Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Old Mother Hubbard

…she went to the cupboard – and found it bare. Poor doggy! The different names for food storage areas fascinate me. These days, it is usually kept in a cupboard, fridge or freezer. But what about the other names for food storage area- larder, buttery, pantry etc?

View of the Pantry at Llanerchaeron, near Aberaeron, Ceredigion, WalesI knew that a larder was the old name for a cold room where meats and fats [such as lard] where stored. But until recently, I wasn’t sure about a buttery – I knew that some of our older University had college butteries – and assumed that this was a place for dairy produce.

Wrong! It’s from the Old English “Butts” i.e. barrels of alcohol [not the US meaning of butts!] and a buttery was where the butler kept the booze [Presumably that's why the  students had them, to support their drinking habits!] And a pantry was where bread [Latin – panis] and other foods were kept. Mum had lovely cool pantries in two of our Manses when I was a child, in the days before she had a fridge, or central heating.

In Kirby I used to have a wall cupboard in the Futility Room where I kept packets and ‘current’ foodstuffs, and a shelf in the garage for tins, jams, marmalade and bottled fruit. No garage space or FR here. And the kitchen cupboards have different dimensions – my containers don’t fit properly, some jars, and the cereal boxes were too tall.

So Bob has built me a Pantry. Well, to be precise, he has put some shelves in the understairs coat cupboard [and we bought a coat rack which is now in the porch area]


This is right opposite the kitchen, and easy to access. On the floor are lidded blue Sainsbury's boxes holding tins, spare teabags etc. Behind the tins on the top shelf are my infrequently used plates. The shelf unit was in his studio, but isn’t needed in The Workroom, and the undershelf baskets used to hold haberdashery.

I am very excited about having a pantry of my own at last!


  1. That's such a great use of the under stairs space, I may give a hubby a prompt with this, kitchen cupboards never seem to be made tall enough to house most storage containers.

  2. How nice! I don't have a pantry and I'm constantly shuffling things and have been doing so for 23 years. I should think about this! Ha! I'm glad you are settling in, Ang!

  3. I too would have thought the buttery would have been for dairy products. Another new thing I have learned today.

  4. That man is a Godsend! Literally!x


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