Pop Quiz Answer

The answer to yesterday’s pop quiz: as our friend Nic Sammond put it, “Your shelving was designed by Tokyo Electric Power?” Alas, I can’t pass the blame off on anyone but myself. When the big one hits, we’ll have a giant salsa bowl of pickles, jams and broken glass.

It’s well past time to install some bungee cords across the shelves.

And we’ll make our quizzes a little harder next time. 

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  1. I thought it was all the light coming in the window, lovely bright oxidizing sunlight…

  2. I thought your quiz was too difficult to hazard an answer, but I now see that’s because here in Chicago our biggest potential problem is Rahm Emmanual busting the unions, which could be earthshaking in and of itself.

    Earthquakes never occurred to me. I think your shelves are beautiful.

  3. H2- You are an idiot. The best thing that could happen to Illinois is busting the unions to make the socialist state more business friendly.

    Indiana actually has a campaign to attract business from Illinois. If you complain about the price of food or gas, you have only yourself to blame for being anti-business.

  4. It does look like it would be blocking an exit if it all fell in the floor…maybe velcro strips?

  5. String a long piece of parachute cord, make a loop on the end and attach a short bunge cord to it. That will keep jars from jumping off of the shelves.

  6. When your kitty gets a little older and starts climbing to the top of those shelves, you may have salsa without an earthquake:) My cat is constantly knocking items off of shelves.

  7. Red: We OK’d your comment, but we do not like name calling. If any of your future comments show a similar lack of respect for other posters, they will not be published.

    In general folks, it’s okay if your comments touch on political topics, but we must always keep the discourse civil and reasoned and non-personal. We will moderate out any trollish behavior.

  8. I just want to say that the day Erik put those shelves in, I said “What about earthquakes?” He said that was he next step. That was two years ago. I think Erik is working out some issues by posting this, and hopefully revving up to install some cording.

    Re: the light issue some of you brought up-yes, it’s a problem. The hall is facing north. It gets light, but never direct light. Ideally, it would be dark, but given the layout of our house, there was nowhere else to put the shelves, and I can’t really curtain it off because our fridge and washing machine live in the same hall. It would be very gloomy. Basically this is about not letting the perfect get in the way of the good. I don’t store spices or herbs there, and I try to rotate through our goods fast. But be that as it may… anyone considering putting in shelves like this should try to choose a darkish space.

    @Cindy: Oh noes! I hadn’t thought about that source of chaos!

  9. Hi Eric- instead of bungee cords, you might think about building a cabinet around it. I tucked away a picture of a hanging cupboard that someone built themselves for a can pantry from the 1998 March/April issue of Country Home magazine. The cupboard was built behind the kitchen door, and it was built just deep enough to hold a bunch of canned goods one can deep. Since your shelving is wide, you might want to put two sets of doors on it. That would take care of your open shelving problem and the problem of the light hitting your lovely home canned things, as Grego pointed out. I don’t even think that enclosing it would be that hard: just a box around the edges of the shelves, face the fronts, and then hang doors. Home Depot has some laminated wide pine panels that are a nominal one inch thickness, meaning that they’d be 3/4″ thick, and I think the two sizes they carry are 18″ and 24″ wide. Someone with some fairly rudimentary woodworking skills could put it together. Just a thought.

  10. “I can’t really curtain it off because our fridge and washing machine live in the same hall. It would be very gloomy.”

    Don’t curtain off the window, just use a curtain instead of doors on the front edge of the shelving. Keep the bright and cheery in the hallway, but keep the food stores in the dark. White drapery lining blackout cloth would be just as cheery as as you want (you could even paint/decorate the visible side if you want more than white) with no light getting into the “pantry”.

  11. I like the idea of shelves only one jar deep. The light was my first concern since the nutrients are diminished by light. I don’t live in earthquake country, but I would be liable to brush those jars right off the shelves. Okay, if the New Madrid Fault acts up, I might live in earthquake country. Instead of buying bungee cords, but 1″ elastic and attach and run from one shelf to another. Actually, probably bungee cords or strong elastic would keep things on a shelf in a really strong earthquake. I saw a woman’s cupboard that had a strip of quarter inch woood nailed up to hold food onto the shelves. Just make sure that you can get a quart in and out of the shelf, lifting it over the wood. Even a small amount of light is detrimental to nutrients.

  12. Bungee cords or elastic are pretty useless in a good shaker. I know from experience (Whittier, Northridge). Full Mason jars are heavy, and they will very possibly stretch the cords and/or jump right over them, esp with the narrow shelves. I’ve even had magnetic lock cupboards pop open in an earthquake. I can still see (and smell) the stew of grape jelly, canned peaches, vinegar, and broken glass on my kitchen floor in ’94. I would go with the wood strips, or at least securely latched doors, which would take care of the light problem also.
    (Have I remedied my own situation, lo these many years later? Ummm…not really, though I have moved most of my jars to lower cupboards or the basement.)

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