cupboard

Having a well stocked pantry takes time. I remember my first grocery order. I spent my entire budget on condiments that I thought were crucial. Chances are I could have lived quite a while without that bottle of pickled quail eggs!Knowing what and which brands to buy takes experimenting or trusting someone who has wasted a small fortune on “must have” kitchen stuff. I can’t say that I am completely over my fascination with new ingredients but I have managed to at least research the product before I make the purchase.

Every cook should have what I call “the Basics”. These are items that you will use often and have a good shelf life. Most grocery stores only stock popular brands, so you can be comfortable that you will be buying a tried and true product. If you are not sure, send me a note…I have tried them all.

  • OILS: extra virgin olive, olive, sunflower
  • VINEGARS: red wine, white wine, balsamic, rice, white
  • MUSTARDS: yellow, dijon, whole grain, dried
  • FLOUR: all-purpose, cake, bread, Tipo “00”
  • SUGAR: white, brown, icing, superfine
  • SALT: sea, table, coarse, flakes
  • BAKING POWDER
  • BAKING SODA
  • CORNSTARCH
  • DRIED PASTA: spaghetti, linguine, penne
  • LEGUMES: [dried or canned] cannellini, chickpeas, red kidney, lentils
  • RICE: long grain, basmati, arborio
  • CHOCOLATE: semisweet, bittersweet, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • TOMATOES: canned diced plum, sun-dried, paste in a tube
  • CAPERS
  • OLIVES: best quality black, green
  • ANCHOVIES
  • SOY SAUCE
  • FISH SAUCE
  • OYSTER SAUCE
  • PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
  • BOUILLON CUBES: chicken, beef, vegetable
  • BREAD CRUMBS: unseasoned, Italian and Panko
  • COCONUT: shredded
  • CREAM OF TARTAR
  • HONEY
  • HORSERADISH
  • KETCHUP
  • SYRUPS: corn, maple, molasses
  • TABASCO SAUCE
  • YEAST: dry active, instant

I know that this list seems long…it is long. However, if you pick up items for recipes that you are preparing and add a couple of additional things off of my list each week, you will have a well stocked pantry in no time!