I set out to make a 15 minute clean sweep and reorganization of the kitchen pantry. It has become not just a food storage area, but a general drop-off point for all kinds of stuff, some not food related. It is also relatively generous in size, and somebody’s law of something dictates that available stuff will swell and expand to fill all available areas unless rigidly controlled. So the pantry is full of all kinds of stuff that either have never been used, or were used once, or get used sporadically, or get lost in the shuffle and repurchased until we have multiple containers.
15 minutes actually turned into 1.5 hours and a lot of gathering, reorganizing, dumping, and relocating. During the course of the clean up I came across buggy pasta from 2 years ago, 5 different kinds of rice, 4 kinds of grits, 6 types of flours, 12 kinds of teas, 5 flavors of honey, 2 kinds of agave nectar, 6 heretofore overlooked bottles of our favorite wine, 12 types of dried fruits, 3 kinds of oatmeal, 7 kinds of ancient grains ranging from buckwheat to red quinoa, 5 lbs of graham cracker crumbs, 5 kinds of dried seaweeds, hemp powder, 3 flavors of olive oil, 2 varieties of balsamic vinegar, 8 varieties of dried and canned beans, 4 types of canned tomatoes, 4 kinds of salt, 5 types of chocolate, shredded coconut, coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk, and coconut flavoring, a post-apocalyptic stash of sugar, malted milk and rum, and a bottle of lemon rinds soaking in grain vodka (my lemoncello project, lost and overlooked).
When the reorganization was finished everything was back in its designated area and it looks like a serviceable, efficient pantry once again. Now I have to summit the task of actually using the items in the pantry (what the hell am I going to do with 32 oz of tamarind paste?). A lot of stuff went into the trash. A few items got transferred to the refrigerator or the spice cabinet. Those will be the targets of my next 15 minute clean ups.