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?

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