The Rooms We Lost
      ~ The Pantry

   The pantry was a room usually located just off of the kitchen, in which canned and baked goods would be stored. The name comes from the Old French word panaterie, which referred to a bread closet. The pantry was often an unheated room, the door to which was kept closed most of the time. The room therefore was a good place, with low humidity, in which to store foods, including bread.

   I remember, about forty years ago, when I would be visiting with my paternal grandparents, my grandmother might ask me to go into the pantry to get a jar of peaches. Passing through the door, I would instantly be enveloped in a soothing coolness that smelled of baked bread and apple cider. I would look over the three or four shelving units at all the glass jars of "canned" fruit and vegetables. And there, on the one shelf, would stand six or seven quart jars full of yellow and orange globes that I recognized as peeled peaches. Before taking one of the jars back to my grandmother I would find myself lingering to look at the green beans, the maroon tart cherries and all the other myriad colors and shapes that were captured within their glass prisons. The pantry is the room I remember the most from those youthful days.

   In modern houses, the pantry no longer exists as a separate room, but it is sometimes the name given to a cupboard in which canned goods are stored.

   In the diagram below, the pantry is indicated in red.