In the past month I’ve posted several blogs about the “essentials” for a well-stocked pantry.
But one thing I didn’t cover is what exactly is a pantry? We don’t live in one of those manor homes shown on public television with an official “pantry” you can walk into (along with a maid and butler)!
Okay, a pantry is any space in your kitchen where all your staples are located. A place where you can easily grab things to make that delicious meal quickly and easily without hunting in dark corners and sticking your hand into the deep recesses of your cupboards.
Aisleagh’s blog about “spring cleaning” your pantry made some excellent points. She said that you don’t want your pantry to become “a dark cluttered space with food lost to the ages.”
And she’s right. After all, what good does it do to stock up on these essentials, only to have them disappear into the wilderness of your kitchen!
So with that in mind, here’s a recap of my A-list for stocking a pantry that even stuffy English aristocrats would envy! For more details on each one, check out the links.
- Spices: My essential spices include: dried basil, paprika, dried oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper.
- More spices: Salt (more complex than you think!), black peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon, onion and garlic powder, turmeric and dried rosemary. Now many of these spices not only taste good, and add gourmet pizzazz to your dish, but they have amazing health benefits as well.
- Organic broth and organic canned tomatoes: I called these a pantry essential essential! Because with these two items you can whip up any number of “gourmet” dishes with ease.
- Nuts: Yes, nuts. They’re not just for snacking anymore. By cooking with nuts, you’re adding flavor, extra nutrition and even eye appeal to a dish.
- Beans and whole grain staples (including rice): Having these items in your pantry allows you to put together a great meal at a moment’s notice.
- Natural oils – olive and coconut: Mandatory ingredients in any pantry! Without a good olive or coconut oil, you can’t even get started cooking. The best olive oils are organic and “extra virgin.” And the coconut oil you select should be organic as well as being fresh pressed and “virgin.”
If I’ve missed one of your favorite pantry items here, please let me know!