|Image: Whole Foods Markets|
To me, the idea of a full pantry means that my family can make it through the lean times or a disaster for at least a week or so without worry. I am sure it means different things to different people. Like some many homemakers I stock up when staples are on sale which means at some point my pantry over flows. That's when I try to spend a month using up what I have - or eating from the pantry.
My dad is LDS and as far back as I know my grandma had a food storage room. I remember it was fascinating when I was younger. I was amazed at how much she had in there. I would love to play grocery store in her storage room. We didn't have one at home and I remember asking her once why she had all that food since it was just her and my grandpa at the time. She said they tried to keep a year's worth of food on hand to help any families at church who needed help. I am sure that was the quick answer for the 10 year old. I have always loved this idea and wonder why everyone doesn't do it. The LDS website does a great job of explaining food storage.
While our pantries may not be quite the food storage room my grandma had (or maybe it is) we all have our idea of 'pantry basics'. Some great things to keep in your pantry include:
- Pasta (we have lots of pasta in our house!)
- Nuts and seeds
- Tomato sauces (canned & jarred as well as ones you put up in the summer)
- Sugar- brown and white
- Salt and Pepper
Pretty basic stuff that can be the start of a fabulous meal. Go beyond the dry storage and think of the things you always have in the fridge or freezer:
- Eggs (I get nervous if I run too low on eggs!)
- Frozen Veggies & fruits
- Butter (I stock up on butter when on sale, some of my family thinks I hoard it. But I'm never without)
- Bacon (health concerns aside I usually have this on hand for breakfast or a quick carbonara - it freezes great)
With just the list above you can make breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
I think the most creative meal anyone said they made was when Sharizat took spaghetti sauce and mixed it with water & cream to make tomato soup. I'm trying this one tomorrow night with some leftover sauce I have.
So when payday doesn't get here quick enough or your pantry is overflowing take note of what you have in there and make you meal plan using those items. I think you'll be surprised.
What kind of creative meals have you made just using items in your pantry/fridge/freezer?