Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I'm noticing a trend to this blog....it is more food than crafty. Noticing the priorities....I'm just sayin'. So, I thought that I'd put together my thoughts on what makes a good kitchen, great. I love my kitchen and as I've said before, it is where I feel the most at home. I would love for it to look like this. Alas, it does not. It is open like this but does not have an island, or granite countertops, or white-washed cabinet, or.... Okay...I'll stop now.
What I DO have is a fantastic pantry! It is large, walk-in and about 4 shelves tall. It has plenty of room for our kitchen appliances, as well as food items, liquor, some dishes and staples. And I love it. It has a tendency of getting messy as lots can fit in there but right now, it's not bad. I'm working on getting matching storage containers. Right now, we are a mismatch of plastic buckets for our bulk flours, rices and sugars. Anyhoo, what is so very important in my pantry, and any pantry for that matter is a basic list of items. These items will take you from "what's for dinner" to DINNER in no time. I keep staples on hand for just about any sauce for any kind of dish. It takes a long time to build a good pantry. It is too cost-prohibitive to do it overnight or in one trip. But put a few of these necessities on every trip to the grocer and pretty soon, you'll have a perfectly-stocked pantry as well!
-Coarse Sea or Kosher Salt -Fine Kosher Salt (a salt grinder can be used to grind the coarse salt if needed) -Whole Black Peppercorns & Pepper Grinder
-Ground Cayenne -Red Pepper Flakes -Ground Cumin -Cinnamon (ground or sticks)
-Bay Leaves -Chili Powder -Curry Powder -Whole Nutmeg -Dried Oregano
Legumes & Grains:
-Rice (White & Brown) -Quinoa or Bulgur(I don't always have these on hand but they are great for salads) -Rolled and Steel-Cut Oats -Dried or Canned Beans (kidney, black, chick peas; dried beans are cheaper and preservative free. Using dried beans instead of canned allow you to use the exact amount you want without letting the rest of the can go to waste. If you don’t have time to soak your beans overnight, you can always boil them for 4 minutes and then let them sit in the hot water for an hour before draining) -Dried Lentils -Nuts like Almonds, Pecans, or Walnuts
Oils & Condiments
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil -Vegetable Oil -Balsamic Vinegar -White Vinegar (esp. important for cleaning!) -Dijon Mustard -Soy Sauce -Mayonnaise (easy to make your own too!) -Almond or Peanut Butter -Honey
-Boxed Chicken or Vegetable Stock (also VERY easy to make on your own--that's another WFMW!) -Canned Tuna in Water -Canned Tomato Paste (or tube of tomato paste)
-Canned Whole Tomatoes -Canned Tomato Puree
-Plain Bread Crumbs (can make from toasted bread) -Pastas (mostly whole wheat for us) -Flours (white and wheat) -Baking Soda (For baking & cleaning) -White Sugar -Brown Sugar -Coffee -Tea (no good Southern kitchen would be without!) -A bar of dark chocolate, sweet and unsweetened for baking -Jello -Cornmeal -Agave Nectar (natural sweetener, great for coffee) -Syrup
Go ahead and head on over to Kristin at We Are That Family. I'm sure there are some terrific other foodie tips to go with your newly stocked pantry!! Enjoy!!