Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spring cleaning

I said a couple of weeks ago that spring has sprung. Well I guess I was a bit premature as we have just had a week of grey skies, intermittent rain, and it is very cold! That said, there have been short flashes of blue sky and it is forecast clear for Saturday, and I can still see the almond blossom from my craft-room window, so all is not bad.

All this inspired me to do some early spring cleaning, to the extent that I now have a sparklingly clean and well organised fridge freezer, and today I tackled the larder. Over Christmas it had got incredibly muddled, with lots of extra bits and pieces put in the wrong places, and this week I knocked the lid off my box of oats as I got it out to make my morning porridge, and although I didn't think many had spilled out, I heard a few trickle down behind the shelves and I knew I needed to clear it all up, as all the cereals, pulses etc are ideal places for unwanted beasties to lay their eggs!

So, starting at the top, I cleared each shelf at a time and sorted everything out. With very little cupboard space in the actual kitchen, I rely on the larder to store my larger pyrex items, baking equipment and pans, as well as food and drink, so every shelf is filled to capacity and when I do buy extra items such as Christmas goodies, there is no obvious place to store them, and they tend to get shoved in anywhere so that everything gets a bit precarious. Today I got rid of a lot of packages by topping up my containers, and I found a few new ones, now filled and labelled too. I have moved a few of the largest pans, (which I haven't used since I got here but I just might need them one day!) into the garage store cupboard, and surprisingly I found a home for everything else. I even pulled out all the baking pans from under the lowest shelves and had a good clean out, and I found oats everywhere!! Apart from two opened packets of cereal which will be used up next week, there is now nothing that isn't safely stored in its own little box. Doesn't it look nice? I wish it would stay that way, but with the best will in the world, I just know I will need to do it all again in a few months time.

This second picture is the end wall, not visible from the kitchen. There is an amazing stock of bottled beer, left from our last lot of visitors back in the autumn! Chris rarely drinks much at home, and when he does, it is usually red wine, and although I often drink clara (shandy) when we go out, it doesn't occur to me to make it at home. I'd rather have a nice English cuppa any day. Unfortunately, a rather large area is taken up with my fruit bowl, which always used to live on the kitchen table. But now I have a fruit eating cat! I have never known a cat to really like fruit before, but Baggins, my grey persian, was raiding the fruit bowl every time my back was turned. He ate his way through a bunch of grapes, several plums, a few bananas, and left teeth marks in just about everything else. It didn't seem to do him any harm though I'm not sure he should be eating it, but more to the point, I bought it for us to eat! So now it has to live in the larder where the cats can't get at it.

I'm busy tomorrow, but maybe on Saturday I will tackle the little upright freezer. I'd quite like to be able to open the door without a cascade of frozen meat parcels landing on me!

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