Thursday, November 17, 2011

Taking stock

Got on a tear last night and cleaned out my "pantry" (really just some cabinets), checking expiration dates and rearranging everything. I think it started because I was looking for rosemary? Or maybe cinnamon. Either way I decided to rearrange my herbs and spices, and it spiraled from there. Lesson learned: I have too much dry pasta and nowhere near enough canned vegetables, and enough instant miso soup to keep me in slurpy tofu-studded heaven for a year. (Don't judge me; I got the packets from someone who didn't want them and unloaded on me when I asked where she got them.) I also found a couple cans close enough to expiration that they're dictating my dinner for the next couple nights, but that's okay. I like tomato soup.

I am also almost completely out of white sugar, which I never would have allowed to happen if my cabinets were organized better. But now they are! And now I have room for more supply redundancy, namely of flour and the aforementioned sugar. The downside is that there's currently no place for potatoes, but my godmother keeps hers in a fridge in the garage so I guess that'll work for me too. Onions are currently stored in their net bag on top of the canister of yellow split peas.

I wasn't kidding about the vegetables, though. I had two cans of peas and one of green beans and that was it, which means I would die of scurvy long before starvation got me. This will be rectified over the coming weeks. I like vegetables; I just forget to eat them. Raw carrots and celery would be easy, but they still provoke a visceral reaction because that and bean soup was all I ate for lunch for like six months while I straightened out my finances a couple years ago.

I do not want to go back to that, ever.

Next up is the rest of my kitchen, where I go through and organize all the little-used cubbies and corners. Then the bathroom closet and cabinet; then the living rooms shelves and credenza; then the storage space in the spare room. A few more evenings should do it, and some this weekend. It'll be fun. I enjoy that kind of work. It helps that my godmother is an organizing goddess; she's taught me a lot over the past two years, and she pushes me to achieve instead of just whining about the state of things and watching more TV. (Not that I always do, but generally speaking it's effective.)

And on a more serious note, the current organizing drive is partly driven the nagging sense that I should get squared away now because Winter Is Coming*. And I don't really mean the seasonal change, either. Organization: Helping to batten down hatches since before hatches were a thing.

* To paraphrase someone I saw on TV Tropes, George R.R. Martin is one of the best authors I've ever read, and I hate his guts. If you've read the books, you'll know exactly what I mean.


og said...

We store food in 5 gallon buckets, with screw-on lids I got from Mr B. They work great, and are varmint proof. We keep flour in the cans in their original sacks, same with beans and sugar. Plus, when places like Aldi have dried beans on sale, we stock up and can throw them in a bucket.

Our buckets which originally contained frosting, come from a friend of ours who decorates cakes. You can buy them, but you might find a local bakery who will give you some free- they're already food grade and just need to be cleaned.

Joanna said...

I'm planning the same thing (food in sacks in buckets in basement), but with 5-gallon buckets with snap-on lids (#2 HDPE plastic) from Lowes. My godmother uses them for birdseed storage, and they keep the critters out.

Annnnnnd that's all I'm really comfortable spreading around on the web for all to see. :-)

og said...

The screw-on lids are made to snap onto those buckets, and have an insert that screws in, makingthem air and watertight, and crittertight, and easy to get into, because of the the screw in part. Remind me before next blogmeet, I'll bring a sample to show you.