What I would give for a pantry. You can keep your en suite bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes and loft conversions, I just want a secret little room to store food. I dream of pantries: shelves crammed with home-made chutneys and jams, cakes nestled in tins and herbs hanging happily from the ceiling. Plus a massive wheel of Brie that I can quietly assault from time to time.
Alas, we don’t have a pantry, but I’ve done reasonably well with the limited space that we do have. The freezer is full of blanched veg and tasty soups, our cupboards are bursting with pickles and preserves, the onions and garlic are hanging up around the kitchen, and we have bowls of tomatoes and chillies ripening on the windowsills.
This year, for the first time, I’m drying our leftover Borlotti beans. Last summer I blanched and froze them, which worked a treat, but we’ll simply have no room in our freezer this year. Once the beans have fully dried out, I’ll need to find some temporary freezer space just to give them a quick 48-hour freeze to destroy any nasties lurking inside, but then I’ll store them in a jar.
It’s lovely to know the kitchen is well-stocked with our homegrown goodies before the winter comes, and to think we’ll still be enjoying the fruits of this year’s harvest well into next year.