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Basic Staples for your Pantry
December 13, 2010
10:52 am
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ticka1
Baytown, Texas
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For the last three months – I have been trying to use most of what I have in my pantry.  Starting the first week of January I would like to restock my pantry with basic staples.

 

I have googled this and received alot of different information – so I figured I would post here and get CITR members suggestion on stocking a pantry.  Little background – my family has taken the pledge to start cooking from scratch (recipe books/recipes) and eating alot less processed/prepared foods.

If you have any links to information on the internet about these topic – a good list – it would be appreciated.

I plan on cleaning out my pantry between Christmas and New Year's – restocking it and starting 2011 out with  a new outlook on cooking in our house.

 

chefchefchef

Canning and dehydrating will now become a part of my life.

December 13, 2010
11:53 am
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pdelainey
Saskatchwan, Canada
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Hi Ticka1

This list is from 'The Basic Shelf Cookbook'

Grain Products:

  Rice – White, Brown

  Pasta – Elbow Macaronie, spaghettti, lasagna, egg noodles

  Bread Crumbs

Vegetables & Fruit

  Potatoes

  Onions

  Carrots

  Canned Vegetables – Corn, tomatoes, muchrooms, carrots, peas, etc.

  Canned Vegetable Soups – Tomato, Mushroom, etc.

  Tomato Paste

  Canned Fruit- Peaches, Pineapple, Fruit Cocktail, etc.

Meat Alternatives

  Canned Beans, Peas and Lentils – Kidney, navy or romano beans, chick peas, and brown lentils, etc.

  Dried Beans, Peas and Lentils – Split peas, navy beans, etc.

  Peanut Butter

  Canned Tuna

Milk Products

  Skim Milk Powder

Fats and Oils

  Vegetalbe Oil

  Margarine

Baking Ingredients

  Flour – All purpose, whole wheat

  Sugar – White, Brown

  Baking Powder

  Baking Soda

  Cornstarch

  Vanilla

  Rolled Oats

  Rasins

Seasonings

  Salt

  Pepper

  Garlic Powder

  Dry Mustard

  Chicken Bouillon Cubes

  Beef Bouillon Cubes

  Soy Sauce

  Vinegar

  Worchstershire Sauce

  Ketchup

  Herbs – Basil, Oregano, Thyme, etc.

  Spices – Paprika, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Chili Powder, etc.

 

Hopefully this helps. clover

December 13, 2010
2:22 pm
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Pete
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Not sure if there is anything in it specific enough for your needs, ticka, but you might find some inspiration in this topic about pantries: /forum/the-farmhouse-table/organizing-the-pantry/?value=pantry&type=1&include=3&search=1&ret=all

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

December 13, 2010
8:53 pm
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Ms Do"mess"ticated
Iowa
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Ticka – these are the things that I MUST have in my pantry. There is no science to it, but things that I use regularly and will not – under any circumstance run out of. I really don't have a pantry, I have cupboards and they are very limited in space.

 

Flour (white, all purpose) and I also have wheat for grinding whole wheat.

Sugar (I keep molasses to make brown and I grind to make powdered)

Powdered milk

cocoa

vinegar

olive and canola oil

I have a huge variety of spices, but wouldn't be without garlics, onions, salts, peppers, and italian spices.

butter (okay not in the pantry, but I can't be without it)

unsweetened cocoa powder

rice

oatmeal

a variety of beans

popcorn (family favorite snack)

a cream soup mix (I don't buy cream of any soup, I just mix this with water)

teas/coffee

vanilla

a variety of pastas (though I could also make these from scratch)

 

Seems like there is more, but I can't think of what else right now. I hope that helps a little.

"It is in the shelter of each other that we live." an Irish proverb

December 14, 2010
7:17 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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All of Cyndi's are on my list.  Plus, in the last year I've added:

 

Instant Clear Jel (instant puddings and thickening cold)

Regular Clear Jel (I use in place of cornstarch for hot and in canning)

Wheat gluten

citric acid

ascorbic acid

pectin (I buy at the Amish store in 2 cup bulk)

semolina flour (making pastas)

canning salt (can be used for a lot of different things when you can't use table salt)

chicken bouillon powder (low sodium)

beef bouillon powder (low sodium)

molasses

peanut butter

lard (home-rendered)

olive oil

 

Some of these could be left out, but I have found most any mix or “copycat” recipe can be made by having these things on hand and I don't have to wait to find them in the store.  We've went to a very-low sodium diet, so most things are created from scratch, even seasonings.  Having these seasonings on hand, I can make whatever special seasoning I need without paying the higher price (i.e. italian seasoning, pumpkin pie spice, seasoning salt, etc).

 

Seasonings:

cinnamon

nutmeg

allspice

ginger

cloves

oregano

marjoram

basil

sage

thyme

onion powder

garlic powder

cumin powder

marjoram

parsley

paprika

curry powder

chili powder

lemon powder

cream of tartar

black pepper

 

Not sure if you have Amish stores in Texas, but this is where I found the best place to supply my pantry.  If you could find some place to buy in bulk, it won't cost near as much as buying from the normal grocery store.  The spices I buy in a 1 cup container (they don't last forever) or grow myself then dehydrate.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

December 14, 2010
7:22 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Oh, and the best thing I've found and it has taken quite a few years of organizing and reorganizing… jars or containers to put everything in, even if it comes in it's own.  Everything fits together if they're the same and doesn't get jostled around and “lost”.  Sugar and flour have their own BIG 30# cherry bucket.  I found jars that will fit the amount of anything when I buy it from the store, not what I have on hand at the moment.  I have gallon, 1/2 gallon, quart and pint jars in my pantry.  It's also easy to see at a glance what you're low on.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

December 14, 2010
7:34 am
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justdeborah2002
ottawa ON
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And don't you find when your pantry is all uniform and organized it is so much easier to use to it's full potential?  No over-buying, no missing ingredients, and quite frankly, it gives me joy to see care and organization in my kitchen.

queen of make it fit

December 14, 2010
7:52 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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That's what the years of organizing and re-organizing taught me.  When I finally organized my spices into jars, I had almost a quart jar of chili powder!  Who can use that much at a time???  I could just never find any so always bought more!

 

It was an investment of jars at the time, but over the long-run I'm not overbuying and throwing out if something is stale — just because they're a staple, they don't last forever.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

December 14, 2010
8:23 am
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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I didn't see yeast on anyone's list. I don't make bread but I keep it on hand for my daughterwink

December 14, 2010
8:28 am
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hershiesgirl
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One of the things I learned from watching a cooking show…was that ground spices lose their quality in 6 months to a year…BUT if you can buy them whole and grind them as you need them (nutmeg, cloves, seeds, etc.) they will stay “fresh” (from a taste point of view) in their whole form for about five years !!! 

December 14, 2010
8:57 am
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Pete
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Keeping spices, even ground ones, away from light and heat greatly extends their shelf life.  Many of us are simply not going to throw spices out because we have had them for 6 months.  Like so many other things, it's a trade-off.  The quality of my “out of date” spices is still superior to what would come in a box of something premixed, so I can live with it.  BUT, they are stored well protected from both light and heat.

In the pantry is a great place to use those glass jars which may be fragile, old, or have a very small flaw which might interfere with the sealing process.  This is also where I use up a bunch of old mayo, pickle and assorted other jars.  Their “seals” are good enough for pasta, beans, and odd small amounts of things. 

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

December 14, 2010
10:51 am
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Suzanne McMinn
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ticka, what a great idea and a great time to do it!  I might have to do a post about this sometime soon.  My list is pretty similar to what's been posted.  And I also take most of my go-to spices/herbs out of store containers (if they came from the store) and put them in quart or pint jars.  I often use my “special” jars–the vintage ones I don't want to use for canning because I won't risk them ever breaking–for that type of thing.  It's great to see right through the jars and know what I have all the time.

Clover made me do it.

December 14, 2010
10:54 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Miss Judy said:

I didn't see yeast on anyone's list. I don't make bread but I keep it on hand for my daughterwink


Ah yes!!  But that's in the fridge :)

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

December 14, 2010
11:53 am
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Suzanne McMinn
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I store my extra yeast in the fridge, too!

Clover made me do it.

December 14, 2010
11:58 am
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wvhomecanner
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I didn't see yeast on anyone's list. I don't make bread but I keep it on hand for my daughterwink


Ah yes!!  But that's in the fridge :)
 


And that's the thing about staples – all of them don't go in a pantry LOL. I consider staples to be things from onions, potatoes, carrots, celery to powdered sugar to worcestershire sauce. So I guess my staples are spread around among pantry space, frig, cellar room and some in the freezer (herbs and spices in bulk). To me, staples are any of the basics needed for good scratch cooking. I think the lists found searching online and here are a great baseline for someone to start with and then add what else is important to their style of cooking. I haven't seen dill on a list yet for example, but it's definitely a staple to me in both weed and seed form.

 

dede

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

December 14, 2010
2:08 pm
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52
Stringtown, WV
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Is aluminum foil a staple ??    shroom

52 Forever

December 14, 2010
2:45 pm
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bonita
north east IL
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haha, 52, very funny

i

Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

December 14, 2010
3:16 pm
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DarleneS
Columbus, Ohio
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You can freeze spices in jars and also yeast.

January 9, 2011
11:23 pm
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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This is the one Bonita was thinking of………….

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

January 9, 2011
11:31 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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I was just reading this one also. It is excellant and comprehensive. I saw  references to canned beans and such. I suggest that we can ours at home rather than buy canned beans.

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