When you think of a pantry, what comes to mind? For me, it's a small room that has no window and is cool and lined with shelves, storing groceries and all kinds of yummy things. Here in Brazil, it is very, very rare for a house to come with any form of cupboard, never mind a pantry. Cupboards, for us, have had to be rather, let's just say, inventive. The first thing we do when moving to a place is to put up shelves and pray they stay up. Grocery storage was a major challenge, especially considering that this is a land of bugs and damp and mildew.
When we arrived here, we spent a few years without a fridge of any sort. Groceries were bought daily and what needed to be kept cold was stored in the cooler box. We managed. Eventually, a friend at the consulate said that, with staff rotation, they had a storage facility with loads of furniture, each dip. wanting their own brand new furniture and would we like a fridge. Dumb question. We said yes. We got a huge double-door fridge that was half-working - we have since come to the conclusion that diplomats abuse their furniture badly. It worked for a little while, then died. Instead of throwing it away, Jurgis removed the gas and the grids and we got ourselves a pantry cupboard.
In short, it's perfect. It seals completely. It's temperature controlled. It has plenty little sections for various items. And it's a solution to filling up a garbage dump with an old 'useless' fridge.
On the front of the 'pantry', I have two photos of a place with special memories for us, a copy of a poem I wrote a long time ago, a magnet with the number of our gas company and a magnet with the number for the place we order our pet food. Hanging in front there are my agate chimes. They're more pretty than sounding good. I wish they were in front of the window where the crystal would reflect light, but we can't have it all : )
Some time back, I promised to post a photo of my fridge (the real fridge) with its magnets...
The funky green looking one is art by Tatiana, aged 9. It was meant to be a Picasso reproduction. The one next to it is self-explanatory. Below that, left to right is: a wood magnet from Campos de Jordão, a picture of some landmark in Vilnius - Lithuania, a magnet from the UAE sent by a friend who was working there at the time and my "I'm not plump, I'm fluffy" magnet that goes back to 1985 or possibly even earlier. Below the camel is my Paraty magnet showing their typical boats.
To the right of that is the old South African flag, bought for me by Tat at the Voortrekker monument in SA, currently the only place you can legally buy the flag. Below that, left to right is: "My home is clean enough to be healthy and messy enough to be happy", a magnet from the South African consulate showing their sight which is badly out of date, and the polar bear magnet saying "I'm not a morning person" that Anne thought suited me perfectly. Just to the bottom right of that magnet is another Lithuanian magnet, this time depicting the Lithuanian coat of arms.
Left to right below that is: a wooden Campos de Jordão magnet with copper 'pots' hanging off it, a bulldog clip with a note from Tat :), and my "The opinions of the husband in this household are not necessarily those of the management" magnet.
The last two are my toucan, which comes from Iguaçu falls, brought to me by Anne and a Celestial Seasonings tea, which says, "Wonder is the seed of knowledge by Francis Bach."