Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TKO Tuesday: Food Storage Zone

The food storage zone is where we keep bulk and extra supplies, canned goods, and refrigerated and frozen foods for cooking and baking...  All the things that we don't store at point of use.  They may be things we don't need to keep at our finger tips, but it sure is nice to have them handy.  Having had a pantry in the basement and a freezer in an detached garage, I love having this zone in the kitchen!

This is not at its neatest, but I decided to
go ahead and show things like they are
My pantry could be larger, but I'm glad to have what I do.  I chose solid shelves for easier cleaning, no tipping, and no drip-through.  I chose fixed shelving, rather than adjustable, for more sturdiness.  I know myself well to enough to know I'd never adjust things like that once they're filled anyway.

For my grain milling, I have 33-quart rolling food storage bins for grains.  These tuck nicely under my lowest shelves, and determined the distance of those shelves from the floor (19").  For the other shelves, I determined what I wanted to store and where.  The 2 shelves closest to the floor were for smaller containers of grains, grain milling appliances/tools, bins of potatoes and onions, and gallon jugs, so were spaced at 15" and 14," respectively.  The next 2 up were for canned goods, planned for stacking 2 high, so have 10" of space.  The shelf above that was planned for cereal-box height (14"), but now works well for a double stack of rice and bean storage bins.  The upper shelf has lots of room above, but is very difficult to reach, so I store baskets, containers, and other, mostly lightweight, things I don't need often.

Across the aisle from the pantry, and also a straight path from the prep and cooking area, are the refrigerator and freezer.  I love having the separate, specific appliances, so I get the most room in both.  I feel that his Electrolux Icon set was a good value at $1500 each.  We didn't want to spend the money or use the space for the special trim kits, but like the fridge in the Breakfast Center/Snack Zone, we put a toe kick underneath to avoid the standard dust gathering underneath.  This also puts the lower sections at a bit more reachable height.

In order to give the doors more swinging room, there is about 5" to the side of this set.  The tall narrow cabinet to the left of the freezer holds a step ladder, and the matching cabinet to the right of the fridge holds a broom and dust pan... 2 less things to jam in the pantry.

These little cabinets, and the fact that Hubby built the lower cookbook shelf separate from the upper one, make it possible to replace this more modestly sized fridge/freezer set with a standard 36" wide and taller unit, if the need ever arises.  The fridge in the Breakfast Center has ample trim around it for this reason, also.

You can see I haven't done to well on my pile cleanup here
I'd planned to have deep uppers over the fridge and freezer, but that didn't get done right away.  After working in the kitchen, and already having plenty of storage in the tops of other cabinets, I wasn't really excited to have any more.  AND, I'd neglected to plan any cookbook storage, so after seeing Caroline/Trailrunner's cookbook shelves on the Gardenweb Kitchen Forum, I fashioned my cookbook storage after hers.  I still wish I'd planned a more extensive and easily reachable storage solution, but this is a great alternative.                                                                                                                                      

What we have of a family message center is also in this area... The white board for keeping a grocery list, bulletin boards for schedules and menus, the calendar, and the chore chart.  It's nice to have it tucked in the alcove, so even though it's a bit messy at times, we don't really have to see it unless we need to.  :-)

I'd like to wish a very special day to the guy who builds all my dreams into reality...  Happy Birthday, Hubby!  I love you much!!  
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