This is my baking cupboard. We found it at a local barn sale for $125. It was blackened with dirt and smelled so smokey, we guess the old cupboard survived a fire of some sort. It may have come from an office or a schoolroom, and wasn’t very useful to most folks as it is only a little over 6 inches deep. But that makes it perfect to store herbs, and spices, and baking ingredients.
This is a closeup of the little bit of altered art that hangs on the latch. It was made for me by one of my precious cyber friends-Ms. Moon. Isn’t it hilarious? The “S” on her chest for my name-the little bottle of “arsenic” dangling from the bottom. It’s made in a jar lid with my favorite red gingham wrapped around it. I love this little doo-dad, and the amazingly talented woman who made it just for me.
Up top, I have a selection of cookbooks and potteryware. The big orange cookie jar belonged to Grandma Olive. I believe someone brought it to her from Florida. I think it comes for the late 1950’s or so. There is also a big jug that I found at the Goodwill, probably full of live spiders and dead insect skeletons-since we are celebrating Halloween this week, I thought that I would share that. A much loved teapot with little clay sheep was an anniversary gift from a dear friend. The giant cobalt teapot is from the Piper. The Polish pottery pitchers are from my daughters-I love Polish pottery AND collect little pitchers. On the corner is a little log cabin incense burner that was my mother’s souvenir from the Great Smokey Mountains. I love to know where people’s knick knacks come from-don’t you?
Well, on to the business part of the post. I took a couple of rainy days this summer to organize this cupboard, first because stuff was always spilling or going out of date before I used it. And second because we had an infestation of some sort of little moth that likes alfalfa fields and my flour and peanut butter jars. These things are crazy! They creep under loose lids and find minuscule holes in bags. They spin webs sometimes and raise their creepy young larva. Someone, we won’t name names (the Piper) put the lid on a giant jar of Jif, cross threaded and before I knew it, there was a colony of slime going on inside that jar that rivaled the inside of the ship in that Aliens movie! So everything had to be gone through, wiped out, sealed up so that the invaders would stay away. I purchased some sex lure traps for food moths on Amazon that seem to be incredibly successful!
This is a close up of what one of these traps can capture in , gulp, two days when these moths are looking for love. The science to this trap is a small square of female sex hormone impregnated paper that gets placed inside the sticky trap. All the boys run to the little moth Red Light District, and get stuck, so the females don’t get fertilized and invade my dry goods for a nursery. This is the down and dirty of surviving in the country-there are a lot of bugs….and snakes…and dirt. Thanks for staying with me this week while I fiddle with the cute little Halloween silhouettes and fonts that I found on PicMonkey, my favorite place to alter and edit my pictures. Today’s pics were taken in the gloom of a really rainy day, and made almost clear by using the editor on PicMonkey.
I started this make-over by purchasing three different styles of sturdy deli containers from Amazon. I had been using Mason jars cuz, you know, they are pretty and look so homesteady, until there was a bad grab for a jar of bread crumbs, that called down a mass of broken jars and spices-and breadcrumbs. So something food safe and plastic was called for. I buy my spices, herbs, and baking ingredients in bulk at Amish bulk stores. They come in little plastic bags and brittle containers that do not keep the moths out. I found some really cute spice and baking labels and used a Sharpie marker for what ever wasn’t covered by the sheets of sticky labels. Blackboard labels would be cute too. My everyday spices are in 4 oz. canning jars in a drawer with lid labels. All of the rest of the bulk spices and the whole spices are in deli containers in this cupboard.
The next shelf holds all my vinegars, to the left, and all my oils to the right. Who else has that many kinds of vinegar and oil? I have the healthy stuff and the tasty stuff. The next shelf has a collection of my flours-again-how many flours can one girl have? Someone better get that bag of corn meal in plastic soon. These flour containers are wonderful. They have a spot to level the cup inside and hold an entire 5 pounds of flour with some coaxing and tamping.
The last two rows hold all the sweeteners and additives for baking and a few snack items. I have included dates of expiration on some of the food stuffs that are used less often. I write them with wipe off markers. Whew! This was a real job, but the organization makes it so much easier for canning and baking and for grown children to steal what they need for their own projects. Just a little bit of kitchen sharing form Out to Pasture.