Good thing I planted the rest of the garden yesterday, because it’s cold and rainy today. The plants seem to like it just fine, although I’m staying indoors today and hoping it’s warmer tomorrow.
I got down and dirty with the back pantry this morning. Hey, it worked up a good sweat and probably burned a few calories in the process. The back pantry had long since turned into a cook’s nightmare, with jumbles of recyclables, garden tools, cleaning equipment, cloth and paper bags and several shelves full of pulses, grains and what-have-you behind the mess. In the meantime, all the canned goods that I use on a regular basis were hidden away in a very deep cabinet to the right of the kitchen sink. I had to bend over rather painfully just to get stuff in and out of there and, because of the way it’s designed, it was impossible to see the items in the back.
I decided that a swap was in order. So, I bent over the cabinet and started pulling things out. Ditto the pantry shelf, except for the bending. I tossed the stuff that was out of date or simply never used (an ancient apple crisp mix, a jar of pumpkin butter and another one of caramel sauce for starters). Then I smelled the grains to make sure they were still good, which they were (holy shit, do I have bulghur!). The canned beans went on the pantry shelf, the dried beans went into the cabinet, along with various lentil varieties (also known as dals). I use the dry stuff, but not as frequently as the canned counterparts. I found stuff like several boxes of rice pilaf mix, which I couldn’t even see since it was behind the canned milk and napkins.
So, as of this afternoon, I have an uncluttered pantry with plenty of room to reach my staples and a less accessible cabinet that stores items I use on a less frequent basis. I tidied up and re-hung all the garden stuff, and found homes for summer grilling equipment. I cleaned out all the paper bags which, along with a bunch of empty boxes, are going out on trash/recycle day. I took out every, single cloth bag we had, threw out the ones that were frayed and created two categories: big cloth bags and small cloth bags. We use them for grocery shopping.
Boy, do I feel good! Mission accomplished. Now, onto the next war zone.