My Grandma and Grandpa Clark lived in a mail order Eaton's House with a country kitchen and a big old fire-powered oven. Off to one side of the kitchen was a cool pantry with large cupboards for storing mason jars of preserves and my grandfather's own honey. As a source of never-ending sustenance, the pantry was a mysterious and magical place. A friend of mine told me when his family moved into a "previously owned" house they discovered a whole birthday cake high on a shelf in the pantry that someone had abandoned and forgotten. There's a story in that cake just begging to be told.
I have always had a fascination with things in mason jars, and so I have begun to collect recipes of things you can put in jars, forget about and then eat or use in some other practical way. When I read this blog entry from The Queen of Green, updating her cleaning recipes I read the comments with great interest. Lindsay asked for reader's cleaning tips and was flooded with replies. Several people wrote about adding citrus peels to vinegar to make a degreaser. Bingo! That sounds like a great idea! I filled a jar half full of white vinegar and added my breakfast grapefruit peels. Then I took out some dried lavender and rosemary from my storage tubs (not as romantic as a pantry) and added those. Attending the UBC Farm Symposium on Friday we were treated to Mighty Leaf teas. I chose jasmine tea and then kept the cloth tea bag and added the jasmine tea leaves to the vinegar mix. I left it infuse for four days and I decanted it this morning. So far I've used it to clean out the compost container and it works a treat. Now if I only had a pantry to line up my experiments . . . .