Recipe Wednesday: Stocking Up

Hullo, blog.  (pets gently)

I know.  I’ve neglected you dreadfully.  And I am sorry.  I’ll try to do better.

Things haven’t been terribly exciting, I’m afraid.  In fact, the most exciting thing we’ve done in the past few weeks is to go grocery shopping.

I know, right?

On the one hand, grocery shopping can be frustrating, and expensive, and exhausting.  Especially if — like most folks with 8-to-5 jobs — you have to do your shopping on the weekend, when the stores are crowded and they’re out of everything that was on sale this week.

But it can also be very satisfying.  I know I’m probably weird, but it actually makes me feel good to haul home my load of groceries, and re-pack the “family-sized” package of meat into smaller portions for freezing, and line up all of my canned goods, and stow all of the produce neatly away in the veggie bins.

And there’s a certain amount of satisfaction in looking at the pantry — which, in my case, is a set of shelves on my enclosed back porch — and seeing all of the potential meals lined up and waiting to happen.

I’ve gotten into the habit of picking up certain staples and storing them away for the proverbial “rainy day”.  So should the zombie apocalypse happen tonight, Beloved Husband and I have enough pasta, tuna, and cream-of-whatever soup to keep ourselves in tuna casserole for at least a month.  Should we have an unexpected encounter with a skunk, there are enough tomato products to bathe us thoroughly.  We’re almost as well-stocked on creamed corn, canned carrots, and cranberry sauce.  And just for fun, there are stray cans of things like stir-fry veggies, baba ghanooj, and coconut milk.  (FYI, 1/2 lb. sauteed shrimp + 1 can coconut milk + 1 can carrots + 1 teaspoon curry = a very tasty soup!)

And yes, we have ramen.  Because sometimes, you just want ramen.

Likewise, there are certain staples we try to keep in the freezer.  1-lb. packages of ground beef, boneless skinless chicken breasts, pork chops, and bacon, for example.  And even though Beloved Husband doesn’t like seafood, I generally keep some shrimp and fish on hand.  I usually try to keep some ham tucked away, too, but we used it last month and haven’t replaced it yet.  And at the moment, we still have a whole (small-ish) turkey in there.  Because, hey, when you can pick up that much meat for $5 at Thanksgiving time, you do.

I try to keep a good base of ingredients on hand so that with the addition of just a few fresh things (vegetables, salad, fruit, etc.), I can produce a meal.  (I also try to keep my spice cabinet well stocked, but I think that’s next week’s entry.)  There are times when this has come in handy, like when Mother Nature suddenly dumps three feet of snow on you and you can’t get out of the house for several days.

So what sorts of things do other people keep in their pantries?

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About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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3 Responses to Recipe Wednesday: Stocking Up

  1. I miss those $5 turkeys in Denver–the stores here don’t do that.
    I also miss your blog posts, so it’s great to see you back at it!
    As far as what’s in my pantry, hmm, let’s see–Toddler Mum Mums that we overstocked on last year, a variety of snack bars, soups, fruit juice, mac ‘n cheese–looks like the kids have taken over that room just like every other part of the house. There’s even a shelf for confiscated toys. :)

  2. Laurie Decker says:

    Reading this blog, I found myself nodding along with each paragraph. “Yep. Do that.” “Uh huh. Those, too.” Got a lovely little pantry here in the Chicago apartment right beside the side-by-side. It’s actually large enough and deep enough that all the cans and jars go in the upper half while most of my pots and even my huge “goulash for the masses” sauté pan. And back home in Denver, I have another built in pantry in the kitchen, as well as smaller shelving units scattered around the kitchen and large shelves in the basement, along with an upright freezer for storage of things like your smallish turkey.

    But here’s one thing: I find that I also end up with bottles, cans and jars of “one day, I will figure out what to do with this” (examples: I currently have a jar of “gingerbread dijon” mustard, another jar of cranberry apple chutney, a bottle of praline glaze and a jar of peach..sauce? (it’s too liquidy for a jam or jelly) “gently infused” (it says here on the label) with rosemary and lemon zest. I’m sure I bought these all with “meat” in mind. Yet when it comes time to make said meat dishes, I tend to forget those are in my pantry at all.

    These usually end up as largesse for those who help me move out of a place, provided said items are still within their expiration dates, of course.

    Maybe I should think about arranging a “pantry swap,” similar to a “stash swap” that I’ve seen done for fabric. OTOH, perhaps a pantry AND stash swap is in order? Is that something in which you’d be interested in participating, and/or helping to bring about next month somewhere if I can find a space?

  3. Laurie Decker says:

    I really should proof read before posting. Make that “goulash for the masses” saute pan all fit below, along with two gallons of spring water for the dog (she won’t drink the overly chlorinated tap water here – I should take a clue from her).

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