Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pantry staples























What happens in the pantry stays in the pantry?

To be clear: We're talking about a cupboard above the stove. The cupboard measures about two feet across by 16" deep by two-and-a-half feet high. That's the pantry.

And often what stays in the pantry also falls out of the pantry. The cat has learned never to stand beneath it. Nor under the freezer, which is in the top quarter of the fridge. Similar avalanche conditions, complete with ice.

So what is always in my pantry? Above left? Fancy canned cat food, for his twice-daily hyperthyroidism drugs. Yum-yum. Anchovies. These are back-up for the ones in the fridge. Can't run out of anchovies. Finn Crisp crackers: must have; need. Very crunchy. Very low in calories. Good for high fat cheese. Tomato paste. For when all else fails. Lurking farther behind, pad thai noodles. Time to haul them out and get stir frying.

Above right: day in, day out - honey. It's still wild oak, made, as we learned the last time I posted about it, by bees harvesting honeydew from APHIDS that infest the oak trees in Spain. Nice.

Lingonberry jam. Swedish. To stop me from eating this summer's red currant jam in one sitting.

I would like to visit Scandinavia. Rent a house on an island. I have been watching a lot of Scandinavian Netflix and I have always eaten a lot of Lingonberry jam. What Netflix? The Eagle, a slick and rather startling series about MI-style cops in Denmark. Where interview rooms are not baleful and bleak cells but lined in blond-paneled wood and where the hero speaks about six languages without effort. And Wallender, more recently. Swedish. Nice light, some improbable situations, in a town riddled with crime (kind of like bucolic England where bodies must be propping up the bluebell woods, if you're to swallow the British village crime genre whole) but still refreshing, in pale blues and blonds and tans and greys and silvers.

Where was I? Truffle salt: surprisingly effective. Far more so than the dubious oil. Cat Rescue Remedy: never used. Must toss. Does it work on humans? Marmite (must I talk about it? De facto rescue remedy for me. You either do or you don't. I do. With tea). White organic flour because you never know when you might need pizza dough (topped with anchovies). Or a roux.

Canned tuna in olive oil, cat treats on top. No, they are not the same thing.

There. That's the front row described plus a row behind it.

What's always in your pantry?

20 comments:

  1. The pantry hold staples and the best souvenirs ( except we are often reluctant to eat them)
    The staples: rice and buckwheat noodles, dried red lentils and green split peas, cans of white and black beans, plain peanut butter, local honey and maple syrup ( this is Canada) , Bragg's soya, and rice vinegars.

    The souvenirs, including gifts from traveling offspring: tins of tuna in olive oil from Italy amd smoked tuna from Oregon, Ricola herb tea, a fig vinegar, Hopjes coffee candy and a French honey pine hard-candy, tiny nuggets that fill the mouth with memories of hot resinous summer days.

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  2. Funny, I show a jar of anchovies with a recipe on my site today, and 2 people said they had never seen anchovies in a jar before! and there you are!

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  3. Oh, you're making me feel so spoiled with our too-small-but-way-larger-than-yours kitchen.

    Things I make sure we never run out of:
    *chocolate
    *cat treats - I reward them for coming in before dark, especially if they don't bring any fuzzy little headless "friends"
    *arborio (for rice pudding - can't get the family interested in risotto)
    *roughly 500 spices
    *flour has its own shelf around the corner, since I've got so many different kinds
    *Tazo "Awake" tea, some kind of Earl Grey, and Moroccan Mint; other varieties vary by season
    *tinned tomatoes - with a Hungarian husband, you may need to make emergency goulash without warning
    *pasta - I have a 6 year old. This is what he would eat at every meal, if given the choice. Pasta and bread.

    My extra pantry is my downstairs freezer, which keeps the many tupperwares full of chicken stock, spaghetti sauce, and frozen veggies and herbs from our garden that make me look like a fancy cook on short notice.

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  4. Flour - AP and rye, at present, sometimes spelt or whole wheat as well. Depends on whether the husband is on a bread baking kick. Tinned fish - sardines, anchovies, sockeye salmon, tuna in oil. Dry pasta, farro, barley, and wheatberries. 100% buckwheat soba noodles. Tamari. Dry beans, usually a couple of varieties. Too many vinegars - rice wine, sherry, red wine, white wine, champagne, red and white balsamic... I collect them. Sometimes we have nice glass jars of peeled Italian tomatoes, but right now we have Pomi in little boxes. We're trying to get away from cans due to the BPA. Steel cut oats, a box of Triscuits, a couple of types of tea, and a couple of those little pouches of fruit puree for the wee one. He eats what we do, mostly, but these are nice in a pinch. The cat treats live in their own space on top of the fridge :)

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  5. Where to start?
    Maybe you could skip the fancy cat food and feed some of those anchovies with the medicine!!
    I love Nordic crime fiction in books or movies: Wallender so comforting, Henning Menkell too and why am I soothed by gruesome and icy crime scenes in deep woods of old growth evergreens?
    Cannot cannot do Marmite.
    My pantry? Pinto beans, canned tomatoes, dry capers in salt, various varieties of pasta, millet flour(but I don't remember why), three jars of Frontera tomatillo salsa.
    I love your post today!!!

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  6. Staples and food souvenirs like Lyn. Some highlights: red rice from Bhutan, rose salt from UAE, pine honey from Turkey, lavender honey from Aix, a bottle of homemade hot sauce from Grenada w/ hand-written label by Genny. We love to travel and we do it a lot! We don't do regular souvenirs as we decided a long time ago we didn't have the room or the decorating style to artfully arrange them. So we do food, except unlike Lyn, we are not reluctant to eat it. That just means a return trip!! Hmmm, we are running low on honey.

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  7. Oh, I love to see inside a pantry. Not for nosiness, but for the mouth watering fun.

    I have oil of oregano for when I'm ill, Soma cocao powder, Callebaut chocolate, Marmite (yay!), my neighbour's amazing seville orange marmalade, edible gold flakes (for real, not the usual copper stuff), different honeys, all the spices, wild rice, peppermint tea, Earl Grey tea, spelt pasta, buckwheat, forbidden rice, sugars, flours, plus all the usual baking stuff, sea salt (coarse and fine), date/nut rolls (favourite treat, damn my mouth just watered), tamarind ginger paste, dried mushrooms (for emergency risotto), tuna, anchovies, sardines, rice wraps, beans, fig jam, almond butters (raw and roasted), vanilla pods, vanilla extract, organic rooiboss tea, Baci, tinned tomatoes, jalapenos...

    That's all I can remember right now. I love a pantry.

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  8. Small cans of fire roasted green chiles, to blend with fresh tomatoes and onions and cilantro and other good things to make salsa.

    A few cans of chicken breast, for nights when I am too tired to really cook. Curried chicken salad is the usual result.

    Cans of coconut milk. Green tea and chai tea. Behind the sensible foods are hidden bags of Pop Chips and those bitter chocolate coated honey mints from Trader Joes.

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  9. Re Scandinavian TV. Can you get the Danish series Borgen? Absolutely brilliant!!

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  10. I love reading of the contents of cupboards. I forgot how good the anchovies in jars are and must make a trip to my Italian grocery store. My cupboard: English marmalade, honey, Irish steel cut oats, Irish tea Barrys and Red Rose Tea, Expresso coffee, regular coffee. Spices galore.
    Flour, sugar and baking needs.
    Canned tomatoes, tuna

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  11. The cupboard on the right is almost identical to mine. Including the Bach's Rescue Remedy - primarily for my more stressful moments but also for bonfire night for trembling dogs and when Lemon Cat had his road accident last Christmas. Never without. Marmite, yes, and honey, flour, dried fruits,also caster sugar and food colourings (for my cake sculpting), porridge oats, box of rooibos bags, dog treats, bag of cat nip(shhh, don't tell them where the stash is) and a half bottle of homemade sloe gin from 4 years ago - utterly delicious and being eked out :)

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  12. Oh! And olive oil. And in the fridge, halloumi. Always :)

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  13. Not surprisingly, my pantry has everything yours does (and much, more more). I worship Wallander; have you seen the BBC version with Kenneth Branagh? Not bad...

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  14. Loved the Eagle (especially good) and Wallender (so different from the English one).

    At the moment, I'm in the second season of The Protectors (Danish):
    http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70247964?strkid=604556054_0_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70247964
    Very very good.

    There are some terrific Canadian ones also. Try Intelligence. Really good acting.
    http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Intelligence/70153374?strkid=1737432079_0_0&strackid=7fcc1aec5c5c9060_0_srl&trkid=222336

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  15. different from the English one).

    At the moment, I'm in the second season of The Protectors (Danish):
    http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70247964?strkid=604556054_0_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70247964
    Very very good.

    There are some terrific Canadian ones also. Try Intelligence. Really good acting.
    http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Intelligence/70153374?strkid=1737432079_0_0&strackid=7fcc1aec5c5c9060_0_srl&trkid=222336

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  16. different from the English one).

    At the moment, I'm in the second season of The Protectors (Danish):
    http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/70247964?strkid=604556054_0_0&trkid=222336&movieid=70247964
    Very very good.

    There are some terrific Canadian ones also. Try Intelligence. Really good acting.
    http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Intelligence/70153374?strkid=1737432079_0_0&strackid=7fcc1aec5c5c9060_0_srl&trkid=222336

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  17. I am sorry about the duplications

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  18. In the name of Science, I volunteer to try the Cat Rescue Remedy later this year, and report back its effects. So don't toss it.

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  19. Thank you, everybody!

    For the Scandinavian-support and suggestions and glimpses of pantries.

    Am I the only one who keeps the vinegar in the fridge???

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