A few of you asked to see our pantry after all the canning. My kitchen is not especially huge, but I’m lucky to have a really nice-sized pantry. The space is triangle-shaped, with two sides of the triangle taken up with deep shelving and the third side of the triangle being double doors for easy access. This first picture is the right hand side of the shelving, looking in. Each shelf fits about 30 quart jars. As you can see, I’ve got pint jars stacked in some places, so there are actually more than 30 jars on several of the shelves.
You may also be able to see the 2-quart jars at the back of the bottom shelf. Those jars are from my grandmother. I sometimes can grape juice in them, but more often I use them to store dry goods like wheat germ, popcorn, Ethiopian shiro (ground chickpeas), and cornmeal. Below the bottom shelf, out of the picture, is a space big enough to keep an 18 gallon Rubbermaid. In that Rubbermaid I store opened 25 pound bags of flour, sugar, rice and oats. The Rubbermaid keeps these opened bags bug-free until I need to use them. I have smaller bins of each of these items close to my baking center.
This next picture shows part of the left side of my pantry. A cupboard blocks me from getting the whole thing. The shelving is actually a couple feet wider than the picture shows. There’s also one more shelf below for small appliances, and floor space below that where I store potatoes and dry beans in small bins. The lowest shelf visible in the photo usually contains cans of food from the store, not canned tomatoes. But I took this picture at the end of September when my home-canned goods were peaking, and my store-canned goods were all eaten up. However, in truth I do not buy many canned goods. Tuna, salmon, condensed milk, pineapple, and occasionally coconut milk are almost the only canned goods I buy.
This final picture is of the food we got during our last run through the garden before the frost. Besides what you see in the picture, we also got about 2 bushels of green tomatoes, which we wrapped in newspaper to ripen in the garage. Using this tactic, we usually have fresh tomatoes to eat until December. They are not quite as wonderful and juice as summer-ripened tomatoes, but they are still better – and cheaper – than store-bought!