Normally I try to write more useful posts, but I just had to share what happened tonight – to vent a little, and because it’s quite funny too.  If you’re looking for something useful, like a recipe or restaurant review, please check back later :-)


I was putting away the laundry while planning out my evening… next I would be cooking a barley salad & making chickpea-salad sandwiches to pack a lunch for work (didn’t happen), then I would sit down to write a belated blog post with a recipe for Seitan Bourgignon (also obviously didn’t happen)…when I heard a *CRASH* from the other room.  No one else was home, so the noise was especially frightening – did someone break in?

Well, at least someone didn’t break in, that would have been MUCH worse.  But I did have a pretty big mess on my hands.  Our pantry shelving collapsed!

If someone might have asked me what my favorite room in the apartment was, if I had thought long and hard about it, I probably would have named my Pantry.  It’s full of so many possibilities, so much sustenance, and so much joy of cooking with or for Mike.  So this is pretty devastating.

Pantry Fail

But as upset as I am, I know I should be lucky for many reasons:

  • Of course I am very lucky to have such a full pantry, stocked with whimsical items such as lemon curd, roasted red peppers, and olive tapenade… while the majority of people in the world would be thrilled to have some of my rice & dried beans.
  • I’m also very lucky that I was in the other room when this happened – not grabbing something off the pantry shelf.  I could have been attacked by falling metal shelves, glass jars and heavy cans.
  • And I’m lucky that not too much food was wasted – only a couple of jars broke, and thankfully none of Mike’s tinned herrings burst open.  I wouldn’t have been able to handle cleaning a mess of stinky fish.

This was also a good opportunity to re-organize, take inventory of my pantry, and re-discover some items I completely forgot that I had (like half a box of Arborio rice and some Watermelon Fruity Flakes from Trader Joe’s).

Kitchen Floor Masala: this is what was underneath the pile of food.

But, it took me over three hours to clean up this mess.  There were two broken jars of Indian Curry sauces at the bottom of the pile.  The whole kitchen smelled of ginger & spices, and about half of the items in the pantry were covered in these pungent, slightly oily sauces.  I had to wash a couple dozen cans and jars, and transfer several boxed items into labeled ziplock bags, since the boxes were soggy.



Now, until we get new shelving (which will probably be a while, as it took us a few weeks to find ones we liked in the first place), my entire apartment is a pantry (my favorite room :-)).

I’d love to hear from you – go ahead and add a comment!

What’s the Biggest Kitchen Mess you’ve had to deal with? How did you handle it?

How full is your pantry? How do you keep your pantry goods organized? Any advice on good shelves?


Update: 6/23/2011

After living in a food-filled apartment for nearly 3 weeks, I came home from work tonight to a big-surprise!  Mike had single-handedly figured out how to fix the shelving by re-positioning some brackets and affixing it to the wall.  He even took it a step further and organized it better than I ever was able to!

Here’s a picture of our repaired pantry – like brand new!  Now let’s just hope it lasts this time 😉