Kitchen Exhibitionist
The Culinary Quests of a Food Enthusiast Stuck in the Sticks
Monday, February 19, 2007
Peeking Behind Closed Doors

Peeking Behind Closed Doors

I’ve heard that many people, when visiting the homes of others, will often peek inside the medicine cabinet while in the bathroom. That kind of surreptitious snooping doesn’t interest me at all. Kitchen cupboards, on the other hand, are another story.

I’ll often volunteer to help my hosts in their kitchen in hopes of catching a glimpse inside their cabinets and pantries. I love to see other people’s shelves of ingredients, racks of dishes, and rows of glassware. Which brands of cereal do they eat? Are there any embarrassing convenience foods or silly coffee mugs in there? How do they organize their spices?

I confess, I am the Peeping Tom of the kitchen and that inquisitiveness inspired me to host this food blog event. Its time for some virtual voyeurism! Here are peeks into the contents of the kitchen cabinets, drawers, pantry, refrigerator, and other hidden kitchen areas of fellow food bloggers.

My own cupboards and drawers are either neatly organized or an incredible mess. There is no middle ground. The things that I use a lot are, by necessity, somewhat organized so that I can find them easily. Like my spices.

Visitors to my kitchen are always startled by this cabinet full of spices, seasonings and extracts. In order to have access to all the little jars and bottles, I carved little steps out of Styrofoam to create the internal levels of shelves.

Even so, I still experience minor avalanches from time to time. Instead of alphabetically, the spices are arranged by size/shape of the container and by frequency of use. You can tell that I am a huge fan of Penzey’s.

Now this drawer of kitchen gadgets is one of the messier ones. Despite using shoe boxes to compartmentalize things, it is still a jumble of spatulas, kitchen thermometers, skewers and other items, which constantly get jammed when I open and close the drawer.

The larger wooden utensils, such as wooden spoons, and those made from stainless steel, such as tongs and ladles, are stored countertop in two open canisters. Only the plastic ones are in this drawer.

Some of these items bring back fond memories. That melon baller was part of a box of kitchen utensils I acquired at a yard sale when I was preparing to move into my very first apartment, decades ago. That entire box of goodies cost me fifty cents back then and I still have some of its contents.

I don’t like things cluttering my kitchen counters so all my appliances are stashed away in this cabinet. Yes, it is a pain to drag them out when I need them (especially that 30 pound Kitchen Aid mixer) but it keeps my counter space available for working. Plus the way I cook, whirling through the kitchen with abandon, stirring wildly and chopping excitedly, everything within 3 feet of my workspace gets splattered with food. The appliances stay cleaner in the cupboard.

This is the neatest of my pantry shelves, containing mainly canned and jarred goods. Before photographing it I did take the liberty of removing a layer of noodle packages and turning the labels forward in order to see the contents.

My other pantry shelves are such a mess as to be unrecognizable as pantry shelves. They more resemble the grocery carts you see at the front of the store in which the checkout clerks toss all the items the customers decided not to buy at the last minute.

This cabinet of glasses is neatly organized because I drink a lot, I mean, I use them a lot. I love the way rows of shiny glasses gleam.

Other Bloggers’ Kitchen Cupboards...
E of foodaphilia exposes some of food areas she shares with her roommates. I love her analogy comparing this food event to the anthropological study of garbology, and how both provide snapshots into the patterns of our consumption behavior.
Taylor of Mac & Cheese shares her cupboards with us. Hey, we have the same set of Chinese rice pattern dishes!
Foodzings bares the contents of her neatly arranged cupboards.

Tags: ,