I think this Día de los Muertos my Mother is hanging around. I have not done this much kitchen cleaning in forever. Hoping she can ignore the rest of the house for now and just be pleased with this much.
For about nine days I have been working on reorganizing my pantries and kitchen. Yes, pantries, as in the plural. In fact I have four: one in the kitchen, one in the hall toward the powder room, a new one in the hall closet, and a huge chunk of an upstairs closet where little-used items live. I am a pack rat and I know it. I also like equipment to cook whatever I feel like cooking. Enough with confessions.
Before and after photos were requested. There is no way I would share what any of this looked like before. Here are after photos taken this evening. Most of this was done prior to today as I am resting my infected leg.
This is the counter to the right of the stove with stirring and whisking and ladling and scraping devices. Also the many oils and vinegars, salt and pepper. An old man lives here because his pills for the week are all laid out where he won't forget to take them each morning.
This is the space to the left of the stove with the Kitchen Aid, new white dishes, more salt and pepper devices, butter dish, toaster, knives, and spoon rest.
This is "la cave" or most of it. All the reds and some of the whites, ranging from about $5 to $25 a bottle. I can't usually taste higher than that. Right now these are mostly Italian since that is the kind of cooking I am doing.
This is the kitchen pantry. I have detail photos but will spare you those. Since I am tall the top two shelves are at eye level, which is why lots of jars live on the right where I can see them easily. Pastas, grains, flours mostly inhabit the top left. Then come cooking and serving ware, then miscellaneous (including my workout supplements). Oil for frying and vinegar are hiding behind the pizza stone. The floor in this pantry was swept and mopped tonight and I am glowing with satisfaction.
Plastic containers for leftovers etc. have been matched with lids. About 40% are in another pantry (see below). 20% are in a box as take-home gifts for tomorrow's dinner guests, if they want them. The remaining 40%, largely unmatched, have been tossed in the trash. Finally.
This is the new pantry in the hall closet. It holds heavier equipment: the ice cream freezer, larger serving platters, a triple crock pot, all the cake and pie and tarte tins, overflow linens, food mill, pasta drying rack, and deep fryer.
Here is a view above the fridge that needs a new circulating fan. Nuts and dried fruits on top (and emergency healthcare directives, just in case you are at my house and I have a heart attack). A talavera dish and a print from a wine tasting trip years ago. Those who embiggen the photo may recognize some of the refrigerator magnets.
The "side pantry" on the way to the powder room: upper shelves. Here are wine carafes; dish towels and dish cloths and aprons tossed indecorously atop one another; coffee and tea devices, ramekins, and protein bars.
The lower shelves include the teas, rice steamer, cast iron devices, trivets, and storage containers. Below that is a huge bag of rice.
Saints watching over the kitchen include La Morenita (for everything), of course, San Pascual (for kitchens), Maria Magdalena (for witness and faithfulness), Genesius (for theatre folk), Antonio de Padua (because he was there and loves Jesus), Roque (for plague victims and people like me with infected legs), and Rafael (for healing). My home is dedicated to Guadalupe, Rafael, and Cuthbert. St Rock's feast is my Aunt Jesse's birthday, the Archangel Raphael's feast on older calendars was my Uncle Virgil's birthday, and Mary Magdalen's feast is Jim O'Donnell's birthday. Let us keep Jim in our prayers as he prepares to join the saints.
An overview of the stove side with decorative items above the cabinets.
And this is the table set for tomorrow's dinner. The napkins were starched a couple weeks ago. The tablecloth went from the dryer to the table without an iron. Yes, there is wicked candy corn in the little pumpkins. Grown ups gotta be bad too.
Welcome to my kitchen. No, you may not see any photos of the sink area right now. What, you want everything? Forget it.
I have done lots of rescheduling tomorrow's meal to minimize time on my feet. The soup is easy and so are the vegetables. I bought two loaves of rustic breads at Trader Joe's instead of baking them. I am not trying a new technique for dessert. Pumpkin bread (now cooling) was from a mix and I will make the cinnamon gelato tomorrow. No new techniques there, just different recipe. The chicken dish should not be hard and everything should be cooked and warming before guests arrive. Then I can sit down, with my leg up, and visit and enjoy my friends.
May you all have a safe and blessed Season of the Dead (who live in God).