I am a food hoarder from way back. I also like to try different recipes that have new to me ingredients. Combined this means I have a lot of stuff in my pantry. It usually looks like this.
Lots of random jars people have given me filled with equally random things. I can see chilli from the garden, home made brown sugar, and honey in this pic.
This is my most frequently used shelf. I also have 3 large boxes that stack on top of each other, these hold mostly dried fruits, nuts and all those weird dry goods that I have purchased, used in a recipe once and not found another use for. This is going to change!
Starting with the shelf. It is a very non user friendly space. Partly because it is so deep and therefore the thing you want is always right at the back. Partly because I have stacked stuff on top of other stuff to fit all the stuff in.
I already had 4 large glass vessels that worked well (except you have to take them all out to get to the one at the back) so I figured more would help. When buying zero waste I get home and need to empty the cloth bags into something air tight. This has meant I have a lot of small jars filled with the same thing. 4 jars of red lentils, 5 jars of raw cacao powder, 4 jars of chickpeas. You get the idea.
Yesterday I transferred them all to their own home, 1.8L massive jars. Now the pantry shelf looks like this.
Not amazing but quite an improvement I think. That back left corner is still a bit of a mess… Ideally I would have a larger space that is not so deep and the jars would only be 1 or 2 deep instead of 4. Til that day, hopefully this works.
The boxes I will deal with another day. I feel that now I know a few good no packaging places I will be able to purchase the new ingredient in the volume that the recipe states. This will mean I don’t have the rest of a bag to store till I remake that recipe or find another that has besan flour or millet, or barley etc. in it. I aim to get rid of the boxes and store everything in the large glass vessels. This will be a slow process as I eat all the miscellaneous food and work out what I really need to store 1.8L of. So far I have:
Oats, flour, sugar, red lentils, green lentils, chickpeas, cacao powder, desiccated coconut, hemp protein powder, chia seeds, and puffed buckwheat.
I have a few empty ones that I will slowly fill as I need. I feel I need to pare down my pantry a bit so that it is a little stream lined yet I have good options for protein and carbohydrates etc all sitting there ready to be used. Slowly but steadily it will happen!