Monday, July 27, 2020

Pandemic Pantry Update

She pulls from a shelf certain rare spices and sugars that her successor is unlikely to use. Insulating the jars with softbound books and sheafs of cooking notes, she packs them in a carton that came to this kitchen holding boxes of Italian pasta. She examines the fanciful designs on a container of sugar imported from Turkey, a favorite finish for the surface of cookies: bearclaws, butter wafers. The large, faceted granules glitter like bluish rhinestones; children always choose those cookies first. She wonders if she will be able to get this sugar anymore, if borders will tighten so austerely that she will lose some of her most precious, treasured ingredients: the best dried lavender and mascarpone, pomegranate molasses. But in the scheme of things, does it matter?

She comes upon her collection of vinegars, which she uses to brighten the character of certain cakes, to hold the line between sweet and cloying. She takes down a spicy vinegar she bought at a nearby farm; inside the bottle, purple peppers, like sleeping bats, hang from the surface of the liquid. Greenie used it in a dark chocolate ice cream and molasses pie.

Julia Glass, The Whole World Over

While looking for a quote on pantries, I came across this delightful excerpt from The Whole World Over by Julia Glass.  I have never read anything by her but it is now on my Books to Read list.

I thought I'd post a pandemic pantry update.  Previously at By Lantern Light, I wrote several posts on what to have on hand should a pandemic become a reality.  They were written early in the year before the Coronavirus was declared a pandemic.  I try to keep an eye on current events and with the way things are going in our world, I think it is time to revisit the posts and update them.  I have moved the original pandemic pantry lists over to the cottage and they are posted above (just underneath the journal's title).  They still need to be organized a bit better but for now they will do.

While restocking my pantries, I have started to write expiration dates on everything either on the top of the item or the front side of the item or both.  This insures that I use things up before they expire and I know what I need more of.  My picture above shows one pantry shelf/drawer with my spices, herbs, dried beans, and canned vegetables.  They are a bit helter skelter with dates upside down.  I need to straighten them up.  The pantry in the kitchen has shelves that pull out like drawers.  I love this feature.  The lower pantry shelves are divided up into baking items, canned goods & spices etc, pasta and sauces, and coffee and teas.

to be continued...


  1. You are SO organized!! My pantry could use a clean-out (again). Will have to schedule it!!

  2. I look forward to reading more about your pantry.

  3. Really sensible to put clear dates on everything.

  4. Don't you just love those pull out drawers?!?!? I need to go through and pull out old/expired stuffs soon. I found your lists a big help, Gina!

  5. I do love my shelves that pull out, makes getting to things so much easier. Yes we all know now the things that seem to run out first:(


But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Maria Craik, A Life for a Life, "Chapter XVI: Her Story," 1859