Do you have one of these? A pantry that you love because it’s so big and there’s so much space? Or maybe you installed it yourself because your kitchen needed more storage space? Yeah, one of those.
Our kitchen is small and has a built-in pantry in the wall in the space that goes back over the basement stairs. It’s not very big, but its deep. It reminds me of one of those mortuary drawers for dead bodies you see on CSI. I wish it pulled out like that because you have to practically climb inside to reach the back.
And we got tired of doing just that, so we bought a tall freestanding pantry to put on the free wall in the kitchen. Oh wait, we actually bought two of these and backed them up side-by-side. Yay! Double the pantry space now. That’s awesome, right?
Nope. It sucks.
Instead of climbing into a deep cave, we now have to have a small step stool just to reach the top shelf. And there are only 4 shelves in each pantry, including the bottom, so yeah, things are stacked three and four high. It’s impossible to keep clean because I live with a pack rat. Speaking of, last night he couldn’t find Ranch dressing in the fridge for his pizza, so I told him to check the pantry because I thought I had recently bought a new bottle.
Well, telling him to go look in the pantry is like telling a kid to take out the trash or clean his room when his favorite TV show is on. It ain’t gonna happen! And I’m the same way. I don’t want to tackle the pantry to look for something he needs when there’s pizza to be eaten. So he did without. And this morning when I went to make the coffee, guess where I found the Ranch? Take a look in the picture for yourself.
Yeah, we’ve added those nice little wire drawers meant for canned goods – a sad attempt to be organized when you just end up piling shit in front of them and have to unload about a dozen or so things just to reach a can of soup!
I frequently think it would be a neat challenge just to consume everything in the pantry – not all at once of course – but to go without buying anything else that would end up in the pantry until we’ve emptied out some of what we have. Even before writing this, I wanted a cup of hot tea and found a half-empty bag of black licorice in the recesses of pantry hell. Any other time I would have overlooked it, but I just yanked that bag out and threw that shit away. Man, that felt good! What else can I throw away????
And speaking of tea, we have enough to change the color of the Boston Harbor again. If I drank nothing but tea, I still couldn’t consume all that we have in a year! And believe me, we drink a lot of tea. And you guessed it, what happens when you can’t find what you are looking for? You assume you don’t have any and you buy more. Every time we make chili, I buy a new bag of Fritos and I’m sure there’s at least one unopened bag lurking somewhere in the bottom of the pantry. If not, there’s at least four or five half eaten bags that we could combine into one.
I’ve pulled unopened stuff out of the cabinet before that had an expiration date of two years ago! Yeah, it’s that bad and it sucks and I hate it. I hate it even more when I buy groceries and spend an hour putting things away because I’ve got to put together a magical Jenga stack of items just to get everything into the cabinet. Twice now we’ve been abruptly awakened in the night to a shelf crashing down in this monster bitch. But nothing ever breaks! And we never learn. We continue to restack that Jenga game of canned goods and macaroni boxes and cereal we never eat just to play again.
This has got to change!
It feels good to vent about it, but excuse me now, because I made a meatloaf for dinner and you have to have macaroni with meatloaf, right? So I’ve got to go face the beast. Maybe we’ll have a canned veggie too. Ha! Counting the licorice, and the macaroni box, and a can of peas, that’s 3 things I took out of the pantry today! This could be fun…