Apr 7, 2011

Canisters: Thinking out of the box

I had to laugh at myself today. The sun is shining brightly (finally), which means that I can really see all the dirt and dust everywhere. That means it needs to be cleaned! One of the things I cleaned was my white kitchen canisters. They're all spiffy now, but what I actually was laughing about is what I have IN my canisters.

Manufacturers have spent literally decades trying to tell me what to put into my canisters. The picture above (click to see it in its original format) are all labeled with permanent ink and meant to be obeyed. Flour is always the biggest one. For some reason, rice wanted to be with the other staples.

But not in my kitchen. I have four canisters. The largest perfectly holds a 5 pound bag of sugar. My flour goes in the freezer (if store bought) to reduce rancidity, or I grind my own fresh. The next size (where "they" wanted me to put the sugar) holds BROWN sugar. It's used quite often for oatmeal and quickie baked apples. Guess what's in my third canisters? Nothing the manufacturers suggest, that's for sure. My third one holds coconut. I use it very often to sprinkle on salads, fruits, oatmeal, and broccoli.

Yes, broccoli. Not for me-- I like broccoli. My son, however, is mightily against the green veggie. If I chop it up very small and add a generous sprinkle of coconut, he endures the broccoli. Whatever it takes, eh?

The littlest canister holds an entire box of Stevia. This sweetener is actually GOOD for you. It is not made of chemicals but comes from a plant. Click HERE if you'd like to know about it.

So, what's in YOUR canister set? Do you follow directions or do you live on the edge like I do?


Mary R. said...

Pretty canisters and pretty kitchen!

Packrat said...

The only canister that is out and filled is the largest. It has flour in it. The second largest usually held sugar. The other two held whatever I needed to store at the time. None of my canisters are labeled. (Grandma's stainless steel ones were, but the labels have come off.)

Stephanie said...

My canisters are empty!! I have jars on the counters that house everything from rice to pasta to coffee beans, but I was very sentimental about the Ballonoff ones that were in my kitchen as a child. Here's a link with a photo of my "cookie" canister if you're curious about the containers:

They are absolutely my most favorite item in my kitchen and I don't even use them...I just like to look at them :p

K Quinn said...

Roxanne I used to buy new canisters all the time. I always wanted this great matchy kitchen. And then I would hardly put stuff in them so they were usually empty. When we moved this last time I gave all my canisters away. I have these big plastic bins I got for a dollar each eons ago and they hold my staples in one of those skinny cupboards some jokester made up a few years ago. They fit perfectly if I stack. I have 8 and the hold 5 pounds of whatever.

HappyMom said...

I guess I'm more of a traditionalist. For many years I had a set of Tupperware canisters just like Mom had. Why I bought them I'll never know. They had the grooved pattern in the top that I hated cleaning as kid. Of course I don't fry that often, so mine were not greasy on the top! Lol!. But finally after many years of searching, I have a ceramic set of white canisters, just like my sisters!! I do use them on a regular basis. I have white flour in the largest one. I keep all other flour in the freezer. I figured no matter what, having the white flour on the counter couldn't do too much damage to it. In the next one I have regular sugar, then brown rice, and last is oatmeal. I used to use it on a weekly basis, but since my daughter has declared that she no longer likes oatmeal, it only gets used occasionally. Maybe soon, I'll think about switching them out. But for now, it works for me.

MaryBeth said...

I love your cannisters! I suppose I wouldn't use them for their intended purpose either. Our coffee is in the freezer, flour in various containers (who said wheat was the only flour!!!), etc. I love that you use stevia, and yes, it is good for you!! I would love to score a set of cannisters as warm and welcoming as yours. Now, I'm off to clean my dusty countertops as well!!!

Roxanne said...


I guess I was unclear--these canisters are NOT mine. Mine are plain white (with no writing). Click on the picture of this post and it will take you to an antique site for a place in Australia. I used their picture becuase it was vintage and illustrated my point about all the labels!

Roxanne said...

Packrat--Am I remembering correctly that your canisters are of 1970s vintage? What were some of the things you put in the smaller ones over the years?

Stephanie--I remember those Ballonoff canisters! They look GREAT in any retro decorating, don't they?

K Quinn--I absolutely agree. The matchy canisters never seem to work as well for the needs of a well-functioning kitchen. They're pretty, though! I love that the ones you use now are uniform in size. Are thy clear so you can see the contents? That benefit is calling to me to make some changes for my storage...

HappyMom--I am WITH you on those Tupperware lid nightmares! I HATED cleaning them. Hated it. They seal well, though.

My dream is to have an floor to ceiling open shelving unit with all glass jars for all my drygoods storage. With cool vintage labels or chalkboard paint rectangles on the jars for changeable labeling. I just don't have a place in my current house for such a thing!

Any plans for visiting another state? (hint)

Bringing Pretty Back said...

I just LOVE canisters , and these are darling!!!
When we move into our new little home, I plan on using a few different sets of canisters in my pantry for all kinds of things!
Have a pretty day!

Packrat said...

Roxanne, Yes, J bought the canister set for me in the late spring of 1975 as a house warming present. We had just started dating, and I had just rented my first real apartment. They are made of harvest gold heavy duty rigid plastic - Rubbermaid brand - probably fairly expensive at the time they were purchased. Even with all the moves, bangs, bumps, and drops there isn't a chip or crack (a few minor scratches, yes). Knock on wood...

The smaller containers, over the years, have stored rice, baking soda, tea bags, corn starch, salt, powdered coffee creamer, macaroni, popcorn kernels, powdered sugar, dog biscuits, and probably other things. Not coffee, tho. (We could do this, because we always lived in a dry climate.)

Packrat said...

PS: Just re-read my comment. Meant that we could store items that would normally absorb moisture in these canisters, because we lived in a dry climate. Coffee was kept in the freezer, because we only made it when we had company.

Roxanne said...

Krisitn--That sounds like a GREAT way to use canisters! You get to enjoy all the lovely styles and keep your pantry well-organized. When you do it, you know you'll have to do a picture tour!

Packrat--That's so cool that J got them for you! Very romantic. Every time you use them (which happens very often!) you remember how J chose them for you. Love it!

Related Posts with Thumbnails