Michele assigned "Organize the pantry" for Week 2. Yes, I groaned. This soon?? I was hoping we'd get another easy task. But she's right - holiday cooking means "just stuff it in!" and my cupboards and freezer looked it. I know we have more space -- but you'd never know it when you look in there because you have to quick put your hands up so nothing lands on your head or breaks your foot. <sigh> Pantry it is. I roped Luke into helping with this week's task. I decided it was going to be a Home Ec project for him. After all, even if Real Men Eat Quiche, it helps to be able to find the ingredients for said dish.
The cupboard above the counter
The bottom pantry
(I forgot to get a picture of the top pantry)
They aren't too terrible. But yeah, still a mess. One day, the boys will learn that if they don't throw out empty cookie boxes, I will not know we need more. (Thankfully I did this BEFORE I went to the store, otherwise, they'd be cookie-less for another week.)
Yes, I vacuumed my shelves. That's an awesome little hand-held Dyson and it sucks up crumbs and spilled flour like nobody's business.
Notice that there is one loaf of bread in the bottom pantry, and one up top. We always buy bread two loaves at a time, but then the boys eat it two loaves at a time. What the bread shelf usually looks like is this:
The twist-tie is barely hanging on, and both loaves have bread missing. What you can't see is the two- or three-slice remnants of both a third AND a fourth loaf hidden underneath the mess. New rule: ONE loaf goes down where shorter people can reach it (around here, everyone makes his own toast), and the spare loaf goes "grown-up high" until the other loaf is eaten.
I also rearranged things to make more sense. I used to keep the pasta and extra baking flour lower, where it was easier to reach. However, that seems to be prime real estate for cookies. That now has been moved to the top pantry - I can still easily reach it/take inventory when I'm planning dinner, but there is more space for grab-and-go snacks. We rearranged a couple of other cabinets, so a few other things got re-homed. Is it wrong that instead of trying to make room for the Bisquick, I decided to make a big batch of pancakes for the freezer and use it up?
I admit there is still one cabinet I haven't gotten to, but I will! I need to bring in a ladder to work on that - it's above the fridge, and a chair isn't tall enough to reach the back of it. I need to wait until I feel better, though - Luke went took a bag of trash out the back door as we were cleaning the pantry, and we didn't realize the house alarm had been set. As I lunged to turn off the siren (of course that's the door that doesn't have a 10-second grace period), I caught my pants pocket on the arm of the chair I was climbing on and then topped myself over the trashcan. Mostly it's my pride is bruised, but so is my shoulder and butt. I also figure if I wait a couple more days, we'll have eaten most of the chips in the cabinet, so that will be less to go through. We ate two of the bags of tortilla chips for dinner the other night when I made nachos, plus the already-open bag of potato chips, so that helps!
And yes, I know that's a lot of chocolate. It's the only brand everyone can eat, so we stock up when we find it on sale. I think we need a basket or something to keep it better corralled, though.
As I rearranged things, I realized that particular day was exactly 8 years from when Celia got her feeding tube placed. At the time, she was 19 months old and had zero foods to eat. In fact, that day, the doctor put a moratorium on trying ANYTHING until she was at least three years old. It's taken her long to find four foods that don't make her ill, I've lost track of how many fails we've had. (Ok, maybe I haven't. The current "no because she's tried and gotten sick from them" count stands at 22.) She can now have pork, strawberries, chocolate and sweet potatoes. (Cane sugar is safe, but it doesn't "count" as a food - it's pure carbohydrate and she reacts to food proteins.)
That is ALL Celia-safe food. Earlier that day, I felt like we've been at this forever, and she's never going to get rid of the tube. In theory, I'm ok with that - it's just a tool. But looking at a cabinet crammed with "her" food (and knowing there were a few of items - bacon and fresh strawberries in the fridge, more chocolate (even if the cabinet isn't tidy yet), and even the lard in the long pantry) brought me to grateful tears.
Tidy up along with us! I won't tell you what Week 3's task is...but I will say that it's something that definitely needs doing in my house! Head over to Family, Faith, and Fridays Blog to find your marching orders.
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