It's been a few months since I posted about my initial pantry overhaul, and it's time to take stock of what's worked, and what hasn't.
Stocking The Essentials
I feel great about this. It's still posted on the fridge, but I barely need to rely on my pantry essentials list anymore. There have been a couple edits to the list since December, mainly the subtraction of meat items and the swapping of things like "rice" to "whole grain rice." I've also been good about preparing enough Homemade Granola and Whole Grain Raisin Muffins to keep 'em on the list.
Now for the less positive stuff...
Flour and Sugar on Work Release
During the overhaul, I set up a "Food Prison" bin on top of the fridge for the empty foods I wanted to get rid of, while replacing them with whole ingredients.
That was months ago, so jail should be empty by now, right? Not exactly. I discovered about two months later that it was going to take more than a little willpower to get rid of white flour and white sugar altogether, unless I wanted to severely limit my baking. Medieval March, for example, would not have been completely possible without those two staples. What I have done is upgrade them to a higher-quality unbleached all-purpose flour and organic white sugar (not pictured), and I try to use them sparingly. The rest of Food Prison has dwindled slowly, or hasn't been touched since its incarceration and will soon be in a different bin.
Old Friends in the Cupboard
Right after I shot that photo of my cupboards above, I cleared everything out of them to clean the shelves. I only had one cup of chickpeas left, so I decided I'd soak them for a small batch of hummus. But as I was pouring them in the pot, I was met with a familiar and unwelcome sight: Sitophilus granarius, aka grain weevils.
We got them last summer, and it forced us to go through all of the grains in our cupboards, throw out the weevil-infested stuff, and freeze the rest. The weevils steered pretty clear of the bleached and processed grains, choosing to set up their main camp in a bag of brown rice; I think there's a lesson about nutrition in there somewhere. Either way, now that what I'm keeping around is mostly whole grains, I need to be even more careful.
There is one upside, though... sort of. Remember when I said I didn't want to throw money at mason jars? Well, I finally had a real reason to get some. Grain weevils can't chew through glass, like they can through plastic and paper. I can't think of a prettier way to avoid pests and organize.
More updates to come...