Stock Your Holiday Pantry

Approximately two weeks after we brought home kittens, we had a mouse in the house.

Ewww and EWWWW!

We haven’t had one of the rodent invaders and almost 20-years, so it was quite a shock to discover we had one.

It started with a bag of Halloween candy.

I’d planned to attend a big vendor event the weekend / book signing before Halloween. Then Captain Cavedweller’s uncle passed away and I canceled my booth. Since I wouldn’t be attending, I decided to take the enormous bag of candy I’d purchased to give out at the event to our family to enjoy.

About eight in the evening, I opened the pantry, pulled out the bag, and noticed a hole in the side of it. Not a rip like CC had gotten into it, but a hole with plastic shreds around the outside, like something had chewed into it.

In a panic, I then started investigating. It took about five seconds to discover evidence of a mouse in the pantry. (I should preface it and say Luna – the bloodthirsty kitten – had been licking the floor in front of the pantry earlier, something she’d never done before. That should have tipped me off to a problem!) Anyway, we set a dozen traps and were finally getting ready for bed, when CC opened the door to our bedroom and saw the mouse dart under the bed.

Hours later, after letting the kittens into our room and searching every nook and cranny, we couldn’t find the mouse. So, I spent a restless night imagining the mouse racing over my pillow as I tried to sleep.

The next morning, no mouse in any of the traps.

CC brought home two dozen more traps and we set them everywhere! The mouse was caught the next morning (in the laundry room, which is next to our bedroom!) but boy did it leave a wake of, well, messes. I think that nasty little thing had his pooper set on full-automatic for all the “treasures” it dispersed from one end of the house to the other. They were on windowsills, on shelves in our closet, in my china cupboard. Everywhere! (And I’ll save the mouse in the toaster story for another day!)

Then I began the arduous task of cleaning out the pantry.

Every single thing had to come out. Much of it was tossed because the mouse had nibbled or popped on nearly everything! I nearly cried as I tossed out hundreds of dollars worth of pantry staples, like sugar and flour.

The one good thing about his visit, was that my pantry is now super-organized with plastic bins that have sealable lids to keep everything safe.

It was a chore to restock the pantry so I thought I’d share this list of basic essentials if you are adding (or restocking yours).

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What are your must-have pantry staples?


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4 Responses

  1. Oh my, a miss in the house is bad enough but, the bedroom?! That’s just so ewww!! I’m glad you caught it, but, at you sure he didn’t have little friends to help with the party in the pantry?
    The plastic containers are the way to go! You’ll have peace of mind that the contents are safe and free of critters.
    Thanks for sharing your list and entertainment guide.

  2. I second the comment above. My mother always said, where there is one mouse there are more. Keep an eye out. Thanks for the staples list and for the holiday entertaining book. I always keep self rising flour and all purpose flour in my pantry, as well as cornmeal. Most of my other staples are the same as yours. Great list to have in case you are invited to a house warming, or stock your pantry event. Thanks again!

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