I had always dreamed of having a pantry, and so when asked what I was going to do with this little spare room off the back of my kitchen that looks into the garden. I thought, mmm, yes that room will do nicely for that dream pantry. You don’t have to have a grand house to have a pantry. The situation of it is important it needs to be in a cool, shaded space. I am very lucky to have a walk in room that is my pantry, but it can be a cupboard or shelves. It’s a place were I stock my preserved tastes of the seasons, and also all my other ingredients. That make eating and cooking flow easily… Organising a kitchen pantry most definitely saves you money and you can always be ensured that you have the ingredients needed to whip up a delicious meal. Decide on the location of your pantry. Whether it's a couple of cupboards, a space under the stairs or a spare room. Empty the pantry area and give it a thorough clean out. Throw out any products that have passed their sell-by date (we’re all guilty of this!). Here is how I organise my pantry.
The first thing I did was to stock up on kilner jars. I made a list of all the main ingredients I needed to jar, and then bought the sizes of the jars accordingly. Small ones for spices, large for flours etc. Once you get started you can then start washing out used jam jars etc for your pantry ingredients. I also bought small labels, and labelled all my jars, again it just makes the search for ingredients quicker and faster.
I divided a 2 large shelving units into six different areas:
- BOTTLED: Oils Extra virgin olive oil, canola or vegetable oil, rapeseed, walnut oil and other falvoured oils Vinegars White wine, sherry, cider, rice, malt, balsamic and red wine vinegar. Others fish sauce, soy sauce, capers, sesame tahini, worcestershire sauce,
- DRIED: Pasta spagetti, tagliatelle, linguine, pappardelle, fettuccine, trofie, farfalle, fussili, penne, lasagne sheets Rices basmati, risotto, brown, jasmine Grains couscous, polenta, quinoa Noodles egg, vermicelli, rice
- BAKING: Flours wholemeal, white, rye, Eggs organic Raising agents baking powder, bread soda, dried yeast Sugars white, brown, caster, icing Flavours vanilla extract, rosewater, orange blossom water, lavender water Others oatflakes, ground almonds
- CANNED: Tomatoes cherry, whole, passata and chopped Pulses chickpeas, kidney beans, cannellini beans, lentils Fish tuna, anchovies Others coconut milk, sweetcorn
- SPICES, SEEDS, NUTS, CHOCOLATE: Spices cumin, smoked paprika, star anise, cloves, allspice, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom pods, dried chili flakes, chili powder, curry powder, mustards seeds, saffron, lime leaves Seeds pumpkin, sesame, linseeds, chia Chocolate dark, white and milk Nuts walnuts, pine, hazelnutes, pecans, pistacchios.
- CONDIMENTS: Preserves, chutneys, mutards, honeys, peanut butter, tobasco, harissa, tomato puree, preserved lemons, pestoes and pickles Stocks bouillion, chicken, beef, vegetable and fish
I grown alot of herbs, and so every month I cut big bunches of rosemary and thyme. Then using twine, I tie them together and hang them from the ceiling in my pantry. After about 2 weeks I take them down, pull the dried leaves off the stems and grind them up and store them in jars. One jar I keep beside my oven, for rubbing on roast meats etc.
Most vegetables are better stored outside the fridge, salad leaves and herbs are the only ones that I refrigerate. I organise my vegetables in boxes, bowls and baskets on top of my wine rack which has a flat surface, it makes it so much easier to see what I have to cook with. Onions, garlic, ginger, leeks, celery, potatoes and root vegetables store well in the same containers.
I have wire shelving wrack that I picked up in Ikea and I use this for my crackers, baked goods, biscuits, tea's, coffees, hot chocolate. The baked foods, like bread, cakes etc I store in airtight tins.
I store my cheese wrapped in cheese cloth in the bottom party of my fridge. Clingfilm is also fine to wrap your cheese. I store it in the bottom part of the fridge because that is the least chilled.