dear diary ~ pantry, preparations and pottering

The weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse again and it has reverted back to cold, wet and windy. The garden doesn’t seem to know if it is coming or going and it will delay any chance of putting some bedding plants in.

Yesterday as we walked back from the dentist to the car we went past the Range and I couldn’t help but notice the bedding plants on sale outside were in a very poor state and some barely alive. It was the same on Wednesday in Sainsbury’s…. rack after rack in a sorry state – why are these places buying in plants just to let them dry out and die on the display trolleys? We will be paying for this loss of profits on our groceries or other products no doubt but how sad to have paid someone to set the seeds and tend the plants then transport them at huge costs (I am thinking C02 emmissions here) and then through lack of attention and watering let them shrivel and die.

I did go outside in the afternoon to start on sowing the seeds but somehow got diverted (story of my life) and ended up moving some pots around and clearing up the corner by the viburnum to create a more pleasing arrangement as DH says. We had missed the brown bin collection for the garden waste whilst we were away and it is full to the brim (and so is our compost bin) so DH took the additional 5 bags of garden waste I had generated from prunings and weeding down to the local tip and dropped in our four postal voting forms at the polling station as it was too late to post them when we got home. Later he helped me put the bunting up across the open porch that runs along the front of the garage and front door and together with my 2 small flags this will be my contribution to the pageantry tomorrow.

Today we should have had the pleasure of little Freddie but it has been decided that Saturday would be a better day for mum and dad to have some time for themselves. We are all feeling the mix of anxiety and excitement now as the due date for the new baby is only a couple of weeks away. Of course Freddie has no real understanding of what is about to happen and I hope that whether a little baby brother or sister he will be just as excited when they arrive.

So I have made alternative plans for today and will concentrate on catching up with the ironing and some paperwork. I have also to contact a few friends and arrange a day and time for meeting up with each of them.

This morning I busied myself pottering in the pantry again – refilling jars and containers and generally tidying up and wiping down the shelves and worktop. There is nothing to organise or reorganise much in here as everything has a place and is just where I want it and this way – even DH can find his way round or put the shopping away.

It is the smallest room in the house but the most important – the phrase ‘my heart sings‘ everytime I go in here is quite relevant to how I feel when I have a well stocked pantry and especially one full of bargains.

All the dry ingredients are in air tight jars and I stick the best before date underneath the lid to remind me of when an item needs to be used by. Most dry goods are OK even if they exceed this but can often result in a stale taste.

We have a couple of shelves of the usual standbys – tins and jars and packets – baked beans, mushroom soup in case we don’t get to make our own, prunes in case I run out of fresh fruit for breakfast and evap milk and ready made custard just in case we have an unexpected pudding!

And of course a few little treats…

I wonder who the Jelly Tots are waiting for? – I shall need to remove these from sight before little Freddie’s arrival – one or two at a time his mum won’t mind but not a whole tube.

I find it quite funny that all my grandchildren love to go in my pantry; it fascinates them like going into a toy shop and quite often it is just to have a look rather than to find anything to eat. They love to see all the jars lined up like in an old fashioned sweet shop. I expect most houses these days, like theirs, don’t have a walk in pantry – I grew up in houses with a pantry (when my dad built their last house it was the main thing my mum wanted).

One of my grannies had a large understairs cupboard in the kitchen, with no window in there it was rather dark and a bit foreboding to me as a little girl. The other granny used the cellar head of their terraced house and it was where grandad attempted his only DIY of a lifetime and put up a shelf for her – it sloped so much all the tins and jars would slide down to one end causing the fixing to give way – but ever resourceful grandad propped it back up with the broom handle. And there it remained for as long as I could remember. Eventually the weight caused it to drop off the wall altogether but luckily my dad was there to save the day and stepped in to fix it…..but grandad never attempted any other jobs again and gran wouldn’t have let him!

I thought I would make the quiche base today for Saturday. I am perhaps one of many bloggers making the Coronation Quiche or at least a version of – although I do like spinach I will be substituting the spinach with watercress – only because I have some that will need using and I don’t have any spinach – and for your information…. I love broad beans and they will be going in the quiche! The lard most definitely won’t be though.

I shall bake too – I don’t think it will be fondant fancies….they do look rather pretty but far too sweet for me with all that icing (I often notice how they cover everything in the bakers in Scotland with pink or white icing). Instead I might make a plain sponge tray bake and top with a layer of the cherry curd I bought in Booths sprinkled with coconut and cut into dainty squares. I shall make fresh fruit scones too and maybe indulge in a trifle.

The house feels like it needs a good clean again but it will only get a quick flick around with the duster and when DH is out of ear shot I will get the hoover going. Ever since I met him and that is well over 40 years ago he has always had an aversion to the sound of the hoover (well who hasn’t? a machine that is used constantly with enough decibels to bring on later life tinnitus – we must be mad, but there is little alternative in the modern world – who would prefer to go outside and beat carpets over the washing line!). So I try to work around this and where possible hoover when he is out or outside – this is increasingly more difficult now we are both at home together more but I know he would be just as considerate towards me. As it is raining today I shall have to entice him into the kitchen and close the door or search out the ear defenders.

Oh….I have just noticed the sun coming out – could the forecast for more rain be wrong again – I might just have to abandon the plans and go in the garden!!

Have a great day x

4 Replies to “dear diary ~ pantry, preparations and pottering”

  1. I couldn’t agree more about plants in garden centres and shops that don’t get watered. It upsets me. It’s such a simple thing to do and such a waste if they die or have to be sold off half dead. I love your pantry. I would so like one myself, but we don’t have any space, so a cupboard shelf in the hallway is all I have to date. I’m hoping that I might find more room in this cupboard at some point. Just need to get ruthless and throw out more stuff.


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