The day – The perfect pantry – Low Calorie Diets Tips

For a child, a pantry can be a magical place. After all, that’s where all the goodies can be found.

When I was a child, my grandmother’s kitchen was the focal point of the home, an often hectic place where family members came and went and holiday meals were prepared by as many helpers as our matriarch could summon to help. While her kitchen always seemed to be in constant motion, the small walk-in pantry right next to it was a kind of quiet little sanctuary. Even though she always tried to drive us out of the pantry, it was like a magnet for the kids in the family. Entering the room undetected with a closed door behind you meant unsupervised access to the shelves over shelves of things we weren’t supposed to nibble on before dinner.

It was also a well-organized space – a place for everything and everything in its place, which is probably why our grandmother preferred that we didn’t play there. But we played. Hide-and-seek inevitably required at least one person in hiding to take cover in the pantry. Playing customers and shopkeepers, we learned how to market, sell, budget, haggle and barter from a young age.

With the blind door closed and the lights off, our grandmother’s pantry was the darkest room in the house we discovered, which proved perfect for stargazing thanks to a cousin’s plug-in planetarium. We spent endless hours in the pantry, projecting the stars across the ceiling and across cereal boxes and flour bags, and learning the names of the constellations we would try to find in the real night sky after dark. For us, the pantry was pure fun.

But of course a pantry should be a practical space.

The well planned pantry

Pantries come in two basic styles: larders and butler’s pantries (a clumsy and somewhat antiquated term, but one that hasn’t been phased out yet). Pantries are convenient little spaces, often tucked away, just off the kitchen where a homeowner and his family can consolidate and store groceries, serveware, plastic and paper goods, beverage cartons, pet supplies, and the like. The pantry relieves the heavy lifting of a kitchen’s main cabinets, which can then be reserved for crockery, glassware, cooking vessels and the one kitchen drawer where various items seem to gather.

There are different schools of thought on how best to categorize food in the pantry. You may prefer to let the container dictate placement, grouping all canned, packaged, bulk or fresh food together. Or, for quick meal prep, items can be categorized by meal—e.g., breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. It’s probably wise to set aside space away from the food — and out of the reach of children — for things like BBQ utensils and cleaning supplies.

If you live near the coast or near one of the region’s many bodies of water, and certain times of the year bring a wetter climate, you may find that airtight containers – either clear or labeled – are helpful for storing grains and bread can be and other perishable goods fresher longer.

Organization expert Marie Kondo applies her “KonMari method” to pantries. She publishes “5 Tips for a Tidy Pantry” on her website konmari.com. Kondo suggests starting with a clean pantry, which means going through it piece by piece and determining if it’s something to keep, donate, or discard.

When you’re ready to stock the shelves, Kondo’s blog recommends, “Keep things upright if the packaging will allow, and group them by subcategories), canned goods, sweets, breads, and dietary supplements.”

Well organized by design, Butler’s pantries often offer custom storage for special dishes, china and crystal heirlooms, wine and cocktail glasses, special occasion serveware and table linens. Typically, butler’s pantries are positioned with a formal entertaining view in mind – for example, between a kitchen and a formal dining room, with both spaces being equally accessible. Butler’s pantries in luxury homes can be as sophisticated as downsized kitchens with redundant appliances like a second microwave, stovetop, dishwasher, beverage coolers, refrigerator drawers, coffee stations, and space for small appliances and prep space.

A butler’s pantry can be particularly useful when entertaining, allowing a home cook or caterer to use the extra work space to prepare food or drinks and keep everything out of guests’ sight.

Another “pro tip” for any pantry—no matter how big, small, or organized—is to include under-cabinet lighting. Relatively inexpensive, easy to install under cabinets, and energy efficient, LED lighting will make your counter space much more useful and inviting. Some solutions allow the homeowner to adjust the brightness, warmth and even color of the lighting – adjusting for utility light when the pantry is in use and ambient lighting when it isn’t.

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Photo: 114 River Road Butler’s Pantry

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: Agent Tammy Tinnerello of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Old Lyme is the agent for 114 River Road in Deep River – a magnificent home for family or formal entertaining. The eat-in kitchen is complemented by this wet bar, which features Butler’s pantry-style storage, stained glass detailing on the cabinets, under-cabinet lighting, a second sink, a built-in beverage refrigerator, and plenty of extra power outlets for small appliances. Photo courtesy of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.

Photo: 114 River Road Exterior

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: The beautifully appointed luxury home at 114 River Road in Deep River is currently on the market with an asking price of $1.95 million. The 6,146 square foot five bedroom home offers spectacular views of the Connecticut River. Referring to the house butler’s pantry, listing agent Tammy Tinnerello said it “works well for functionality, comfort and style.” Photo courtesy of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.

Photo: 525 N. Stonington Road Pantry

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: 525 N. Stonington Road in Stonington is for sale. This custom designed modern six bedroom home sits on a 10.37 acre lot. The kitchen on the center island is complemented by an adjacent walk-in pantry. The seller is asking $900,000 for the property. Melinda Carlisle, a broker at Randall Realtors-Compass in Mystic, is the listing agent. Photo courtesy of Randall Realtors-Compass.

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