DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are over 8000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

14 February 2011

The pantry is making a comeback!

My sister recently moved into a new home - a cute little two bedroom cottage that is about 60 or 70 years old.  There are many things to love about her house but one of them is the larder.  It's set off the old kitchen where the original fuel stove still sits.  We don't build houses with larders now and few people have cellars but the good news is that the pantry is making a comeback.  It's one of the most requested spaces in new homes.  Food storage is back!



But here in the real world most of us have to deal with what we have and adjust our food storage to suit what's actually in our homes.  I'm lucky that I have a pantry in my kitchen and a stockpile cupboard just around the side of the fridge.  We also stockpile various items, mainly toiletries, frozen goods and bulk flour in our second bathroom.  It's cool in there most of the year, just like a larder would be. Over the years I've stored grains and flour there, we've only had one problem with mildew and mould, and that was with our extended period of recent rain last last year.


In the old days a larder was traditionally situated on the side of the house that got the least amount of sunshine but our second bathroom/larder is in the middle of our house and has no outside windows.  Our house is fully insulated so it remains at a fairly stable temperature and except for the hottest of hot days in summer, that bathroom is suitable for cool storage.  The floor is tiled so sitting bags of oats or flour there, after they've spent a day or two in the freezer keeps them cool, dry and safe.  When I start making cheese again, that is where they will be stored.  I'm going to ask Hanno to make two long shelves with hooks underneath so I can place the cheeses along the shelves and hang garlic, herbs and other odds and ends under them.  If I lived in a colder climate and I didn't have a room for cold storage, I'd be tempted to build a brick or block storeroom outside.  I'd completely seal every ventilation slot and window with wire mesh to prevent any nasties getting in.  It would be an excellent place to store vegetables, cheese, homemade wine, grain and flour.


Above is a variety of grains, pasta and small bags of SR flour being stored in the freezer.  Below, bulk flour for breadmaking.  I buy my flour from Simply Good at Morayfield, there is also a shop at Alderley. 


Your biggest enemy when storing food is humidity, sunlight and pests.  If you keep having problems with mould in your pantry, it may be too humid and you might be wise to look further away from your kitchen to store those foods.  I have found that if I always freeze dry foods when they come into the house, then store them in their unopened bags or in a glass container, I have almost no bug problems.  Sunlight on food dries it out and bleaches the colour.  If you've put up jams or fruits in jars, even though they look pretty on the shelf, they won't last as long as they would in a dark dry and cool cupboard. One thing is for sure, if you're like me and always cook from scratch, have a garden and a stockpile, it is worth all the time you put into making sure your food remains fresh and safe.  How have you set up your food storage areas?

44 comments:

  1. We turned our "coat closet" which traditionally was a small closet near the living room in older homes here, used to hang up outdoor wear and visitors' coats, etc., into a pantry. It is located very near the kitchen and is ideal for this purpose. We took out the hanging bar and put shelving in. We also have shelving in a spare bedroom closet for further storage of our stockpile. Sometimes it still is not enough storage, but I do manage to squeeze everything in!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd love to have a pantry. One day I will. I'll have to make do with the fridge for now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our house wasn't blessed with a pantry but more of tall deep cabinet that is essentially useless. We live in the desert with rarely a need for a heavy coat so we converted our coat closet, which is just round the corner from the kitchen, into our main pantry. It works great and there is no wasted space! We also store bulk goods and home canned things under the beds.

    Stephanie
    www.simplicitymom.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Rhonda, we were very blessed when we bought our very old home,the pantry is actually the original bathroom and it us huge,Bob built floor to celing shelves on one side and it has a beautiful kitchen dresser ,linnen cupboard and a freezer in there.The top of the shelves holds all my wools and quilting fabrics in plasctic containers,and I need a ladder to just be able to reach their bases so it is very high.One end is for stockpile and preserves and the other end closest to the kitchen are for things we use everyday and the saucepans.I honestly do not know what we would do without this luxury as the home is so old there are no cupboards at all not even the old linnen cupboard in the hallway which is what I miss,however we solved that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Foods we need daily are in the kitchen in cabinets or the refrigerator. In our garage (which oddly enough, is not big enough for a vehicle), we have a medium size chest freezer, a second refrigerator and an upright cupboard with doors; here is where we store stock-up items and also leftovers when there isn't room in the fridge that's in the kitchen. Finally, in our basement is home-canned tomatoes, pickles, etc., fresh garlic, and storage onions. Potatoes, too, if we have an abundance.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We turned our "coat closet" into a pantry as others have mentioned. The closet is just around the corner from kitchen,this works very well since I have 1 cupboard in kitchen that I can store food items.
    We have shelving in basement for most foods, then I bring things up and stock the coat closet pantry,and only opened items are in the kitchen.
    The pantry system evolved as our food storage was built.
    To build our food starage I simply made a list of ALL the foods, spices etc that I use in every recipe made.Then, I bought extra every week, until the amount of foods, spices etc was met. This system has proved very beneficial in the trying economy and we will never again not have a food storage system in place, to fill the pantry.
    ~~HUGS~~

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a huge cold cellar in the basement, where the walls are lined with shelves and the floor has bottled water all around the edge for that just in case the power goes out ( then so does the well). There is a thermometer in there so I know when we are getting to cold or hot, but normally is stays pretty constant.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Our house is 100+ years old but the layout has changed so much over the years that our kitchen is now on another floor from where I imagine the original pantry was.

    Our kitchen was extended by the previous owners so we have plenty of storage space in there and we also have some more food storage space in the porch at the front of the house - but I wish we still had a dedicated pantry. Our cupboards are fine for canned goods but no good for sacks of grain.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What is the stuff in the bottles... looks almost like lemonade? Home bottled? Do tell.... Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our pantry is tiny. So to allow us to stockpile, we have some of our food stored in a pantry cupboard outside the back door - mainly pasta and canned goods. Anything opened comes inside. Then we have some space at the top of the broom cupboard and a shelf of the linen cupboard.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used to stock up on dried foods and tinned goods especially when they were on special but I found that they would be forgotten at the back of the shelves...oops...so now I usually only have what I really need and buy fresh almost daily. So my pantry shelves hold crockery, an asian dinning set, my radio (speakers hidden in the kitchen wall)beautiful jars that I collect and all the bits and bobs that I have no where else to store them.
    Vickixx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi guy´s I´m desperate for ideas! I have no pantry, tiny kitchen, tiny apartment, really need my coat closet and have 5 mouths to feed. I do have a large freezer in the garage though, which comes in handy because I buy my meat straight from the farmer!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am very lucky as I have a walk-in pantry with plenty of space to fill up with goodies. Yesterday I placed on one of the shelves, bottles of tomato relish I made on Saturday - my first attempt! And if I must say so myself, it's delicious :P . I am just wondering what the shelf life is though.I was just wondering if you could help me please, Rhonda? After the relish was made I poured it into sterlised jars (with lids) however I did not do the vacola system with thermometers, seals etc.I tried to look up on the internet the shelf-life of this type of preserving yesterday, and became confused when I read that some people were saying it can only keep for a few weeks. Surely that can't be right?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Maybaby, that is about 15 litres/quarts of pure freshly squeezed lemon juice. It was frozen and used during the year for cordial, cooking and cleaning.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Rhonda we have a pantry in our kitchen plus we have a root cellar. We are lucky. I also freeze flours and grains before putting in my cupboards. I have had a problem once with bugs coming home in packs from the store. I store everything in glass jars also. We have never had a problem with humidity. good post. B

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm just getting used to stockpiling, as I'm trying to cut back on my food costs as much as possible. It takes effort and thought, and it's a learning experience figuring what to buy and how to cook it, but it's such a great way for a single person (such as myself) to learn how to feed myself on a budget, so if I have a family of my own someday, I will be able to "bless" my family with this skill.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We store food in 5 places, the fridge, a lower cupboard in the kitchen, which is mostly crackers and child snacks. Along the stairs going to the basement is one shelf that holds the consumer goods, sodas, and baby formula. Then in the basement is five six foot by one foot deep shelves to hold all the canned goods. Also in the basement is a chest freezer holding venison. Having lived in several different houses it is the many shallow shelves that are the most important to us and would most want replicated.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Rhonda and all,
    I wish I had a cellar but must make do. I have an old dead freezer in the shed which holds my chook food. Keeps it cool and pest free.
    I have a large cupboard where I store my jars of preserves and dry foods, it is out of the sunlight and is in the centre of the house. Could be better buts its the best I can do. Is plenty big enough although I should like more.
    I thought of cutting into the wall low down and inserting under the house a cool box, like a large esky where I could put cheeses.
    Dale

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have just, a few days ago, had my new kitchen installed in my 90 yr old worker's cottage. I made sure it has a pantry...it's quite large, not walk in, but close. There's room for my stockpile, tea towels close at hand and the assortment of glass and plastic storage containers I have. I love it, I find already I feel less stressed, not having to search through a tiny cupboard for what I want, as things would tumble out all over the place. A great investment I think. And it's on the south facing wall, so in a cool spot.

    It's not organised yet, I've just quickly pushed everything that came out of the old cupboards that was sitting on my lounge, bedroom and bathroom floors in there, just to feel less cluttered and overwhelmed.

    I'm looking forward to getting it organised. I also sacrificed some bench top space along one wall so I could have a deep, tall utility cupboard, right near the back door, so that's where mops, brooms and buckets, vacuum cleaner, outdoor shoes and shopping bags will live. With shelves at the back for my toiletry/cleaning goods stockpile, it's luxury.

    ReplyDelete
  20. We are smack in the middle of building a house and I designed our pantry to be big. I'm going to love it - when its finished. Everyone who visits thinks its the laundry and all seem a little shocked to find out its just a pantry. But its so totally needed. I like to have a stockpile but currently have no room for what I want. I have a box on top of a normal pantry cupboard you buy from Bunnings etc which is where I store my stockpile and its just not big enough.

    ReplyDelete
  21. As several others have done, I changed over a coat closet. We actually had 2, one by the front door, which was always so cold no one wanted to put their coats in it! So I decided it would be ideal for a pantry, and it has been wonderful to have. This winter it has been about 50-55 degrees F in there. My potatoes, carrots, squash love it in there and all my canned and boxed products are all organized as they never could have been in the kitchen. I only wish I had thought of this years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  22. When we built on for Mum I kept the old laundry as a pantry. It's not ideal because I haven't put enough thought into it yet but it's a good space. Tony has put in some cheap melamine cupboards he found and they hold a lot. I do like that hook idea.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have a cupboard in the passage in the middle of the house that is dark so it is perfect for preserves. I also have a spare bedroom on the cool side of the house and I store things in the wardrobe.
    We have 2 pantries . One large one in the corner of the kitchen and another that has half a glass door so it is no good for putting preserves in there. We also store preserves in a corner cupboard that is seldom used in the kitchen and I have an outside
    garden shed that we put out old wringer washing machine in and I store cans of food in there as the washing machine has a lid on it !! Out of sight , out of mind to build up my food stuffs.
    Karen -NZ

    ReplyDelete
  24. We didn't have a pantry when we moved in 14 years ago, but that is one of the first things my carpenter husband built. We had a small space in our basement that was enclosed on 3 sides, so he just had to put a partial wall and a door on it. That's where our freezer is and all of our home canned goods along with any other kitchen gadget that we can't fit upstairs in our very small kitchen:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank-you for the last photo of the bulk flour. i will contact them today. I have a room downstairs where I store our long term homestorage as well as our walk in pantry. I keep everyday things in the pantry in the kitchen. The kids love it because its like going to the shop when they run out of deodorant, milo & all things young people need. I love my homestorage!

    ReplyDelete
  26. There were a couple of things I insisted on when we built our home and one was a pantry. It's approx 2 metres wide and six metres long and has loads of shelving. It is also going to have a facelift this year. Slightly narrower shelves on one side which will allow for shelves on the other side of it - just wide enough to sit a couple of cans or jars on jam on them. Can't wait. Throw in the coolroom Hubby is going to build (no fridge for us soon) and I'll be in heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love my pantry! It is situated in a corner of the kitchen (built in) so there is plenty of room. I do wish I had more room for brooms, mops, etc.!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. We have LOTS of cupboards for storage, but we too have a coat closet right off our dining area that we have converted to a pantry. We also have plenty of storage in our basement. I would LOVE to have a walk-in pantry...maybe our next place huh?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thanks for the link for 'Simply Good'. I've not heard of them before and they are just up the highway from me....cool!

    I have a pantry in the kitchen but no proper stockpile area. I'm considering converting the space under our internal stairs into a stockpile come storage area. I just need to find a new home for the camping equipment, sports gear and old records (music that is).

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Rhonda. I've been reading your blog for ages, but never commented before. I made Hanno's nectarine jam and it's divine. I put three jars in the pantry and they got specks of mould on them. They're now in the fridge. It was very hot when I made it and now constant rain. Should I have turned the jars upside down? Thanks for any advice.

    ReplyDelete
  31. jumama, did you sterilise the jars properly and boil the lids? you also need to fill them to about ¼ inch from the top of the jar - leaving more room creates too much space in our humid climate. It does help if you cool them upside down.

    ReplyDelete
  32. We have a home-made storage cupboard for food which my OH put in one (East) corner of the kitchen. Then 2 years back I got him to make me a really good larder downstairs where it is cool and dry. Our house is built into the slope of a hill (e.g. 3 1/2 levels) and the part where the larder is backs onto the "underground" wall. So I have lots of room on the shelving for jams/chutneys/preserves and an overflow of stockpiled tins.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love your pantry. In my home we have storage cupboards in the kitchen. So i use them to store my pantry. You blog is so nice and informative. I happy to follow you.

    warm greeting
    rani

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Rhonda
    I really should post you a picture of my disgraceful well stock pantry with moths flying all around.

    I love your blog. For your info I awarded you a stylish blog award
    http://phdfire.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweet-valentine.html

    Feel free to not write seven things. I'm guessing these awards are like pyramid selling. I did however want to pass on how much I enjoy your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hello,
    We have a small house with a small kitchen. I have used a couple of scavenged cupboards to store canned goods. A stocked pantry is like money in the bank.
    Jodi

    ReplyDelete
  36. We have a pantry that we have half filled with 'stuff'. I am decluttering at present and I hope that I can reinstate it. We currently manage to store all of our food in the kitchen but if I increase our food stores I will use our pantry. Our understairs cupboard is always cold so we use this to store our homemade cider. Stacey x

    ReplyDelete
  37. Ugh, my tiny house has zero storage space... I dream of the day my eldest moves out and I can use his north facing bedroom as a pantry.... only another 7 or 8 years *lol* In the meantime, my husband made our hall into a "pantry" with clever shelving. Still a WIP and theres lots more nooks to use :) its here if anyones interested ... http://thealmostcarlessfamily.blogspot.com/2009/09/land-rover-and-extreme-recycling.html

    ReplyDelete
  38. I grew up in an old house with a pantry. It was a long thin (and cool) room lined with shelves. The shelves were fairly narrow - 3 quart jars deep - but ran floor to ceiling. This room atop the basement stairs. It was right off the kitchen. I recall the stove (the back door) and then the pantry door. I used to love the pantry (except the dark and spiders part) because it was like a treasure hunt. I had to get used to the concept of the pantry being a cabinet in modern homes.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am new here. Found the Pantry article delightful. I live in a small old house, 1820's, I think they built for a rental and didn't care if it had storage or not.
    I am going to have to rearrange again in order to stock more.
    I had one of those fiberglassy cupboards that I put in the kitchen and when that got full and I bought another one. If I can get another one will do. That will help a lot. I wish this house had decent closet's, but they are about 3 ft square and are not insulated against heat.
    I am looking for ideas for storage for the bedroom that is so dirt cheap I can afford to do it. Ain't that a dream. I have over 1/2 of my supplies in the bedroom in tubs.
    We live where fruit and other stuff is plentiful so plan on canning and need a safe place for it also.
    Yike's! this is getting to be real hard on the thinking process. But am so glad that I have been able to afford to buy up stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  40. 3 years ago my kitchen was renovated and I made sure that there was ample cupboard space but there still wasn't room for a pantry so I put two shelving units in my unfinished laundry room. These shelves hold enough to properly negotiate the sales in my area.

    These shelves don't give me enough room for any canning, however. Since it's my mission this year to get extremely friendly with my canning equipment, I am going to cleanup my crawl space this spring and put up some shelves.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Co-incidentally, a few of us in work were chatting about pantries the other day. We were wondering whether pantries and larders were the same thing and whether they had to be walk-in to be called a pantry. It made me realise that the house I live in now is the only one I've lived in that does not have one.
    Freezing the dry goods is an idea I must try. That's one place I do have room!
    Teresa x

    ReplyDelete
  42. I do love the stone cellar under our very old house!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Yes! Finally someone writes about weightloss.

    Prescription Swimming Goggles
    Have a look at my blog post - Prescription Swimming Goggles

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have a large walk in pantry. It is very much a working pantry filled with jars of dried and canned foods from my garden. I am in the process of painting the shelve before this years harvest begins. Phew! What a job!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

A link to your blog will be automatically added to your comment. Please don't add another link to your blog in your comment. Those comments will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...