Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I cleared out the pantry....

I'd been in there rummaging around for something I knew was at the back and noticed how dusty the shelves were, not to mention some of those things pushed way back in the corner.
Not so dusty I could write my name on them, just...dusty.

So I pulled everything out....

this is about half....

this is more of it. The rest is on the other side of the sink.
See those blue boxes on the left? Dried pasta sheets, for making lasagna.  Mmmmm, lasagna.
I remember bringing those with me when I moved.  I suppose they're still good, being dried as they are.

I found a few other surprises too.

One of the tupperware lids is broken. This happens a lot with plasticware, because of the burping to get the air out. Tupperware will replace broken items, but I'm not sure I want to bother. This particular container has been empty for a long while.

one tin of tomato puree is blown, see the convex curve in the lid?  The other tin, bought on the same day is fine, but I tossed out both, just to be sure.

and I found this.....

a packet of cake mix I forgot I had! Usually I make cakes from scratch, but in mid-winter the butter is too hard to cream properly or easily, so I'll use a packet mix if I want cake. I'm glad I found this, I've been thinking about cake....

I found what I'd been originally looking for, tomato paste, washed the dust off the shelves and off some of the goodies that live on them, then I repacked those shelves, but rearranged stuff so the things I use more in winter are now at the front. 
I'm so clever....

By then it was snack time.....

time for a pear flower.

Then I got busy with my original plan.....a beef casserole.

and here it is, ready for the oven. In two and a half hours, it will be dinner. With mashed potatoes.
and green beans if there are any left on the bush.


  1. Good luck to you and your endeavours.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  2. I love your stove and pots! I am guessing you are planning to use some of the discoveries in meals this coming week. I'd love to see how you make lasagna. :)

  3. We were just talking about real tomatoes today. From the garden. Maybe in three months, wistfully, from Emily. 3+3=6=June. Try five, I told her. If spring ever comes.

  4. I need to do the same. Badly. Congratulations on a job well done. Himself would love your casserole too. I think a guest is coming to stay today (a largely vegan guest) so I will be making a cauliflower, silverbeet and chickpea dish. Later.
    When it properly light I am going into the garden. Much work required before the spring bulbs can be planted.

  5. I have to say River, that Beef Casserole looks just the bees-knees and yes! with mashed spuds, of course!

  6. The pear flower looks nice. I am not artistic and any time I try to do something like that, it is a mess.

  7. Snap! Unfortunately my packet of sticky date pudding had expired in July 2013 and I could swear I only bought it last year and always check the use by date. I'll make it anyway and if it's a dud, my birds will love it.

  8. And it's not even spring! I cleaned out a cupboard this morning, too. Started on one thing and the job just grew and grew...and grew - just like you with your pantry!

    I should sort mine out, too...but not today! In spring, perhaps.....

    A couple of loads of washing have been done also this I'm feeling rather proud of my industrious self! ;)

  9. You have a great deal of energy. Your dinner looks good and I can almost smell the aroma from here. I must be hungry and I just ate about an hour ago.

  10. With our kitchen cupboards being replaced about mid-April I will have to get to and take everything out. I have decided to be rid of the pantry cupboard (it was too deep and you couldn't find anything more than about 18" in). Design of new cupboards to be in modern style with more drawers and the ability to get into the corners so more space too.
    I am more likely to find things like pearl barley, lentils etc to be out of date. We use them in soup.
    That casserole looks delicious and I will be so glad when it cools down enough here to have the stove going for more than a few minutes. I have found some excellent recipes for slow cookers on the internet so we'll be trying them soon as we both enjoy casseroles and the like so much. We do both love all salads but there is a limit as to how long you want to continue with just salads. I yearn for some winter type vegies.
    They are forecasting 24ºC for next Sunday and I'll believe that when it happens. In the meantime forecasts for thunderstorms nearly every day. There has been some rain in some suburbs (not much though) but still none in our garden.
    Do you know I have never cooked lasagne and yet my family make it a lot. We can't eat too much pasta so perhaps I'd best not even think about it.

  11. WordsPoeticallyWorth; welcome to drifting. Most of my endeavors turn out reasonably well, I keep things simple.

    Christine; I haven't made lasagna in so long, I may have forgotten how. It requires a bit more bench space than I now have. And I cheat by using canned bolognese sauce, but I add fresh things to it.

    Joanne; my real tomatoes were a total washout this year. The summer heatwave killed almost everything and the few plants that survived produced no fruit. I won't try again, those pots will be planted with bulbs and small succulents, like hen&chicken.

    Elaphant's Child; cauliflower, silverbeet and chickpea.....hmmm.
    I'm looking forward to my bulbs arriving and hope I have enough pots to put them in. There'll definitely be a trip to Bunnings for some wide bowl shapes to showcase the freesias.

    Rose~from OZ; the beef casserole is somewhere on the blog, probably in the 2012 archives and probably not labelled beef casserole either. I'll have a hunt later and let you know the date to search for.

    Andrew; I was going to just dump the pear slices on the plate, but my fingers insisted on making a flower. They have a mind of their own, those fingers.

    JahTeh; dried goods usually keep quite a bit longer than stated on the packet. Your pudding should be fine. My pasta sheets don't have best before on them but there is a stamp that reads 11:10. I'm going to assume that means use by November 2010....They may have lost a little flavour, but with sauces, veggies and cheese I don't think it will matter.

    Lee; I never bother with spring cleaning. I get it done when I notice or when I have the energy. Usually a couple or three times a year.

    Manzanita; if only the energy was there whole small flat smelled delicious. Three serves are now in the freezer for future meals.

    Mimsie; I'm so glad to hear you're going with drawers instead of a cupboard. It's so much easier that way to see everything at the back. My older daughter has drawers all around her kitchen, which is rather huge, even her crockery is in drawers and the walk-in pantry has shallow shelves, about 25cm deep I think, so things can't be stacked more than two deep. Thank you for reminding me about pearl barley, I'll add it to my list for soups. I used the last of mine last winter.

  12. Aren't you good doing the spring cleaning six months early! I really should do mine as well, although I'm pretty good at keeping order there. As we used to spend six months on the boat, I rarely have anything on hand that gets old. I tended to cook meals based on what I has to use up from the pantry stores before we went away. People always think that my cupboards look a little bare, but I like to "travel light" and buy as I need to.

    I laughed at the chocolate cake. I think my Swede would have sniffed that out and made it up long ago. It's me who forgets about those kinds of things, but he never forgets anything sweet in the house.

    The casserole sounds delicious! That's one nice thing about the cooler weather for you - comforting and filling soups and casseroles again. I honestly could live on hearty soups. I made soup often for my family when they were growing up...except we always ended up calling it "Stoop" as it was usually so chock full of vegetables and meat that it was a cross between a stew and a soup and so we coined the phrase stoop to describe it (don't you just love family language?)

    I see that Mimsie mentioned pearl barley. One lovely and inexpensive soup I like to make with it is La sfarrata. It keeps really well and also freezes well, so you can make it in a big pot and save for later. I don't usually bother with the rosemary oil topping and just use a sprinkling of parmesan cheese instead.