Beginnings of a Pantry

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Keeping a pantry is something I have not had the luxury of doing in my series of small city apartments (420SF, 812SF, 618SF) so I was pretty happy to discover the new house has a small room downstairs for a pantry/storage.

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The shelves currently in there are pretty makeshift, and eventually we would like to fit the room with proper display shelving for the collection of storage jars J and I started assembling in our last apartment. A few years ago when I started doing my own gluten free baking I began to buy gluten free flours and storing them together in a plastic bin. Anyone who bakes gluten free knows that those flours aren’t as cheap as regular all purpose flour, so imagine my horror when I discovered the bin had become infested (perhaps through a purchase of bulk rice or nuts?) with tiny moths. All the flours were ruined and I was pretty bummed (I’m not going to even get into how they infested the rest of my apartment and destroyed my rugs and sweaters and skeins of wool yarn…) Following the moth incident I decided to start storing dry goods in separate and well sealed jars to contain any possible bug outbreaks, and also to make it easier to see what I had in my pantry. Thankfully J is as OCD about organization as I am, because he was just as excited about hoarding jars and labeling them meticulously as I was. We found the perfect jars at Yokoyaya, a quirky Japanese dollar store in the Tinseltown Mall in Vancouver’s DTES, and promptly bought all of their stock – several times hahaha. They come in 3 sizes, large (for flours and rice), medium (for nuts or largish amounts of spices), and a small jar perfect for loose leaf teas and special spices. The handles on the lids make it easy to grab a few jars at once and head to the kitchen, and having everything labelled makes it super easy to see what we are almost out of. Another cheap way to get lots of jars fast is by buying flats of mason jars for canning, or by only buying condiments that come in glass jars rather than plastic (I have been doing this for a few years now and it’s great). We’ve also started to assemble dry ingredient mixes for baked goods and soups that can be poured into the wet ingredients all at once. So far it’s really paid off, no more moths!

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Does anyone else out there keep a super ridiculously good looking pantry?

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