Today I'm going to talk about my storecupboard. "Zzzzzzzz" I can hear you all go, but it IS National Blog Posting Month, folk, and I just don't knit that fast! Plus, Of course, I'm on the Store Cupboard Challenge, which will be one of my themes (NatBloPOMo suggests you have themes, so you don't run out of ideas to talk about.)
Now my actual dry goods storecupboard isn't one of these pathetic fitted chipboard thingies that make up fitted kitchens. My storecupboard is a humungous old piece of furniture, officially known as a Housekeepers Pantry.
Nice old piece of antique pine, seven feet across and at least eight feet high. No, it's not built in, it just matches the tongue and grooving very well. The upper cupboard shelves are deep enough to lay wine bottles on their sides pointing out, and the drawers can accomodate things like baking bowls and attachments for my old Kenwood. It was such a tight fit getting it through the doorway that we had to take the carpet kickbar off the doorway, to give us that last inch needed. Yes, it comes apart into two sections but it's bigger than most average modern house kitchens, at least when it comes to storage space.
It's a family piece too. My late father in law bought it at least forty years ago, second hand of course, and my first memory of it is in the kitchen of his family house. My FIL had a storecupboard overflow habit too, btw, and I remember at least one shelf being completely filled with tins of tomatoes and tuna fish. It went to my sister in laws house after he died, because we didn't have a wall big enough for it in our house at the time. When she became ill and started sorting out her affairs, as they say, she asked me if there was anything I particularly wanted from her estate. I think she expected me to ask for a piece of jewelry or one of her very pukka pieces of artwork, but I wanted the old pantry. Family piece, after all, and it's got history. After it arrived here, Hubby showed me the place he had scratched his name into it when he was little, much to the wrath of his mother!
Okay, contents. I keep china and crystal in the left hand cupboard, table linen and baking utensils etc in four of the drawers, the kids' craft stuff in one drawer and the final one is filled with random kitchenalia, like rolls of plastic bags, string, jam pot labels etc. Stuff. Which leaves "just" the right hand cupboard as the actual pantry/storecupbard.
Ahem. I'm obviously carrying on the great family hoarding tradition here, no? Siege-R-Us.
So you can tell now why I need a little clear-out, yes? Half of this stash of food is made up of regularly used and replaced items, but the other half is ...well, impulse/luxury/gawdknowswhybuys. This is what I'm aiming to use up over the next two or three weeks. And you haven't even seen the freezers. Yes, two freezers. Both stuffed to the gunnels.
Anyhow, yesterday I made....(dinners only, lunch was on the hoof).
Kids dinner menu. "Fresh" tortellini and tomato sauce (found in depths of freezer) and jelly. I have a lot of jelly. Jelly here, btw for the USA peeps, is a dessert like Jell-O.
Adults: Bubble n' Squeak made from the remnants of last nights mashed potatoes and cabbage, plus some bacon bits out the freezer. Apple crumble with oaty topping (there's a small landslide of pinhead oatmeal in the pantry) plus custard.
Today's dinner menu....
Casserole made from pack of venison and pack of stewing beef from freezer, with mushrooms, carrots, green pepper, garlic and onions, tin of tomatoes and a jar of exotic mixed mushrooms in oil out the pantry. (I have four of these left...they must have been on special offer somewhere. Any ideas for the rest?) I put some waxy potatoes and paprika in here as well, as I was working to a vaguely Spanish idea of a casserole. Remains of crumble, or ice cream.
I have to add here that the freezer level has not dropped one inch, alas. I'm keeping to the rules of not buying anything but the listed essentials, but when I was in Asda yesterday I came across one of these offers that I can't resist. Four-packs of Nestle "Fruit Cruch" ice cream bars, yummy raspberry ripple ice-cream with a yoghurt and oat coating.....not only were they greatly reduced, the multi-buy of 4-for-£* kicked in in such a way that every time you bought four packs, Asda gave you £2 to carry them out the store, rather than the other way round. Which is why I ended up buying 16 packs, and now have 64 (!)ice-cream bars cluttering up my freezer. £8($16) off my shopping and 64 free ice cream bars? Bargain!
(But not for long. Did I mention they are delicious? )