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Basic Staples for your Pantry
January 31, 2011
12:18 am
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bonita
north east IL
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CindyP, down here Superfine sugar is a mostly summer product. It's 'regular' sugar, just on fine grind so that it melts easier in iced tea and other cold drinks, Sometimes you'll see a flash of it around the holidays, again cold drinks are the impetus. Going from superfine to regular granulated is a bit like going from table sale to coarse Kosher salt. What I can't figure out is castor sugar (Europe) is it granulated or superfine?

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

January 31, 2011
1:00 am
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enjay
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Lavenderblue:

We regularly buy the same brand of sugar from Sam's Club and have had no problems with it. I've been canning, cooking and baking with it going on three years now. I usually store it in lidded 5 gallon buckets in the corner of my kitchen. Living in Coastal South Carolina it's humid as all get out and we do sometimes get lumpy sugar but it breaks up or sifts out just fine, I'd give your laundry room a try and see if it bothers you. 

My m-i-l in Ohio was having an awful time a couple of years ago with an off-brand of sugar and threw out most of a 10# bag because it was leaving residue in her coffee and tea, and her fudge clumped up when she used it. She looked on the bag and it had something that was an anti-caking additive, calcium silicate I think? Since then she's always checked the ingredients and only buys the ones that don't have anything but sugar listed. I've only seen it added to powdered sugar, don't know why she found it in granulated but maybe that's why it was so cheap. 

January 31, 2011
8:05 am
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justdeborah2002
ottawa ON
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Castor sugar is granulated sugar, but in bigger granules than what we in North America are used to.

Your comparison is dead on…it's like kosher salt compared to table salt…the difference in grain size.

queen of make it fit

June 8, 2011
5:03 pm
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TeaCup
New England
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I use agave syrup, it stores better than most, maple, corn, etc.

 

Also I use Better Than Bullion, rather than bullion cubes, I've been known to make demiglace myself, but it takes forever!

 

Anyone use tomato powder? it's something I've been meaning to try and never bought. I do use Real Lime and Real Lemon when I can find the stuff cheaply enough, I love hot lemonade in winter, and don't really like the bottled “juice.”

 

I got a Vittle Vault for my flour last year. I wanted something mouse/ant proof (seasonally dependant). Expensive? Yes, but so is tossing 5-10 lbs of flour because the mouse ate through the old flour container. Also, my going to be pantry has two windows, and it was an experiment to see if it would work as a sun blocking container. So far, I'm very happy with it. Happy enough that I'll buy another….

 

Judi

shedding stuff like mad!

June 8, 2011
6:38 pm
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prayingpup
Southeast Illinois
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I use tomato bullion cubes and I've dehydrated tomatoes.  I put them in the jar in slices, then powder them when I use them.  They're great!

Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it, Just pee on it and walk away

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June 8, 2011
7:37 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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Sugar is one of the most stable products you can buy. The man for whom I repair and refurbish his houses(yes plural)  is in the sugar business. There is forty pounds of sugar on the counter in on kitchen that has a 2000 sell by date on it. that sugar is perfectly fine and completely usable. If I were making jelly this year I would ask him for it.

June 10, 2011
11:01 am
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TeaCup
New England
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Sorry, should have been more specific. Agave is one of the most stable syrups. Not trying to compare it with regular sugars!

 

@Prayingpup…tomato bullion is new to me. Is it something you make or buy? If you buy them, how about a link please?

 

Thanks!

 

Judi

shedding stuff like mad!

December 12, 2011
11:17 am
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Runningtrails - Sheryl
Barrie, Ontario
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Rice flour is becoming a staple here. We use it for everything. It makes the most tender pastry that just melts in your mouth, light and crispy fried coating and fab sugar cookies! I mostly bake gluten free so we use a lot of it. Xantham gum is a staple now too.

Sheryl - sherylgallant.blogspot.com - providence-acres.blogspot.com

"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."  - 1 Thes. 4:11

December 14, 2011
10:38 am
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mamacarpenter
Mesa, AZ
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Sheryl,

 

i would love to see some of your rice flour recipes…especially the pie crust. i am able to get rice flour pretty inexpensively but never knew how to use it!

 

my favorite pantry items are definitely canned chiles. We love mexican food here in Arizona and i figure that chiles make everything better. right now i have 2 1/2 cases and want more…

 

we also figure that as long as we can make some kind of bread or biscuits (with gravy of course!) then we can survive almost anything.sunsun “Chile” gravy is the best!

 

mama carpenter

January 27, 2012
4:17 pm
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nativeheart7
Sumner Mi
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January 27, 2012
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Can someone tell me where I can find the five gallon buckets?

January 27, 2012
5:22 pm
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Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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Home depot  has them in orange with lids, also many food and restrurant people get them with food in them and they don't get returned, builders empty them by the dozen when finishing the drywall in a new house.

January 27, 2012
6:05 pm
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Erzulie
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My down-the-basement fridge is also a kind of pantry. You'd be amazed at how many quarts of whipping cream, which stays good a long time, I have in there. And butter and cheese…I freeze them and they last a really long time. Oh, and eggs. Eggs stay good for a very long time, especially if they are refrigerated. In Spain, they don't refrigerate them and they stay fine for a month. At any rate, I figure if my husband's hours get cut, we are good for a month on the staples I have in the fridge, alone. 

January 27, 2012
9:18 pm
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mamajhk
South Central Kansas
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I have seen them and Wal Mart back in the paint dept. area.

January 27, 2012
10:01 pm
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goatgal
Joplin, Texas
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Make sure your 5 gal buckets are food grade or you may be eating plastic, depending on what you're storing in the buckets.  Also, heat can cause a chemical reaction releasing toxic chemical.

January 27, 2012
10:22 pm
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brookdale
Eastern Maine
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Good point, goatgal. I can get buckets that frosting comes in, from a friend that works in a bakery. I would think anything that food originally came in, would be ok for food storage. Drywall mud, not so sure!

Remember, if it rains on your picnic it's also raining on your garden!

January 27, 2012
11:23 pm
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whaledancer
Southern California
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Whew! That’s a tall order. I do like to keep a well-stocked larder. I like to have some items on hand at all times, so that I don’t have to remember to shop for them each time I make a recipe using them.  I guess that’s my definition of a staple.  And I like to have the fixings on hand for several days’ meals, in case of anything unforeseen. 

 

Now that I’ve read through the whole thread, I see that my list is similar to the others, but since I’ve written it out already, I’m going to post it anyway!

 

flour

salt

baking soda

baking powder

cornstarch

sweet rice flour, aka moshiko (for thickening)

Wondra flour (for thickening)

sugar: white, brown, and powdered

honey

molasses

maple syrup

coffee

tea

wine

cocoa

Bisquick (or equivalent)

cornmeal

Jiffy cornbread mix (I know, I know)

oatmeal & steel cut oats

brown rice & parboiled brown rice (for homemade rice-a-roni)

various whole grains, like quinoa, barley, spelt & bulgur

pastas of all shapes & sizes (I use 100% whole wheat)

canned tuna, clams, and kippers

canned beans: red, white, black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, refried, baked

canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil

various vinegars (cider, white, red wine, malt, rice)

mirin (rice cooking wine)

sherry

extracts: vanilla, almond, orange, lemon

beef and chicken bouillon

ranch dressing mix

onion soup mix

Italian dressing mix

soy sauce

Worcestershire sauce & A-1

ketchup

barbeque sauce

olives, pickles & pickle relish (sweet and dill)

chutney

hot sauce

salsa, red and green

horseradish

various mustards

mayonnaise

big variety of herbs & spices

bread crumbs

cream of mushroom soup or homemade dry mix

tomato sauce

tomato paste

canned green chilies

a few canned fruits & veggies

dried fruits: raisins, prunes, apricots, figs, crystalized ginger

nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, coconut

seeds: sunflower, sesame, ground flax

dried beans & legumes (peas, lentils, pinto, lima, white, etc)

onions

garlic

celery

carrots

potatoes

bell peppers

mushrooms

milk

yogurt

sour cream

orange juice

various frozen veggies

cheese

eggs

butter

yeast

lemons & limes

ginger snaps (my DH considers these a staple)

January 27, 2012
11:29 pm
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whaledancer
Southern California
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TeaCup, I'm not sure what kind of tomato powder you mean, but I sometimes use Knorr tomato bouillon powder to add extra flavor to soups and stews.

January 28, 2012
3:18 am
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dee58m
ohio
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January 10, 2012
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The usual items for baking of course, but this last year I have added quinoa, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, teff flour, amaranth flour, gluten free all purpose flour, garbanzo/fava flour, coconut flour, dulce, dry adzuki beans, dry black beans, dry pinto beans to make our own refried beans, chia seeds, raw cashews, millet, couscous, Braggs raw apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, extra virgin coconut oil, organic coconut sugar, raw sugar, amber agave syrup, raw buckwheat honey, raw milk cheese, goat milk cheese, organic goat milk yogurt, almond meal, miso, red lentils, french lentils and mung beans, dried stevia leaves and sprouting seeds. 

My other staples are my canned mustards, jellies fruit/pepper, stuffed hot peppers, pickles, dilled beans, sauces, stewed tomatoes, kraut, etc.. these are my everyday go to's.

" life is not about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about dancing in the rain"

January 28, 2012
3:21 am
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dee58m
ohio
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oooooooooops got carried away in my list for this last few months..scratch the baaaaaaaaah goat cheese, yogurt..those are refrig newbies.. :/

" life is not about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about dancing in the rain"

January 28, 2012
12:19 pm
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aprilejoi
Michigan
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My husband finished drywall for many years. His pole barn is full of 5 gal. buckets used to hold mud.  I would never use them for food, only animal feed or garden stuff. My husband is laughing now and saying “Psh, rinse it out and use it. ” I am thinking if it held Kerosene he wouldn't say that. Use common sense, I guess!

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