Since it rained, and rained, and rained this weekend, I decided to use our time cooped up in the house to clean out our pantry.
We started by taking everything out, and scrubbing the floors, the moldings, and dusting the walls. The Ladybug helped scrub our bins, and we dusted or wiped all the cans and boxes off.
My pantry has wire shelving, which can be challenging. We cut up some shipping boxes I had saved to be shelf liners. I’ve also invested in some plastic shelving tiers (like these from Amazon) to help with my cans and we moved those stackable blue bins from the boys nursery into the pantry for floor storage.
Since the shelves are wire, they also present a few extra opportunities, and I have a small collection of miscellaneous hooks (one is from a broken bungee cord, one is an extra from a dog rabies tag, and one is from an old pot rack) that I can use to hang things from the bottom shelf.
Now I’ve seen some super cute pantry storage ideas and some beautiful pantry spaces, but I wasn’t trying to remake my pantry, just clean it out and organize it. I was tired of feeling like we didn’t have any food in the house just because I was overwhelmed every time I opened the doors!
Plus, this gave me great insight to how I’d like to revamp our eating habits even more, and some more changes that we can make towards a whole food diet. I made a list of just about everything in there to type up into my own shopping list for our menu planning and couponing–and I circled a lot of things that we are going to start trying to replace with “from scratch” efforts.
I’d like to move us toward a more whole foods-oriented diet, but I believe in baby steps when it comes to food. Why? Because when I first got married I knew how to make approximately 4 things (one of which was macaroni and cheese…from a box). To go from that to canning my own, garden fresh salsa and baking homemade tortillas just wasn’t going to happen in one big leap. (Seriously–those first couple years I wasn’t even sure what to do with chicken that still had bones in it!) When I embraced a semi-homemade philosophy a few years ago though, things really changed and we’ve been slowly, but surely evolving into a better diet.
First I had to learn to used diced tomatoes. Now I’m ready to learn how to can my own.
And then, of course, we started farming and I’ve had to learn how to cook everything we produce!
A couple things we’re going to work on changing over–pantry wise– in the immediate future?
Going to whole potatoes, no more flakes and no more frozen. (Although my budget will miss the flakes, since I’ve been getting them for free with my coupons!)
Going to whole oatmeal, no more instant. (This one shouldn’t be difficult, I just need to be intentional about it!)
Going back to all whole grain pasta. (Again, this was a budget thing because I was getting regular pasta so much cheaper!)
And I’d like to get to the point of having a steady supply of my own chicken stock in the freezer, no more canned broth.
This year I think I’d also like to learn how to make gravy from scratch/drippings. (Don’t tell me it’s easy! My momma burnt the gravy one year at Thanksgiving and none of us ever forgot it.)
A couple things I discovered while doing this?
Apparently I think Armageddon is going to include a run on fire-roasted diced tomatoes and cream of potato soup and I wanted to be prepared.
And I will no longer put my canned veggies and canned fruit together. I haven’t yet found a recipe that can survive substituting a can of corn for a can of pineapple by accident.
Now I’m on to tackle my baking cabinet! Any tips?