New Beginnings

My “Pantry”

2018!  At the beginning of most calendar years, I take stock of my kitchen and everything contained therein.  This year, with strong encouragement from my daughter and sister, I rearranged my cupboards – slightly.  I moved my saucepans and fry pans closer to the stovetop, the island where my silverware lives now has my serving platters and salad bowls that I use every day, rags and towels are closer to the sink.  Not big changes, but it feels good.  

I also compulsively go through each cupboard and drawer, take everything out, wipe it down, then nicely rearrange the contents. (Truth is, I do this more than once a year!)    Not hard with dishes and glasses, but this takes a while in my baking cupboard and my lazy susan that has less frequently used spices, grains, etc. 

Then I tackle my makeshift “pantry”, which is really an old TV cupboard I found.  It is small but it’s ample for me.  Grains and beans on top,  paper goods arranged on the bottom shelf and other miscellaneous items – the ones I use all the time – nestled in between.  It’s never overflowing so I can see everything and I really do know exactly what’s is in there – and when I need to replenish it.

And I haven’t even mentioned my refrigerator because that gets cleaned out at least every two weeks – you never know what’s lurking in there!

I love my kitchen equipment, I really do.  I can’t see buying another pot or pan or small appliance, ever.  Instapots and sous vide machines are all the rage at the moment, but I have two great pressure cookers that I use several times a week, I own a slow cooker that barely sees the light of day, and I never use a rice maker.   I have really good quality, reliable cookware and I always tell my kids that if I suddenly die, the only thing I own that is worth saving would be kitchen stuff.

Along the way this year, I decided to replace a few things that are weathered, unable to be sharpened, or just plain worn out.  My inexpensive wood cutting boards that I put in the dishwasher are etched and shabby looking.  My potato peeler is no longer sharp, and even my microplane grater has seen it’s better days.  Oh, some of my dish towels were holey.  I love good dish towels.

My new toys!

So, I replaced three cutting boards, my peeler, my microplane graters, a manual can opener and some dish towels.  Grand total was way less than $100 and  I’ll need to replace all of this again in less than two more years. But considering all this beginning-of-the-year work and the cost of replacing some of my must trusty tools – I would rather have a tidy, well organized, well-equipped kitchen to whip up my favorite dishes than go out for a restaurant meal any old day.

Go through your kitchen!  Gift anything you no longer want or use or need, and make a list of anything that is worn out and needs replacing.  Call me crazy, but it’s therapeutic and, dare I say it, fun!

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