces Kitchen Pantry envy?

This topic contains 46 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of snosie snosie 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #159713
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    I can’t remember whether we have discussed this pantry before, but I haven’t participated in that case, so here goes; a link found during my bookmarks cleaning frenzy:
    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/green-style-the-prettiest-pant-111952

    My first reaction is always to gasp of admiration, but lately I find myself thinking there’s almost too much of it. The jars are very pretty and inviting for sure (let’s not discuss earthquakes, though, since it’s obvious they are not suitable in such an environment), but does an average household really need as many cans and jars as here? I guess I might not be that much of an adventurous cook, dabbling in many kitchens?

  • #203209
    Profile photo of Fudge29
    Fudge29
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    It looks lovely but a bit shop-like for me. Looks like a whole lot of extra cleaning lol.

  • #203210
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    phew!
    i thought i had a lot of glass jars.

    i love this pantry though…so accessible and easy to see what you need.

  • #203212
    Profile photo of behejo
    behejo
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    At first sight: wow!
    But then: every time you buy e.g. spices, you need to decant…..and according to Murphy’s Law: the jar is filled before the container/bag you bought the spice in is empty. What do you do with the 5 gr left?

    Also think of households with children: they reach a heavy glass jar, but cannot really hold it and it will shatter into pieces or even hurt the child. Also the baskets on the bottom are too attractive for toddlers to ‘re-arrange’ (to put it nicely).

    I am often struck by picture of houses/rooms in magazines thinking ‘that’s how I want to have it, it looks soooo clean and nice and organized and….’ but on the other hand houses are for living and not for looking at.

  • #203213
    Profile photo of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    i admit, i have had that many jars. and i really loved them. my granny left a lot of weck-jars (http://www.shop-016.de/shop_cfg/KingFood/95751.jpg) and i had a shelf with about 80 jars, every glass filled with dried food. to be honest: it was a decorative element in my kitchen and also a memento. i used all the stuff inside but i didn´t need that much, and some day i gave them to a friend who admired them more than i did.

  • #203215
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    love weck jars!

  • #203220
    Profile photo of loripax
    loripax
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    I love it. But I don’t live in earthquake country (well, until these Northeast Ohio ones recently started up, anyway) or have kids and I cook almost exclusively from scratch. It looks like the jars don’t have anything behind them, either, but are in a single row, so it probably looks like there’s more there than there actually is. If I took the contents of my pantry and put it into jars and spread it out like this, it would probably be pretty close to this amount.

    I’m slowly purging the plastic containers, so the glass jars are really appealing to me. And thanks for the new obsession, Mimi. :-)

  • #203221
    Profile photo of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    I love it! Agreed, there is probably more stuff than I would need – I would probably be more content with only two of the four shelves. But I can see the need for all the stuff if you did a lot of entertaining (I only cook for two). And there isn’t anything BEHIND those jars (as Lori pointed out). Glass jars have always appealed to me…and in fact, as I am working on my kitchen and pantry for my February goals, glass jars may play a role…though not quite as prominent of a one.

  • #203226
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Oh I keep all my dry food in glass jars, too, because it’s a simple pleasure to create for daily enjoyment yet not that costly in the long run – and it has a bonus of easy recycling as opposed to anything plastic where I am. My dream is to have a “bookshelf” (think Ikea Billy) consisting of exactly this – but behind glass doors :) Would hate the open shelves inviting all the dust bunnies to creep in for permanent settlement (because permanent cleaning that one requires…). Shoes I’d like stored the same way for that matter, the out-of-season as well as party ones.

    It’s just the amount. Do people have that large pantries?

  • #203227
    Profile photo of EraserGirl
    EraserGirl
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    when i was married, i had a walk in closet in my kitchen that i converted into a shelf lined pantry..using large ball jars etc…
    the drawbacks to having such a creature lurking in your home is that unless you actually go through the contents from time to time..they just age. Basically if it isn’t dried beans or pasta it will go bad eventually.
    So you need to design a pantry around your usage, not the available space.

    Don’t get me wrong i WANT a pantry that looks like that..but that’s more space than i have for my entire kitchen storage.
    i started using a simple plastic walmart container for EVERYTHING… it comes in two sizes and it very inexpensive. It also won’t break.
    cookies, pasta, batteries, office supplies…

  • #203228
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    EraserGirl, speaking of aging:
    I’m crazy enough to put labels on the lids (don’t want the name label messing with the prettiness of the contents) and on the bottom (expiry date if it’s a product I know I’ll use up slowly).

  • #203252
    Profile photo of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    ninakk, no I don’t have near that large a pantry. As I said, I would be happy with a pantry half that size. But in reality, my “pantry” is a kitchen cupboard with very little space for anything. To echo erasergirl, that pantry looks larger than my kitchen.

  • #203254
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    sleepykitten, I think it’s either inside a kitchen area or it is a hallway. Size-wise it is about the size of my kitchen…

  • #203255
    Profile photo of smallLife
    smallLife
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    They very well might have a small kitchen. The little descriptor at the bottom said the baskets were for small appliances with misc. items. That makes me think that they have no/very little cabinet storage beyond cups, plates, and utensils.

    I’m imagining a galley kitchen, but one side of it is what is shown in the picture. Probably not the case, but worth thinking of in terms of how to apply the principle to our own kitchens.

  • #203258
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    My huge pantry, although the wet stuff is in a cupboard half the size of this one and three larger glass jars are below the countertop, containing two flour types and oatmeal:

    Sorry for the horrid lighting, it’s pitch dark outside so had to use the lamp above the kitchen table (hate flash). The jars on the lowest shelf came from grandma and are of very old kind, the type one uses for canning in a sterile way by placing the jar in boiling water to create vacuum.

  • #203260

    Pantry envy?

    We have a similar (albeit less elegant) pantry in a wall in the kitchen. This was a narrow cupboard with doors in a brown stain — took off the doors, painted it white. And we have no kids, animals or earthquakes :)

  • #203261
    Profile photo of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    My kitchen uses the exact same storage — wire-bail/Kilner jars used to be easily picked up at thrift stores for a dollar a jar — but behind doors with heavy latches and safety glass (I know, we weren’t going to talk about earthquake country, but . . .). After the Great Spice Cupboard clean-out I have only one plastic bin left, for packages of soba, udon and kombu. I’m still adjusting to cooking daily for two instead of a Horde; training myself not to buy most spices in bulk is tough.

    The only canned things I keep on hand are coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and soup for days when both of us are too tired or sick to cook — but I don’t even see those on the shelves. Maybe in the baskets?

  • #203264
    Profile photo of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Wow! You all have gorgeous pantries! OK, now I REALLY know I need to give my kitchen some love this February. I love the glass jars with the wire closures…that sort of thing would have to come out of my “allowance” as my husband would think it trivial. So if I go that route, it would be in bits and pieces.

  • #203265
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Lol, I actually screwed up a bit. The “wet” pantry consists to 1/3 of tea… Advent calendar remember? It’s taking up some valuable real estate so I’d better start drinking a cuppa every day. And on top of the kitchen cupboards there’s two baskets with dry food, too. Silly me. The bookshelf I’m dreaming of would have to be wide or consist of two parts, because I want neither crammed quarters nor double rows.

  • #203272
    Profile photo of candy
    candy
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    ninakk, your pantry looks very much like mine! I have double rows of the kind of jars you have on the middle shelf (looks like bormioli fido jars). And one entire shelf with tea.

    I have used glass jars ever since I lived in Switzerland and discovered that dry goods could sometimes begin to crawl if not kept in airtight (and bugproof) containers. I love the idea of a label on the bottom of the jar with “use by” date!! Why haven’t I thought of this myself??

    I prefer a closed pantry, I don’t like open shelves in the kitchen. However, I had to make do with open shelves when I lived in France, my kitchen was so teeny-tiny that I used a shallow, wall-hung bookshelf as pantry. It never got really dusty because it was so small so whatever was stored there was in constant rotation.

  • #203281
    Profile photo of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    I don’t like open shelves in the kitchen either; I cook with fat and live in a dusty climate. Anything in the open has to be cleaned, so I have as little as possible out in the open.

    Also: looks like a shop. And I do not understand repackaging everything you buy. When I see something like this I think “this person does not have a job outside the home.”

  • #203288
    Profile photo of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    After a meal moth and ant infestation took out a pantryful of food, I chose to use airtight storage as far as possible. (And flours go into the freezer for 72 hours before use.) A lot of the dry goods I buy don’t come in resealable packages and aren’t sold in small enough quantities for me to use them up in one meal for two people; I’ve got to put what’s left in something. Until the recession really kicked off in ’08 I could find 2l Le Parfait jars at the thrift store for $2 each: at most they needed a good scrub and the gasket replaced, which made them cheaper and easier to maintain than the equivalent piece of Snapware’s Glasslock.

    It doesn’t work for everyone — I don’t have small children, or mobility issues that prevent me reaching up to get them or having difficulties with the weight — but for me, right now, it’s a good solution. And I think they’re pretty. *grin*

  • #203292

    Pantry envy?

    I too have trouble with mealy moths, hence grains are in the freezer or in a glass jar with a gasket. It’s far enough away from the stove not to get greasy, and I use everything frequently enough so that it doesn’t get dusty.

  • #203295
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    I had a really gross case of invasion while in Denmark, which made me switch to air-tight jars. Plus they are pretty. It rarely happens that more than one jar is empty while another one is, too, so when packing away after a grocery shopping round, it’s very easy to fill the cleaned jar with fresh contents as well as update the best before label I mentioned above.

    Usually containers (boxes etc.) are not the same shape or size, but with these jars I can utilize our space to max; like I wrote I’m also using above cupboard space currently, that’s how small it is.

  • #203316
    Profile photo of behejo
    behejo
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    I’ve lived in Switzerland for about 12 years and had problems with moths several times and 2-3 times really horrid experiences with maggots from those big greenish flies in summertime. Moths are quite disgusting but nothing compared to those fly maggots. Somebody told me that one cannot protect from moths as sometimes you buy them already with the food – I am sure that at least one time I got them with something I bought and then they spread in my pantry. So even airtight jars wouldn’t do.
    The flies unfortunately find ways to go into the bin and find something fleshy to put their eggs in and within 24-36 hours you have those maggots all over the place. The rubbish is only collected once a week, so their is no way to 100% protect yourself. I have developed a serious phobia (I’m not kidding). When confronted with a such maggot I get stiff, can’t breath and start crying, it’s horrible.

    Our so called pantry is a mess as it is spread throughout the kitchen – no cabinet is big enough for all the food. We are thinking about having a new kitchen and a proper pantry is high up on the wish list. My DH is a hobby chef, therefore we have much to store….he has about 6 different kinds of rice and there is no way to downsize, usually he is a gentle guy, but uhh don’t ya touch his supplies in store – maniac.

  • #203332
    Profile photo of Conny
    Conny
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Since using laurel leaves (Bay leaves repel meal moths, flies and roaches) by spreading/ scattering them throughout my food cabinets, the food moths seem to be staying away. Alternatively, you could try using a few drops of Myrcene essential oil.

    Another pantry hint: Besides writing expiry date on the jars, we use a crayon to write when our fridge was last cleaned.

  • #203335
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Conny, I wipe mine every Saturday now when doing inventory, chucking out food gone bad and planning for the coming week. It is nowhere near as laborous as it sounds and I actually look forward to it. Perhaps I’m a bit whacko?

  • #203344
    Profile photo of G.
    G.
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    for more pantry envy, inspiration, and dare I say – sometimes make yourself feel better about your own -
    http://www.theperfectpantry.com/other_peoples_pantries/index.html

    Every Saturday, they feature someone’s real-life pantry. There has been everything from the drool-worthy room sized ones, to those with only a few shelves. Matched containers in a single row, to bags and cans perched in stacks and stuffed into baskets. It’s fascinating to see what is considered essential to have on hand in various situations around the world.

    I too am working on moving toward airtight containers, due to a moth infestation that started in bird seed in the garage last summer. I usually only pour things that come in big bags like flour and sugar into the pantry container. It’s easier to scoop out what I need. Things in small bags like rice and beans, I usually just stuff the whole bag into the jar or plastic container if it will fit, as those are easy to pour out what I need.

  • #203348
    Profile photo of candy
    candy
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Oh, thanks for that link, G! I will investigate further, have just had the time to look at a few of them. So much fun and as you say, very fascinating to see what other people consider essential.

  • #203349
    Profile photo of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Wow, I’ll never complain about grease & dust again! I haven’t seen any kind of bug in our kitchen except the occasional silverfish and ONE small cockroach. Of course that very likely means our building is doused with poisons regularly, but they only spray outside so (crossing fingers).

  • #203352
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    wet tropics = hysterical amounts of bugs, spiders, cockroaches.
    we get BIG HUGE shiny brown cockroaches that just fly in from the rainforest…….there is no stopping them arriving, all we can do is make their stay brief and uncomfortable.
    our place is open, wide open, with a breeze blowing through, ten months of the year.
    and it isn’t all that dusty, i guess because it rains so much and because the population is tiny, spread out over an enormous area.

    i love my rocco fido jars and there is no way we could just store food in the packets they arrive in……the weevils would have a field day! plus i buy a lot of dry stuff from the food co op, so it comes in flimsy plastic bags intended merely for transport, to begin with.
    although it now occurs to me that i could take my jars to the co op and fill them there.
    hmmmmmm.

  • #203354
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    The Perfect Pantry had me entertained for quite some time! People seemingly don’t care that much about organisation and aesthetics!? The only one I even remotely liked so far (looked at all of them down to #100) was this one:
    http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2011/05/other-peoples-pantries-156.html#more

    And this one gave me difficulty breathing, imagined all those jars falling all over me:
    http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2010/05/other-peoples-pantries-119.html#more

    A lot of them are hugely impractical with several rows and layers. Can’t imagine how it is possible considering they have so much space available!

  • #203355
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    oy vey, the second one is claustrophobic.
    how many people are they feeding there?

    the first one was pretty good though.

  • #203398
    Profile photo of djk
    djk
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    I liked the first one for aesthetics and order, but I loved all that home canning in the second! I wouldn’t feel the same if that were just a stockpile of tins from the store (unless they live in the boondocks and it’s their grubstake, and yes I have lived in places where 8 hours drive to the nearest town for shopping is not an option in the winter when you’re snowed in)
    We had a cold room in the cellar growing up for root vegetables and canning, which looked much like this. And that would be one winter’s supply for our (admittedly unusually large) family.

    For our current lifestyle both pantries would be overkill though.

  • #203404

    Pantry envy?

    I have 2 shelves in an overhead cupboard and a shelf on my IVAR storage for food. So all those pantries are eye candy for me to enjoy. I’d love to have one that size.

    On the other hand, I did see a gorgeous pantry the other day, and the thing I liked most about it (apart from that it was exceptionally pretty) was that everything was laid out for ease of use.

    Found it! http://www.thehouseofsmiths.com/2010/07/pantry-remix.html

    beautiful and useful!

  • #203430
    Profile photo of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    OK, so for those of you with the gorgeous glass jars with the wire thing-a-ma-jigs on the top to close/open…what sizes do you find most useful and where do you get them??

  • #203434

    Pantry envy?

    They have them at the Container Store: http://www.containerstore.com/shop/kitchen/foodStorage/jarsTerrines

    Sizes depend on what you store in them. I have three large ones for flour, slightly smaller for sugar. A tall skinny jar for spaghetti. Some medium ones for grains. As someone else mentioned, I sometimes put the remains of a packet of grains still in its original packaging into a jar to keep out pests — so, for example, I have one that contains half-packets of barley and red rice. I have one medium size for the beans I use to hold down pastry crust for baking. I find the smaller ones less useful.

  • #203436
    Profile photo of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Thanks, Susan! These are on my wish list for February…

  • #203438
    Profile photo of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Could you use the canning jars sold at the grocery for storing,
    Or do you need the rubber gasket type seal?
    There are some pretty decorated Ball jars.
    At one point we considered using them for flower vases at dd wedding.

  • #203441
    Profile photo of liag
    liag
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    The Classico brand spaghetti sauce has wonderful jars that I wash and reuse. Not a very tight seal, though, as irishbell points out. Decent sauces, too.

  • #203443
    Profile photo of Conny
    Conny
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    Last week i came across Mellen’s blog and there he features his kitchen, including his pantry. (we also have pull out cabinets like those with our food supplies arranged in a similar manner) http://andrewmellen.com/kitchen.php

  • #203444
    Profile photo of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    @irishbell – I actually do have plans to use the smallest size of grocery canning jars for my spices! (I don’t like many “spice” jars because they have such a narrow opening, and I use spices by the scoopful) But for rice and grains, something airtight would be nice. So I was intrigued by Susan’s jars.

    @liag – I’ll check out Classico at the grocery. I have had issues, though, with glass jars from some foods retaining the smell/flavor of whatever was in the jar – despite washing, baking soda, etc. Any tricks there? Or do I just have a super-sensitive nose?

  • #203462
    Profile photo of liag
    liag
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    sleepy: dishwashing should do it.

  • #203466
    Profile photo of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    @kitten The jars can be found in a lot of places; specialty kitchen stores will carry a wider selection, but they’ll also charge you the full whack for them. I just went into my kitchen and counted: I’ve got 24 jars, and most of them came from various local thrift stores (I’m pretty sure I only paid full price for the two gallon jars I use for flour); it takes longer than going out and buying a few armfuls, but it’s considerably cheaper (some of the half-litre jars were fifty cents!).

    For me, the half-litre and two-litre jars are the most useful sizes, but I’m generally only cooking for two people these days: YMMV!

    One thing I’d recommend you purchase, no matter how you acquire the jars, is a metal canning funnel: it will save you frustration and spilled food when it’s time to fill the jars.

  • #203477
    Profile photo of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    I use canning jars to store things like dry beans, split peas and hot cereal. BUT, we don’t have an insect/moth problem at all. I just hate dealing with the plastic bags they come, hard to store neatly. I loved looking at all these pantries!

  • #203478
    Profile photo of sleepykitten
    sleepykitten
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    @lucy – thanks for the tips about the canning funnel and the thrift stores. To be continued…

  • #203517
    Profile photo of snosie
    snosie
    Member

    Pantry envy?

    ninakk – I saw that photo and loved it… BUt you’re right, it’s a LOT of stuff! So proud that you CAN and DO clean your fridge as part of your weekly routine… I should instigate that, but… I don’t know what my excuse is!

    behejo, I’m just starting my pantry, I made sure my containers would fit at least 2kg (as this is the qty I buy flour, sugar etc in). Actually they fit a bit more, so that I can empty a new bag, with some left in the bottom of the container!

    Lori – I’m with you, as a non earthquake zone dweller, and anti plastic it seems ideal!

    I don’t write use by dates – most of my ‘containers’ are for baking needs, and as my colleagues and family will attest, that happens VERY regularly!

    chacha1 – your comment makes me laugh! I decant the stuff that’s messy if I don’t (flour, sugar etc) and these can get creepy crawlies. But other stuff stays in the packet. And I work outside the home! I’m also a little OCD, so perhaps that’s it!

    I have open glass shelves, but I have crockey and cups there, they are in higher rotation, less dust. Though there is dust (and fat), so some cleaning. But it’s a dark place, closed cupboards there would drive me nuts.

    celebkiriedhel – that houseofsmiths pantry is famous, I saw it on her blog first, but it’s reposted EVERYWHERE!!

    I’ve decided sachets (resealable) for spices, that I will hang from hooks on my pantry door once it’s repainted. The jars are varied (difff stores etc), and take up more room than sachets… Will post a photo if it gets done in a timely matter!

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