Friday, May 06, 2011

Pantry Staples

Casey over at Elegant Musings posed the question 'what do you consider “pantry staples”?'
An interesting question, I thought.  I flashed to my own extensive list before wondering how our lists differ from those in 'olden times'.

My list is not unlike Casey's at all.

  • Baking items- flour (white whole wheat, all purpose, self raising, bread, corn flour and cornmeal).  With all these I can bake other staples like bread and biscuits that are always good in a pinch.
  • leavening products- baking powder, baking soda and yeast.  Again, keeping these in my cupboard means I can always bake something ;)
  • Oil- canola, olive and coconut oils which I use primarily in baking.  Also a spray oil for spraying pans before I cook.
  • sweeteners- sugar, honey, golden syrup, maple syrup.  The family has a sweet tooth so I control our sweeteners.  But even then, homemade is better because at least it is not high fructose corn syrup.
  • Vinegars- white wine, red wine, balsamic, apple cider, white distilled, malt and a couple of flavoured ones (raspberry and tarragon).  These are useful for sauces and salad dressings.
  • Brown rice.  It makes a nice side- best cooked with broth and spices though ;)
  • Whole wheat pasta.  I keep this because the kids love mac and cheese.  I make it from scratch and the kids still love it LOL
  • Couscous.  My daughter's favourite grain side.
  • Dried beans and tinned/canned beans.  My husband and kids love beans, so I always have them on hand.  They are also useful in soups and meatless patties.
  • Herbs and spices.  I have a humongous selection of these to dress up all kinds of things!
  • Chicken, Beef and Vegetable stocks.  Sometimes these are homemade, sometimes they are cubed or even in a carton.  I always have the cubes (bouillon) around for soups and gravy though.
  • Salsa.  I love it - especially in the winter when I don't buy fresh tomatoes because they suck.  They still don't taste good yet, but roll on summer they will ;)
  • Jams and jellies (that is American style jelly as in jam without bits in it).  Jams can be used in sandwiches and in dressings and sauces.  They are good on toast and on plain scones.  I always have a good selection of jams.
  • Condiments.  Mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce- I don't have a lot of condiments (I tend to make them myself more) but I try to keep these ones around.
  • Oatmeal.  It's useful and I love it :)
  • Tinned/canned tomatoes.  Again, mostly in winter.
Not precisely things in my pantry but definitely things I keep around out of what I consider necessity:
  • Frozen vegetables.  Especially during the winter, but even during the summer, I keep a freezer stocked with various frozen veggies.  They can be used in a pinch to make a quick side, or make a meal more interesting/healthy.
  • Dairy- milk, butter, eggs, cheeses (cheddar, parmesan, feta).  The flavours of course- I love to add cheese to things!
  • Potatoes, garlic, onions, carrots and celery.  With these vegetables (I always buy fresh) I can make a lot of soups and sauces, and always dress the meal up in flavour.  They are almost ALWAYS to be found in my cupboards/fridge unless I run out during the week.
  • Fruit- for snacking on.  Whatever is seasonal.
  • lettuce and salad stuff- for sandwiches and salads.
So there it is- my list of pantry (and not quite pantry) staples :)