This labor day weekend wasn’t a vacation at all for my husband and me. After 6 -8-week of abandoning the pantry to the pest invasion, we finally decided to take them on. Surprisingly, getting rid of the bag of infested brown rice pretty much did the trick in terms of halting the seemingly exponential takeover of the pantry. Besides the pests, there were also the issues of heat and humidity building up within the pantry space that needed to be addressed. Taking care of those two problem required my husband to remove the pantry door and change the light bulbs from incandescent to CFLs. Then I emptied the pantry while my husband scrubbed down the area.
Having a walk-in pantry is somewhat of a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you have a lot of space for kitchen and food storage and it’s a curse because you have a lot of space for kitchen and food storage. What happened to us was that we had too much food and we lost track of what we had and when it expired. The winner was a can of vegetables that expired in 1998 — yep while I was in grad school, which meant that I quite possibly carried that can of food from dwelling to dwelling since undergraduate school. Yikes!!! It makes me wonder whether my luck will change with the disposal of that item — well I hope it wasn’t a lucky item, because I don’t want my luck to get any worse than it is. Anyhow, After hauling out 8 Hefty bags of expired and/or infested food, we vowed not stuff our pantry with much more than we actually need — after all, what good is expired food going to do in an earthquake? (ah, the ranting of a spoiled American …)
After two days of hard labor, the pantry is almost back in order. The CFLs are cooler and less power consuming while being brighter than the incandescent lights that were there initially. Taking the door off made our kitchen look quite a bit larger while solving the humidity and the other piece of the heat problem. We now have very little food left in the pantry now and I kinda like it that way. For those of you with walk-in pantries, don’t let this happen to you. Maybe go through once a year and get rid of any expired food. Put anything like rice and grain based food that could hatch little beasties in a sealed container, so if the little beasties hatch, at least they will be contained.