No Not Armageddon Type Stocking, Just the Basics.

I am pretty proud of how we have been shopping the past couple of weeks. It’s been amazing. Now I usually keep a nicely stocked pantry. So when I go shopping for food I often am not looking like Old Mother Hubbard. I think everyone keeps a few basics on hand right? So what basics do I keep?

In my pantry I always have on hand the following:

  • udon or soba noodles
  • pastas of different shapes
  • canned beans of all sorts
  • dry beans, only my favs (or I wont cook them)
  • Lentils, both canned and dry
  • canned fish like salmon, tuna and even crab (yes I know crab is not a fish)
  • tomatoes-diced,whole, puree, paste and sauce
  • roasted peppers
  • pickled veggies
  • Jarred/canned olives , artichokes and mushrooms
  • Rice  – wild, brown , jasmine and basmati
  • Quinoa- tri colored, red or regular
  • organic, low salt broths (chicken, beef and veggie)
  • Salsa
  • whole wheat bread crumbs
  • crackers , tortilla chips (low ingredients)
  • popcorn for the air popper
  • dried fruits
  • assorted nuts
  • flour (whole wheat, corn meal and a few others)
  • sugars – pure organic and brown
  • tea of all assorted types, we love it in this house.

I am sure there is more. This is what I know I have in my pantry, and happily if and when needed, I can whip up a meal from this list alone.

Buying nuts, dried fruit ,rice and other grains and storing in canning jars on a shelf in your kitchen is a great way to make menu planning super easy. I can see I am out of  dates in this picture.  I string up different lights for the seasons and holidays.

In my fridge the following can be found:

  • hot sauce (my men folk would move out if I didn’t have a shelf or two dedicated to it)
  • Tamari (soy sauce)
  • mustards
  • fish sauce
  • curry paste
  • BBQ sauce (no HFCS)
  • pure maple syrup
  • walnut oil (salad dressings)
  • Flax seed oil
  • sesame oil
  • tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • organic nut butters (cashew, peanut)
  • eggs
  • salted butter
  • yeast for baking

Our hot sauce shelf. It’s actually starting on a second shelf now. It goes about 3 bottle deep too.

My freezer has the following items all the time:

  • assorted organic veggies (like kale, spinach, okra, corn , green beans, peas…you get the idea)
  • organic berries (raspberries from my garden, blueberries and whatever else I find)
  • organic fruits like peaches
  • more flour (stores better that way)
  • butter (buy extra when on sale)
  • chicken backs (for making broth)
  • large bags of scrap veggie bits (for making broth)
  • chicken broth (homemade)

Now currently my freezer has some things like lamb, pork , sausages , ox tail and chicken in it. Every now and then my husband and I make a trip over to a store in New Haven and stock up, or if I see a super good deal on say organic whole chickens, I buy more than one and freeze them.

I like deals. Last week we drove out a farm store and picked up some squash and a few other goodies but the real deal was the 20+ pounds of apples I bought for only $12.99. I as able to make fresh pie and several quarts of applesauce and will be making caramel apples for my son (I make them only in October so it’s a treat) and with the phyllo dough I have I’ll make some little apple bites. We still have plenty for him to eat. So that’s another way I save.

Now if your just starting out and setting up your kitchen, don’t go out and buy this all in one trip. Figure out what you like to cook most and go from there. It’s taken awhile but I have it figured out what I like to eat. So, for example, I eat humus weekly. I make sure to have chickpeas, lemons, Tahini, garlic and olive oil in the house. I can change-up that recipe easily by adding in roasted peppers, artichokes, or red pepper flakes. All things that are on hand in my home.

I didn’t go into spices. I have quiet a few as you can tell. It’s great to have a wide selection as you can easily take chicken from a Spanish dish to Asian to Indian with just a few spices. So add to your collection to those. I grow a few out on the deck outside my kitchen but as you can see I have a nice collection and use them often. If your curious I got the rack at Ikea. I think it was for cd’s but I like odd things in my kitchen.

Spice up your life!

What are some of your must have’s in your kitchen?

Blessing and Love,

Shelly

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