We have been doing a lot of organizing projects at work lately thanks to our awesome team members Anjali and Elan. A happy cook needs a clean kitchen to start any meal or project. And that doesn’t just mean clean counter tops. I’m sure you know what I mean, messy cupboards piled with half empty bags of nuts, stale flour and spice bottles sticky from the honey leaking next to them on the shelf. Our clean and organized work pantry inspired me to do a rehaul of my tiny apartment kitchen pantry. See for yourself, the neat rows of cans goods make me feel so accomplished.
This cupboard is all we have for pantry space so it must stay organized, there is no room for 5 cans of black beans or 2 opened balsamic vinegars. The top shelf is hard to reach so I store my baking supplies like flour(s), sugar(s), extracts and chocolates up there as I rarely bake at home these days.
I keep my oil and vinegar selections close to my stove so I can reach for them to start and finish whatever I’m sauteing but not too close to the heat that they go rancid.
I made a spice rack out of the top of a narrow shoe box lid (thanks J. Crew booties) and stacked my lesser used spices on the back. My fav dried spices are in easy reaching distance (oregano, chili flakes, curry, black peppercorns and smoked paprika) in the front row. Piled to the left in metal tins are some awesome salts from the Spice Station for special dishes.
Snacks are stored on the bottom left side of the pantry, easy reaching distance for my husband who needs to see something to know it’s in there.
Nuts are a favorite snack around here and we always have at least 4-5 different varieties open at the same time. The puffy bags were taking up all the space in the cupboard and driving me insane. Now we are bundling them with rubber bands and placing them in the bottom of the shoe box (those shoes were so worth it). Finding the walnuts has never been easier, just slide out the box.
I keep my supply of onions, garlic and shallots in a large ramekin on the top shelf so they stay cool and dry and are easy to grab to start an impromptu soup or sauce.
On the other side of the kitchen there are two sweet built in drawers where we store teas and grains. I like to keep varieties of the same or similar items together so I can see all the selection when I want a mug of tea or decide what grain to cook for dinner.
So many teas; herbal, black, green and drinkable vitamin C. I rip off the tops of the packaging and leave the bags exposed in the drawer. I suppose you could use scissors for that job and avoid ripping the whole box like my poor PG Tips.
Grains galore; quinoa, rice in many colors and lengths, polenta, lentils, beans , oats and GF pastas.
Hope this inspires you to do a little pantry clean out this weekend! Don’t forget to throw away products that have been open for too long or have expired.