The Pantry Post

March 15, 2015

Yipee! We have one room completed in the house. The pantry is now complete, with the exception of the flooring, which will be installed at the same time as the kitchen floor. Okay, so its the smallest room, but at least its a start. It is so nice to see something complete, I think we may work on one room at a time for the next while.

Pantry door with door handle

Pantry door with door handle

And now for the unveiling. TADA!



Yep, you are seeing right. It’s lime green and I love it. Oddly enough, it is Ken who suggest the lime green color. I had planned on painting it a boring taupe. However, once I got lime green in my head, I couldn’t let go. So lime green it is. I think it looks awesome with the white fridge and shelves. Do you like the water cooler stand? That’s best part about a handy husband. He said we could keep the water jugs in the pantry and I said, a water cooler stand would be perfect. I drew a sketch and a few hours later I had my stand, with a compartment to store a 5 gallon jug of water, a shelve for glasses and ice-cube trays and a perfect spot for the Mexican water jug we got in Colima a few years ago.

The picture above shows the shelves as you walk in the door. The shelves are all very narrow, which makes finding what you are looking for easy. And there is loads of space to store all my jars of beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Notice the old white enamel pots at the bottom? Those where my Aunt Mildred’s. I picked them up at her estate sale. I am using them to store onions and carrots. A mix of old and new.


The picture above shows the shelves on the other wall where I store all my baking supplies. Loads of room for all my different kinds of flours, oats, sweeteners, etc.

And best of all, it means my fridge (see my Vestfrost fridge post) is now in the kitchen. Imagine that, I have a stove, a fridge (with a freezer on the bottom) and a sink all in the same room now. I am loving it. Until now, the fridge was in the garage and I was using the basement as my ‘big fridge’.


Above is another shot the area on front of the fridge where the baking supplies are stored. Wondering what is that purple wall? Its rigid insulation. That section of the wall backs on to a ‘closet’ indent in the hallway. On the hallway side it is plywood and will eventually have shelves and hooks for outdoor gear. It will also provide an easy access if we should ever have to install a conventional size fridge in the pantry. As the pantry will be kept cool, all the pantry walls are insulated, except for that piece of plywood, hence the rigid insulation solution – insulation without using up too much space. While the Vestfrost fits perfectly through the pantry doorway, as it is only 24 inches wide, regular fridge are much wider. So if we need to replace the fridge, you simply remove the insulation, unscrew the plywood and voila, you have a large opening to move the fridge through. I am considering painting the rigid insulation, perhaps the same color as the kitchen. What color is that? It’s a surprise. You will just have to wait and see. But I will tell you this much, it’s not a boring color.

Notice that rather beat up stool on the floor? You will never guess its history! It’s the old milking stool from our farm. We used to sit on it while we milked cows. And from the look of it, we also used it for painting. I bet my Dad made it – he was a handy kind of guy. I just scrubbed it up and left it as is. I haven’t decided if I will sand it and paint it yet. For now, I am content with the memories it brings. And it is small, light and the perfect height to reach those high top shelves.

The pantry window can be opened or closed as needed to let in cool air, which we hope means the fridge will not need to run much in the winter, when our power supply is at a premium. There is a shelf for cooling hot foods, like a big pot of soup, before placing in the fridge. And Ken has his cold water handy. As the temperature warms up, which even in Manitoba it eventually does, we are considering venting cooler air from the basement into the pantry. We generally have plenty of power in March through to October to run the fridge; however, I do love the idea of a cold room and we don’t yet know how much the room will heat up in the summer with the fridge running. I will keep you posted on how that science experiment goes.

I am enjoying living the pioneer lifestyle – hauling water, chopping wood, feeding the fire, carrying out the slop pails (pails under the kitchen sink drains), using the outhouse, baking bread in the wood stove, and running up and down the stairs to get things from the ‘fridge’. However, as each bit of convenience is added to the home, I am able to experience and appreciate the convenience it brings. There is so much I took for granted but that my grandparents and even my parents did not always have. Someday I will have a fully functional house, God willing, and I am grateful to be given this opportunity to live with less.


About Darlene & Ken

Experiencing life off the grid, building a home, and trying to live sustainably.
This entry was posted in Construction, Food, Kitchen and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Pantry Post

  1. Love the pantry. Kelsey has a nice shelf with big jars for legumes and grains too. I’m jealous. Maybe we’ll have to add a shelf to our kitchen.

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