Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome to My Pantry

I recently saw this amazing pantry staples list from The Reluctant Gourmet via The Simple Dollar:

* Anchovies: a must for many pasta sauces, flat filets in a can or anchovy paste.
* Artichokes: canned hearts packed in water.
* Beans: an assortment of canned (easier) or dry (more work but tastier).
*Bread crumbs
* Capers: great in salads and pasta dishes.
* Chutney: great for crackers and sauces.
* Clam juice: a good substitute for fish stock.
* Corn meal: great for dredging foods and a must for polenta.
* Coconut: either shredded in a can or coconut milk or better yet, both.
* Cornstarch: for thickening sauces
* Crackers: assorted types.
* Dried fruits: apples, apricots, currants, figs, and raisins.
* Dried herbs: basil, bay leaves, chili powder, cinnamon, dill, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, crushed red pepper, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme.
* Extracts: vanilla is the most important, but try orange and almond.
* Flour: unbleached all-purpose
* Jams, Jellies, Preserves, and Honey
* Ketchup: always have an extra bottle on hand.
* Mushrooms: an assortment of dried including shiitake, morels, and porcini.
* Mustard: Dried and Dijon in a jar
* Oils: Olive, pure for everyday cooking and virgin for drizzling, canola, and sesame.
* Olives: canned, pitted and non-pitted, nicoise and calamata and olive paste
* Pasta: an assortment of shapes and sizes; dried
* Peanut butter: I like the chunky style.
* Peas: canned petite style. Fresh is better, but these are good to have on hand
* Pepper: whole peppercorns, ground black and white pepper.
* Pesto, Tapenade, Salsa
* Rice: Arborio (for risotto), brown, white, wild.
* Salt: regular and sea salt.
* Salad Dressings: my favorite is Good Seasons
* Sauces: Soy or Tamari, Tabasco, Teriyaki, and Worcestershire
* Sugar: white and brown, granulated and confectioners
* Tomatoes: canned – whole plum, paste, and puree; sun-dried
* Tuna: canned, packed in water.
* Vinegar: balsamic, white wine, red wine, rice wine.
* Wines: Marsala, Madeira, and Sherry

I think this list is great if you want to start cooking at home more.  I know that having these items on hands helps me when I'm looking to make quick, weeknight meals.  I wanted to compare what I had in my pantry to the list and thought you  might to come along for the tour.  It was all fun and games of introducing you to my pantry until I was editing the photos and saw exactly what a hot mess it looked like.  I'll need to remember to close that door when we have company (Ha! my solution is to close the door, not clean it out).  
 This is the big picture - there's on the door storage, aprons haphazardly hung, and lots o'shelves!
 Where should we start? At the top?  We've got poppy seeds, tea, coffee filter, cinnamon sticks, an apron and a 3rd place ribbon from last year's chili cook-off.
In the second row, we have: Madagascar vanilla (got this bottle discounted from Home Goods!), sprinkles, vanilla beans, skewers, paper baking cups, and mini loaf pans.
 In this row, we have what I call these my fancy spices (though actually it was Mr. Palindrome who started this collection) and there's a variety of teas.
My ugly spices and my cheater gravy packets (what you can't see is my cave man size Montreal steak seasoning shaker - it's a staple all grilling season) round out the door storage stuff.

Let's move to the inside of the pantry shall we?
On the left most top shelf we have a serving platter, flatbreads, mixed nuts, bread crumbs, wine from our honeymoon, champagne from our  wedding, lasagna noodles, marshmellows and chinese noodles (back from when I made those little marshmellow nests with jelly beans for Easter - whoops!)
 Moving a row down, we've got oils and vinegars; steel cut oats, basmati rice, several short pastas, wild rice, jar sauce, and chickpea curry.
 This is my baking shelf with sugar, baking soda, chocolate chips, salt, baking powders, brown sugar, dried fruit, etc.
 This is my second baking shelf with white flour, wheat flour, cornbread mix, granulated Splenda, graham crackers and cornstarch.
 Oh dear - this is the shelf where I put things I don't really know what to do with - like a year's worth of Bon Appetit magazines.  I also stacked up a bed tray, basket, pizza stone, cooling racks, and cutting boards.
I probably shouldn't have broken out the "Oh Dears" so soon because this shelf is def. oh dear worthy.  It's like my own little, dirty, hoarder-esque shelf.  Don't ask me why, I but I think these bags will come in handy one day.  That pot is part of a home brew kit we don't have all the pieces for anymore. Oh yeah, then there's that Absolut handle.  Oh dear.
Shall we start at the top again for the middle section? We've got more chinese noodles and marshmellows.  There's peanuts, spaghetti, crackers, pita chips, and tortilla chips.
 Mr. Palindrome eats a bowl of cereal every day.  Keeping him in cereal is like keeping LiLo in rehab - hard.  We have some all bran that I add to muffin batter sometimes, Bear Naked granola, and some Skippy Natural.
Moving on, we have some Nutella, more peanut butter, nuts, baking powder, kosher salt and a kiddie bottle with protein powder (I know, I know - take it up with Mr. Palindrome).
 The baking shelf(ves) spilled over with brownies, rolled oats, sugar, and evaporated milk.
 "Oh dear" takes care of this shelf.
In a mix of oh dear and meow, we have kitty food, hairball reduction formulated cat food, sprouting onions, tonic, gatorade and sweet potatoes.
Ok, next section, back to the top!  This makes us look like fitness maniacs - jumbo protein powder barrels and a box of Gu.  Actually, it makes us look like we want to to be fitness maniacs, but gave up and finally got the remnants of our broken dreams up and out of the way.
While the rest of our pantry is a testament to the contrary, Mr. Palindrome and I could live off of cereal and granola bars.  They make up the bulk of our grocery purchases on a weekly basis.  We eat them for breakfast, afternoon snacks, pre-workout mini meals, and midnight munchie snacks.  We also have some oatmeal packets and bread.
While I think it would be hilarious to feed our cat fancy feast from my crystal champagne glass, I don't have the desire to hand wash it everyday.  Our kitty only gets about 1/5 of a can at a time, so this should last us a while.  Raisins, prunes and a box of pretzels that I use to hold other loose snack items rounds out this shelf.
This is where I start to feel really self conscious about the crazy amount of food we have.  Our pantry is awesome pants large and a really great use of space beneath the stairs.  Everything they say about filling up the space you have is true in the case of our pantry.  Here we have what I deem to be saucy items - mustard, salad dressing, bbq sauce, raspberry jam, chicken stock, onion soup mix.  Then, randomly, I threw some croutons and tuna on that shelf.
Artichokes, black beans, cranberry sauce, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, corn, olives - this shelf comes in handy when I'm running low on time and need to toss something with pasta or eggs for quick week night meal.  In the front, you can see the mandolin we received as a wedding present recently but that I haven't had the chance to try out yet!
We're in the home stretch of this marathon pantry tour now!  Last shelf, top row - Pyrex 9x13 carrier, sheet cake pan with lid, picnic backpack, lunch bag, and napkins.
I've used that fondue pot once (it's been through 4 moves!).  The paper products are leftovers from our Christmas party.
Hello mayhem.  Ice cream maker attachment pieces, a random coozy, the blender and my food processor call this shelf home.
This shelf gets more exercise since I use our panini press/griddle quite a bit.  The griddle/grill plates are leaning up against another lunch tote and a glass jar I haven't figure out what to do with.
And this.  Well.  I have no explanation.  It's a lunch tote graveyard.  I've buried them with more shopping bags, cake carriers, the crock pot and a broom/dust pan.  Oh dear.

So we're pretty stocked.  In fact, until spring brings more fresh produce, it's be a great challenge to eat through our pantry.  How about you? Is your pantry brimming or bare?


  1. Girl, you are STOCKED! Forget the grocery store, I'm shopping in your pantry this week. Haha!

  2. I wish we even had this much space. We essentially have a cupboard and that's it. I am going to be reorganizing it soon.

  3. I wish we even has this much room. We only have a cupboard that desperately needs to be reorganized. You are definitely well stocked. :)

  4. I recently did the same thing because of my new Giada at Hime cookbook. Capers are great! Btw, bagged frozen artichokes are the best!!! No sodium and no oil! Cooks up great!

  5. Our pantry is generally pretty bare. It's hard for me to stock up (even though I would like to have a well stocked pantry!) because I'm worried I'll buy all this food and it'll go bad before I have a chance to use it! I know shelf items are supposed to be really stable, but after 6 months I start getting the heebie jeebies and throw everything out!

  6. I am so jealous of your pantry space!! Last month we had a 20% off our entire purchase coupon at the grocery store so we stocked up on everything we could think of - wish I'd had this list then! We bought a bunch of stuff but we just don't have the space to keep too much 'just in case', so we only bought things we knew we'd use in the next few months. It's definitely nice to think "oh I need xxx" and realize I have it in the cupboard!

  7. I love this post! So cool to see what other people stock up on. We're terrible food stockers. We make so many trips to the grocery store. I think it has to do with not eating meat/dairy - most of our food is produce, so we can't buy it super far in advance?

  8. I found this SO fascinating! I feel like I learned a lot about you through your pantry :)