Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Pantry = Grey Gardens II

Have any of you seen the movie Grey Gardens? If you haven't--you need to! I saw it for the first time recently and it's become one of my all-time favorite movies.

It's documentary made in the 70s (a "cult classic"--I don't know what rock I was living under that I never heard about it) about the aunt and cousin (mother/daughter team) of Jackie Kennedy who lived a prestigious and wealthy lifestyle until the husband/father walked out on them and left them with only their mansion in East Hampton known as Grey Gardens.
The mother and daughter ("Big Edie and "Little Edie") live in the once-beautiful mansion with virtually no money and in complete squalor. The house gets so bad that the health department threatens to kick them out if all the violations aren't corrected.

Jackie Kennedy steps in with the money to clean the house and it is said that 1000 bags of garbage were removed! But after the big clean-up, the house quickly falls back into it's squalid state which is where the documentary begins.

It's very fascinating to see these two in action--they sing and dance and reminisce about the wealthy men Little Edie was engaged to and look at old photographs--all the while living amongst many cats, raccoons and complete filth.

Which brings me to my kitchen pantry. I started referring to it as Grey Gardens II because of the squalid condition it had fallen into. See that pic up there of the lady in the moth-eaten fur coat standing in front of the decaying mansion?--Just picture me standing in front of my pantry and there you have the sequel!

The pantry is WAY too large with WAY too deep shelves--so I had a hard time keeping track of what I had in stock. As a result, it became filled with WAY too much soup and more chocolate chips than I could ever use!
I finally decided that I couldn't tackle it without help, so I hired a lady (I call her my "roving commission"--does anyone remember this from The Remains of the Day?? One of my favorite movies...) to help me. We took everything out, cleaned the whole pantry and threw away all kinds of scary things. I embarrassed to admit this, but I threw away seven large garbage bags full of crap. Turns out, I had ten containers of cocoa powder...

I didn't take a true "before" pic but here are a couple of "in progress" pics:

My roving commission organized everything into orderly sections--so now I have no trouble finding things and I know exactly what I have. It's a great feeling!!

For the first couple of days after it was cleaned, I would jut stand there and stare at it.

This next pic is called "It' So Fun To Be Organized!"
Also--there's a scrapbook giveaway at Jenny and the Princess Peonies. Check it out!!
Photobucket

22 comments:

Ronda's Rants said...

That's what I am doing...getting organized! I think you are supposed to do it in the spring but...I just decided I can't take it anymore!
I think it looks great...and I am heading off to my two pantries!

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

Organization rocks! If only I could tackle my freezer.....scared of what is in there!

Kristin said...

You are a brave brave woman.

Heather said...

Okay, first of all, I love Remains of the Day (I'm a major Emma Thompson fan) and also I saw Grey Gardens a looong time ago, so I know exactly what you're talking about! :)

I also have a Grey Gardens II-esque pantry. Every once in a while (as in every 2 years or so) I go through and do a pantry purge. Last time, I found TWELVE cans of "mushroom pieces and stems" which was soooo bizarre because not only do I not ever remember buying *one* can of mushroom pieces and stems, much less *twelve* but I don't even LIKE or EAT or COOK WITH mushrooms. All I can think is that at some point, there was some recipe Hubby makes that called for them and he went nuts.... they were all still good (oh yeah, loads of expired stuff gets found too) so I donated them all to the food shelf.

I haven't done a pantry purge recently though it needs it again, because we're going to be moving in the spring so I'll need to do it then. Yes, that is my great excuse for procrastination, thank you very much! LOL

Shannon said...

WHOA.

Your pantry is HUGE! I'm so jealous.


I need to do this, too. I'm afraid of what I might find in there...

Mimi said...

Does the bunny have his own pantry shelf, or was he part of the roving commission?

Sera said...

I am so jealous of your organized pantry! I'll fix mine up all nice and pretty and then in 2 days flat it's all crapped out again and I can't find what I'm looking for. That's how my pots and pans cupboard is, too.

CaraBee said...

I noticed that picture on your profile and wondered what the heck it was. I've heard of that movie but never seen it, consider it added to my Netflix queue. I wish I had a pantry, Grey Gardensy or otherwise. We are sadly lacking in storage around this old house. Which actually kind of makes my whole kitchen a disaster. Sigh.

sandi said...

If your pantry is too big, I say have more kids! There is just no such thing as "too big" in this house! Go talk to your hubby right now!

Jen said...

I should really do that to my pantry. I call mine the magic pantry b/c I have no idea what is all in there and so I am pleasantly surprised to find what I need out of there.

AmericanMaid said...

Um, hi! LoveLoveLove Gray Gardens! I know this post was really about your pantry, but you should really check out the Grey Gardens DVD box set with the first documentary and then a second disc with footage that wasn't included in the orginal picture, it's called Return to Grey Gardens. Little Edie used to feed Edith cat food when she was angry with her, she told her mother it was pate.

Jennifer said...

I do have the box set! At least I think it's the one you're talking about--the 2nd dvd is called tHe Beales of Grey Gardens--is there another one??

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

Oh to be organized! What a great feeling!

Thanks for the shout out!

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Love that pantry, I haven't got room to swing a cat. But my herb cupbard is a bit scary, there are things in there that Noah forgot.

AV

Susie said...

What a great tackle! I did my several weeks ago in preparation for the baking season:-)

Jenni Jiggety said...

Look how nice it looks!

If I showed you mine you would cry and then laugh and then send the Clean Sweep team to my house.

It is BAD.

Temple said...

I will have to check out that movie--sounds very Tennessee Williams. And really, can you ever have too many chocolate chips? ;)

noble pig said...

It always feels so good to have it organized! I love it, just love it...I just found three jars of fennel seed unopened...I mean seriously what would I need that for?

JANE said...

Oh PLEASE send her to my house!!! My pantry shelves are chaos!!
I've always wondered where you got the pic from!

Becky said...

I love that the bunny got in on the picture:)

Now I am going to have to go check out that movie out!

Angie said...

I was wondering where you profile pic came from, very interesting...good job organizing!

Jen B. said...

You did a great job organizing the pantry... want to come work on my closets??? LOL