i was going to make more plum jam today. Only.. i had to look around for some more jars. And then i got sorting out. and the thing is with sorting out… it never stops. until you run out of steam, anyway.

One thing i do have a lot of is Kenco coffee jars. Empty ones, i hasten to add. Shaped like the one in the picture, but with a red lid. Rather handsome jars, i think, and i started to collect them years ago to put dried staple goods in. Over time i put them away in the pantry, rather than having them on display, because i simply have too many of them (to illustrate, i was recently completely foxed by a recipe that called for “sugar”. Whaddya mean sugar.. i need to know what kind of sugar?!! i have granulated, demerara, icing, dark soft brown, light soft brown, dark muscavado, light muscavado, caster and some chunks of palm sugar somewhere!).. only now i find there’s a need for them again, and i noticed that the bookshelf in the kitchen (that rather conveniently holds up my MP3 player) was very badly used and cluttered and terribly dusty. So i cleaned that and got out my jars and sorted things out and.. before i knew it it was 7pm and Michiel was grouching about dinner and walking jess. hmm. so much for jam making.

Hmm. I like sorting out like that.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. I thought i would share pictures of my efforts with you, along with photos of the pantry and the fridge. Some people like to see other people’s kitchens – trust me, there are entire webpages devoted to it. [Behind the cut, as I’ve posted these large size in order to maximise the detail.]

I’m sorry i don’t have any before photos. I think i’d be too ashamed to post them bookshelf in kitchenanyway. It really was very dirty. Anyway. The top shelf (which is open) has – as you can see, the jerry-rigged speakers for my MP3 player, as well as 2 fuschia plants i’m raising from cuttings, and an aloe vera plant from Sez (say ‘allo to Vera, Sez.. yes go ahead, groan). There are two empty la parfait jars on the top – ready to use for pickling things.

The second and third shelf has my revamped kenco jars. Things like dried pulses, flours, the aforementioned sugars, rice, pasta and so on. things i like to keep handydandy. There’s also a couple of jars of beansprouts and 2 tins of plum tomatoes. They shouldn’t be there, but the cupboard they should be in.. i ran out of space in. so they’re temporarily there until we eat stuff from the tinned cupboard.

The bottom shelf is for my jams and pickles. you can see the golden plum and damson jam at the front on the left, most of the rest are empty. At the moment, at least!

Top half of the PantryI call it the pantry, although its technically not a pantry: its the cupboard where the boiler *used* to be before the Housing put in the newfangled condenser-heats-water-as- it-goes boiler (which is terribly ugly and in the corner by the sink). This is the top half. I purchased and put in some large plastic shelving of the kind that is sold for garages, but it does the job for keeping allsorts of bits and pieces that i can’t have out. The top shelf holds things like tablecloths, various equipment that i don’t have out all the time, like my hand mixer, some bowls (the kind used to make xmas pudding!), assorted other stuff.

The second shelf has bread (when i’ve got some anyway), bottles of things like rice vinegar, rice wine, oyster sauce, vegetable oil, orange juice, light bulbs, tea bags, ryvitas, greaseproof paper, clingfilm, the iron (which is hidden) and the distilled nice smelling ironing water.

The third shelf has the scales, the big box that has breadmaking stuff in (flour, yeast, seeds, etc), the two big jars behind the scales contain bread flour and seeds. Cereal, packets of stuff from where the jar is full on the bookshelf, dried fruits (they don’t like being in jars) and sweetner.

bottom of the pantry

The fourth shelf has more staple dried goods, but also things like packet soups, golden syrup, treacle, potatos, onions, icing sugar, and a whole big box full of ittybitty things that are used for baking. Things like muffin papers, baking powder, almonds, walnuts, mixed spice, silver balls, packet jelly, and so on.

the bottom shelf has cleaning equipment and various odd bits and pieces in 2 boxes. Lots of clear vinegar – i use it in a lot of my cleaning, together with stardrops. lots of rags and sponges and microfibre cloths as well. Bleach too, and tomato food. 2 bottles of Aldi’s Apple and Blackcurrant squash – we both drink a couple of litres a day of this stuff. The extension lead for the iron, hoover bags, all that kind of thing.

The fridge and freezer are actually seperate. Ttop of fridgehey’re about 5 ft tall, each, so i have (in theory) lots of space to play with, but i’m always grouching that the fridge (and freezer) is full up. i really could not cope with one of those itty bitty small under the counter fridges, and if i could afford it, i’d get a bigger one. Anyway. Apologies for the awkward angle – the kitchen is quite narrow and it makes for bad photos. Top shelf: Eggs, parmesan cheese, box of cheddar cheese, ham, stork margarine, butter, spreading lowfat marg (I use the first two to cook with) some of my damson jam, low fat yoghurts, and some low fat cream cheese.

Second shelf, cucumbers from the greenhouse, spring onions, mushrooms, peppers, some bacon bits, some ham bits, a tub of filet american (a sort of dutch pate), the glass holds gin that i removed from the bottle earlier to make damson gin (awaiting Michiel to drink it!).

bottom of fridgeThird shelf holds a can of Stella Artois beer (Michiel’s), a honeydew melon, three avocados, a tub of mushrooms, and a bowl of mashed potato left over from tonights dinner (which will be used to make fishcakes for tomorrow’s dinner!).

Fourth shelf holds lettuces and leeks.

Fifth shelf holds a basket that has all the various bottles of things i have to have in the fridge. Thai green curry paste, Tamarind paste, marmalade, sambals, that kind of thing. the bottom shelf is currently empty. The “salad” drawer at the bottom never gets used as such, and currently holds yet more bottles and jars.

The fridge isn’t particularly full at this point in time – when i’ve come back from a shopping trip i often have trouble closing the door, as i tend to buy a lot of fresh stuff.

fridge doorThe fridge door holds yet more jars!!! The top section has things like butter, lard, garlic and ginger (as well as some sundried tomatoes). The second “shelf”, section on the left, has some aloe vera gel for burns, and a bowl of bicarb (to absorb nasty smells). The right section has pickled onions, sambal and some christmas chutney from 2 years ago (yes its still okay!). Third “shelf” on the left has sweet chilli sauce, wasabi sauce, and 2 bottles of lemon juice (one nearly done, the other not opened). the right side has icecream sauce, pancake syrup from the Netherlands, lime juice, some other sauce, and some branson pickle.

The fourth shelf has some lemonade, orange juice, a jar of mayo, and a carton of skimmed milk.

Fifth shelf is a big bottle of fish sauce, a water jug, a big bottle of lemonade, and a bottle of white wine is propping the door open (normally that goes next to the milk on shelf 4).

if anyone is interested i can take more photos of the rest of my cupboards (i didn’t take one of the tinned cupboard, for example if only because its so cluttered you can’t see whats in it!)