Saturday, June 5, 2010

Getting Started

I spent all day yesterday cleaning out kitchen pantries and feel really good about what I got accomplished. Only made it through one and a half cabinets, but the one cabinet is a converted small closet and the half of cabinet I completed is the top half of the main pantry and while isn't huge is nice size. I am upset that I had to throw so much away but found lots of expired food and those blasted brown moth's and their maggot looking babies were quite a few things as well. So, here is how the kitchen work has played out so far.

The small closet was converted by previous owner's of the home. It is actually located by the front door right across from the kitchen and am sure it was a little coat closet. I figure it is about two and half feet wide and about eighteen inches deep. There are four shelves and then the floor area. I mainly use it for extra storage of kitchen ware, not much food. One entire shelf is hubby's liquor collection. Of course, my friend Capt. Morgan, and his sidekicks amaretto, peach schnopps, raspberry liquor, and mixers are visiting there as well. For a couple that doesn't really drink much we are well stocked. Hubby likes a good margarita but I found that I have three bottles of tequila. Hmm, maybe some tequila chicken or margarita marinade is about to show up on the menu. LOL I keep my potatoes and onions in a big bowl in the bottom and yesterday when cleaning out I did however get rid of the healthy start in that bowl to homemade vodka. Man do potatoes and onion smell offensive when they melt in to mush. Some overlooked home canned goods were found underneath the fifty boxes of swifter refills. Okay, not fifty, but did count five open boxes. Two were the refills for the duster and three were boxes of the floor swiffer. I had no idea that ants were so attracted to those floor rags. I saw somewhere a pattern to make a crocheted swiffer type duster that goes on the handles and then you just toss it in the washer. I kept a copy of that somewhere and it is going to be one of my first projects when I get my little craft room up and going. Other than that, the cabinet mainly has baking supplies. You know, foil pans in all sizes, a box of chocolate chips, paper goods and lots of empty storage containers. The bottom is where I keep my gizmos that I have to have to help me cook...but never use. Like the meat slicer we bought when the boys were smaller and ate us out of house and home so we bought bulk cheese and and cooked hams and breast to slice up our self. It was a huge savings, we could buy a five pound block of cheese for about what one pound sliced from the deli cost. I would slice off part of it, grate a big bag full, then cut the left overs in to cubes for snacking. Now it is just the three of us, and most times just one or two for a meal. And, of course there is the big griddle, canning supplies, and the rice cooker. Although, I quit using the rice cooker because it just didn't seem to make enough, so it might get brought out again. Found a recipe yesterday that uses the rice cooker to make oatmeal and am going to try that one out for sure. I also have a two foot high, literally, stack of assorted Jell-o molds. There is a flag for patriotic holidays (never used), mold to make jiggler jelly beans (used a little), eggs (used a lot) and then the cars, footballs, Christmas shapes (never used) and for a lark when I was involved in a frog themed dinner there are some little frog molds as well and two molds to make what looks like a bundt cake or ring of Christmas trees. At least now I can see it all. Hubby was impressed so we just won't mention the three shelves in the garage that have baking sheets, enamel water canner (huge), roasters, canning pans, shaved ice maker, ice cream maker, pressure cookers (one large for canning and two small for cooking) pasta maker, coffee makers not used any more and the food sealer (which needs to be moved to the house because we use it a lot). Oh, and I just put an electric orange juicer out there too. That is left over from when we would go to the coast for the day and come home with a twenty pound box of juice oranges for $4. I would juice them and freeze the juice.

I am a gadget junky. Along with all I already mentioned, there is also a deep fryer, electric skillet, milk shake maker (won it at some picnic) blender, food processor, hand mixer, the thing you stick in a cup or bowl that blends, about five different crockpots (various sizes and shapes) and of course my bread machine that also makes butter. I found something yesterday that resembled what only a ninja warrior would carry, one twist and a zigzag of sharp blades would come out and cut what ever you had sticking in it. I tossed it. LOL

As for the actual pantry of food stuffs? I got the top half done and now know that I have seven cans of cream of celery soup (for example) to use in a recipe. This where I was very wasteful and threw so much out. Found jars of miracle whip that expired in 2008. It may have still been perfectly fine, but just wasn't willing to risk being sick or making my family sick. Same with all the cans and jars that had expiration dates. I am for sure going to keep a better eye on what I have and make sure to use it. I also put the items back in the cabinet and stacked the older ones in front so would use them first, putting like items together. Now all my green beans are with green beans in the same spot, corn together, peaches, and such. It is only half the cabinet, or all the canned goods, but I am seeing that pretty much all I need is some meat. Even found four cans of chilies in adobo sauce that I had on my list to buy because they were used in a recipe I saw on TV.

Now for the bottom half, which should go a little quicker. Mainly baking mixes, flour, sugar, cereal and such. What I call the boxed goods as opposed to the can. I know that when I get done with all of that I will be well stocked in that area as well. My goal is to get through the bottom section and then finally go through my spice cabinet. A little small cabinet by the stove, but loaded with spices and flavorings. I have been writing everything down as it goes back in to the pantry so I know what I have on hand and will probably spend tomorrow entering it in to my MasterCook program. From there I can enter recipes, create menu plans from the recipes, then create a shopping list which will check my pantry list to see if I already have it. Great help for the goal of organizing the meals. Only draw back... if you have five recipes that call for milk, it will list five milks on you grocery list. LOL I am thinking that when I plan my menus, I need to start trying some pressure cooker recipes along with at least twice a month try some new ingredient, like the chilies in adobo sauce, or a new vegetable or fruit.

Oh well, enough talking, I need to go to Facebook and check over my farms then back at it in the kitchen. I still have a cabinet full of pans that needs to be cleaned out as well and am hoping that Monday I will able to start on clearing out the vacant room so we can start painting. Here is the plan for that. Oldest son has moved out. That bedroom is going to be cleared, cleaned, painted, new carpet, and youngest daughter moved in to it. Then, her room will be vacant. That room will be cleared, cleaned, painted and new floor. Hope to get wood flooring down in there as it will become the craft den. I will move my computer in there, need it to load designs on card for machine embroidery. I will set up all my sewing machines and move in all my supplies for quilting, sewing, crocheting, machine embroidery and scrapbooking. My daughter and I will hang out in there. I even saved my dad's recliner to put in there and will sit in it, think of him, and do the hand work. I see my crazy quilting coming back to life. Oh yeah, of course there will be a TV in there as well. LOL I AM SO EXCITED just thinking about it. I can sew til all hours with worrying about the light or sound interrupting any one's (mainly hubby who seems to have to go to bed by nine) sleep. Although he snores like a chain saw, I am told I keep him from getting a restful sleep. I am thinking I may have to find a dressmaker's mannequin now that I will finally be able to make some clothes. Of course quilting will be first, and am very motivated to get it all set up so I can make new grand baby a quilt. Now that I am not working, I think it will probably be a homemade Christmas all around. LOL Hmm, wonder if daughter would accept some handmade infant wear?

Well off to other things. Will post my progress when I have any. Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

  1. Just stopped by and read this. I'd love to see your idea for make your own pads for the swiffer. I'm a cleaning coach and I'm always looking for good new ideas.
    Happy Cleaning!
    Leslie, the cleaning coach