Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tales of a starving pantry....

Think back........when you were young.  What did your mother keep in the pantry?  What were her "kichen neccesities"?  Maybe it was flour, sugar, salt, crackers, some canned items, pasta's....?  Think about your own pantry.  Is it running over with items you don't use or don't really need?  Or is it empty and you are not sure what should be in it?  

I can remember my mom having a wall unit of shelves in our basement.  It was always stocked with flour, sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, dried pasta, dried beans (gross), canned salmon (triple quadruple gross),  canned fruits and veggies and plenty of chicken noodle soup! hehe  My mom always used margarine, I assume because it was cheap and sometimes she would mix powdered milk and put it in the washed out gallon jug of milk to try and trick us when money was tight, or mix it, half and half.   With 10 kids, we always had cereal on the shelf and a few various items  little hands couldn't reach and would get pushed back further and further until one day someone found them all.  We had a huge garden so my mom canned tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, green beans, carrots, dill pickles, relish, tomato juice.  We froze corn and lots of other fruit.  It is funny how times have changed.  What we deem "necessary" and things we might not even think of that could make life easier.

This being said, it depends on your level of cooking ability and interest as to what is in your pantry.  What I keep in my pantry would not even be comparable to someone like.....well,  insert name of someone you know who rarely cooks.  I am going to give you what I think is my "necessities" list for the pantry.  It will not be the same as your list, or likely anyone elses list.  But it might help someone who is just starting out, or is just starting to learn to cook or bake.  It might not even be the same as what your spouse thinks is necessary but we all know the none cooking spouse gets little to no say.  Or wait, is that just in my world?!?! teehee

this totally reminds me of our basement pantry

flour (all purpose)
sugar (granulated, powdered, brown)
white vinegar
dried pastas
canned tomato products
cake mix
baking mix (basic Bisquick type)
baking soda
baking powder
canned pineapple (I use this alot)
tin foil
saran wrap
baggies (qt size and gallon)
parchment paper
olive oil
veg oil
non stick cooking spray
Mrs. Grasses Chicken Noodle Soup
Peanut Butter
Stock (chicken and beef even thought I almost always make my own, keep 1 or 2 of each on hand in case)

This is a close and pretty complete list of what I ALWAYS have on hand at all times in the pantry.  OK so I omitted the Spaghettio's but dang it, I didn't want to face my Spaghettio haters!  With these items your cooking and baking options are endless. From breads to cakes, cookies, pasta's!  Use gallon size Ziploc bags for marinating or storing leftovers.  Parchment paper is my newest addition a couple of years ago, what in billy heck did I do before parchment paper?  

Now, let me know what YOU think is necessary in YOUR pantry.  Is there a specific item you NEVER allow yourself to run out of?  Share with us, it might be something we never thought of!  In the meantime, double check, and save yourself running to the neighbors for flour.  When its on sale, stock up!  

Your "time to stock your pantry for winter" chefwannabe

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