Using Up Stored Foods and Storing Foods

We didn’t have stuffed peppers the other day, but roasted pepper soup. The mini peppers didn’t yield enough flesh for the soup, so I added the last frozen peppers. We both had seconds, our normal. We like it topped with freshly grated Parmesan. [And we had garden greens (baby lettuce!) too.]

The remaining raspberries are frozen and  the syrups are in the fridge. The blueberries were made into cake and the rest frozen. The left over rice from the chili verde was eaten Sunday with chicken cooked in green salsa.

This week, I should use: 2 apples, 3 limes, 1 butternut squash, 1 buttercup squash, 1 sweet onion. And I need to regoranize the baking supplies (flour, sugar, dried buttermilk, yeast, etc.)

We’re waiting for a loan to redo our roof. If things go as planned, after that,  I will (hopefully)  get my new mudroom/pantry/utility room/kitchen next year. We’ve been slowly buying the major appliances because we knew no matter what we probably couldn’t move plumbing, etc. around AND get new appliances at the same time. After we move the plumbing, the washer & dryer will be in the new mudroom corner of the kitchen and what’s now the tiny laundry room will become a (bigger) pantry.

My kitchen is the largest room of the house, and like all the rooms, badly designed. I have a 30′ counter, mostly unusable, in the middle of the room. Without the counter, it’s a very large room. The counter, when the room is empty is beautiful, but unless you had a family of 9 (and even if you did!) it’s an insanely bad use of the available space. We intend to remove the counter and divide the kitchen into  3 functional spaces: mud/laundry room, kitchen and dining room.

I can hardly wait! If I can possibly beg, plead and cajole my husband into it, I want a California closet. I want one with a movable rack in it. I found a rack like I want (not a commercial one which is what I thought I’d have to get) at Ikea’s website today! It looks like this:

ikea algot tall frame(Image (c) Ikea)

Of course I only want one, not two. And the description says they come with a rod and I don’t want that either, so we’ll see! A California closet would make me SO happy! I don’t mean a pantry full of closet organizers! What I call a “California closet” is an enclosed space with a feed tube from near the ground for cold air, up into a sealed cabinet with wire shelves or baskets and an exhaust pipe in the roof. If I had LOTS of money and space, I’d go look for an old walk-in refrigerator for this as it would already have the insulation, tight fitting door, etc. I don’t have the room for even an old refrigerator, but maybe we can build a closet in the now laundry room? It would be perfect. It’s on the north side of the house and fits all the other requirements too. I have to talk my carpenter into not seeing this as simply another pipe dream, and of course, it depends on money as usual.

There’s a similar idea in one of my kitchen design books, where grains, rice, beans, etc. are stored in jars in an uninsulated space with access from the outside. That wouldn’t work here, too much snow and unlike the couple they featured, we’re not vegetarians who make everything from scratch! The idea I’m talking about is most clearly seen in David Goldbeck’s book Smart Kitchen and although I’m not fond of a lot of the ideas in that book, this one I decided was a definite keeper. I don’t remember if he calls it a “California closet” or not. It’s not a refrigerator, but a cooling closet. Keeps things cooler than the outside air. I’ll dig out my copy of the Goldbeck book and get more specifics, but NOT now — it’s midnight.

Good night!

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