November 04, 2008

Pantry Essentials

Oh how I miss my old pantry (pictures left). Space, and shelves, and brimming with every good thing. Since the move, I'm only now getting to stocking my pantry. Of course, I've got all the basics, like salt and flour and sugar. When I say stocking my pantry, I mean the better than basics: things that can be stored for long periods of time, and can be used to whip up a good meal with the addition of a few fresh ingredients. Spices, canned goods, oils, mustards, vinegars, and a variety of good grains in the pantry beckon me with possibilities.

For tips on stocking your pantry with some non-essential goodies, check out this piece in the Chronicle's Food and Wine section. It lists some great additions to your pantry, and gives suggestions for use and substitutes. They also have a comprehnsive list of what every well stocked pantry ought to have.

While I'm at it, I'd like to point your attention to the great Australian chef, Donna Hay. She has a wonderful cookbook called Off the Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry. It takes this concept to the max, grouping recipies around pantry staples. It's out of print right now, but is easily found a local libraries.

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