Friday, November 21, 2014

New pantry

When I bought this place in TN several years ago and came down for the first winter I brought several dozen canning jars with me, but the bulk of my jars remained in MN. This summer I cleaned out the basement in MN and boxed up all the jars to bring south with me, mainly so they would all be in one place. The immediate problem after unloading all the boxes from the truck was "where am I going to put all these?" A single-wide mobile home doesn't exactly have a ton of space, and the storage shed freezes in the winter. The best solution I could come up with quickly was in the back hall/laundry area. It makes it a bit tighter getting to the washer and dryer, or out the back door, but the dryer door still opens completely and with the two big dogs gone I rarely use the back door.

I used 1x12 pine for the uprights, and bought 2 sheets of plywood to rip for the shelves. Since this is not up against a wall on either end I used some electric fence wire with turnbuckles to make a large 'X' on the back side to keep it from leaning over to the left or right. There is also a wire across the front to keep the end uprights from pivoting and dumping the shelves.

Instead of using wooden cleats to support the shelves I bought the narrow metal bookshelf brackets and clips so the shelves can be repositioned.

Gallon and half gallon jars fit 2 deep on the 1 foot wide shelves, quarts fit 3 deep, and pints fit 4 deep. There are just shy of 600 jars here, sadly not very many of them are full yet but it's a start. I will likely hang some fabric 'curtains' on the front to block out the light.

I also ordered a TSM stainless steel food dehydrator and it arrived a couple days ago. I have dried food in the past, but really dislike the idea of putting food on plastic and heating it for hours, with the plastic possibly leaching who-knows-what chemicals into the food. I had been looking for a good dehydrator for some time, and even though the Excaliber brand is highly recommended I wasn't comfortable with them as the case is lined with plastic. When I found the TSM brand I was sold, it just took a while to save up my pennies for it.

So far it's just living on top of the clothes dryer until I can figure out a place to put it. There is almost no counter space in this mobile home, in fact not much more than in the camper, so it can't live on the counter. It's been humming along quite happily where it's at, so far I've dried almond meal and coconut flour along with some wonderful white raisins.

This will give me another option for food storage that doesn't require freezer space and is much lighter than canned fruits or veggies along with taking up far less space. 


  1. Your shelves look marvelous, and a great way to store all those jars.

  2. Damn that's a gorgeous view :) I love nice neat orderly shelves filled like that.

    I would propose marriage but I am not Mormon :)

  3. Nice shelves. You might want to consider adding a thin strip of wood in front of each shelf, about 1/4 of the way up the jars. Keeps them on the shelf in an earthquake.