The time has come, the walrus said, to get your kitchen in order. What, the walrus didn’t tell you that? 🙂 Maybe it’s just me…
It was time for a clean-out of all my food storage areas: two large cupboards, a small one, and the fridge/freezer. I took everything out, checked to make sure it was all still OK, cleaned the shelves, reorganized as I put everything back in, and made a list of things I needed to buy.
I like to keep a wide variety of staple foods on hand so it’s easy to make almost anything by adding a few fresh ingredients. Here’s what I had in stock – cupboard #1:
Unopened: spaghetti sauce x 3, canned tomatoes x 4, vegetable juice x 6, baked beans x 3, refried beans, black beans, white kidney beans, mixed bean salad, plum sauce, chutney, salad dressing, olives, ketchup, “pomegranate molasses” (exotic ingredient for a recipe I haven’t tried yet), pumpkin, lemon pie filling, applesauce, cranberry sauce, coconut milk x 2, homemade salsa x 2, homemade pickles x 2
Open: regular and low-salt soy sauce, honey x 2 (bought 2-pack at Costco, only one is open), store-brand “nutella,” Marmite. News flash! Since my last pantry post, I have grown to tolerate Marmite, and I occasionally have it on cheese toast – gasp! I like the intensity – I would say it’s comparable to olive tapenade).
Cereal: plain Cheerios, Multigrain Cheerios (sweetened), All Bran Bites with strawberry filling, shredded wheat squares x 2, Shreddies (which are sweetened shredded wheat squares with malt)
Crackers: whole wheat saltines, cream crackers, selection (for Xmas/New Year’s), Toppables (similar to Sociables and Ritz), Melba toast, Rom’s UK shortbread
Vinegars etc. (because the shelf is tall enough for them!): Vinegars: balsamic, malt, apple cider and rice. A bunch of gifted/sample oils and vinegars, lime cordial drink mix, popcorn and the last of the tortilla chips
Pasta: lasagna noodles x 2, whole wheat rotini x 2, Kraft Dinner/mac and cheese (regular and whole wheat), spaghetti, linguine, fettucine, orzo and soup noodles
Other: oats (large flake and quick), chia seeds, and 3 kinds of flour (unbleached, whole wheat and rye) – ww will go in fridge when weekend baking is done
And here is what all the above looks like in its usual home:
Next are the contents of cupboard #2:
Includes: 10 lb (4.5 kg) bag basmati rice, brown rice, red and green lentils, bulgur, quinoa, millet, barley, couscous x 2, dried chick peas, green split peas, fine oatmeal, many kinds of unsalted nuts (peanuts, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, sliced almonds, sesame seeds) and dried fruit (raisins, dates, apricots, papaya, pineapple and candied ginger)
Includes: cannisters for white sugar, brown sugar and icing sugar; molasses, salt and sea salt, vanilla, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda, corn starch, yeast, bran for baking, sweetened and unsweetened dried coconut, butterscotch chips, flavour extracts, food colouring, toothpicks, cupcake liners and birthday cake candles
Here is what those items look like stored away:
On the second shelf I added some wheat berries and sunflower seeds that had been left out. And, um, full disclosure. Apart from the rice on the left, the top shelf is all sweets! I did not have the courage to give you a close-up photo. The cookies on the left next to the rice are Rom’s. All the candy on the right is mine. I could try to explain, but really, what is the point?!
Moving quickly along, we have a large assortment of coffee and tea. I use the loose PG Tips for everyday black tea. I bought 3 flavoured loose teas a year ago (still going strong) and 2 more in the summer. I have coffee beans, cheap espresso, good espresso, and emergency instant. I think Rom has 11 kinds of herbal tea and the Caf Lib (coffee substitute) since he doesn’t do caffeine. There’s also a package of mulling spices for red wine or cranberry juice.
This is the tea and coffee cupboard:
Now the fridge. Here’s what was in the fridge this morning:
This is not well-stocked compared to usual.
Top shelf: leftover cooked rice, the hemp protein powder that I can’t seem to use up, nutritional yeast, TVP, cornmeal and wheat germ
Second shelf: eggs, dried figs, hummus, sunflower butter, tahini, miso, canned mandarins, peanut butter and maple butter
Third shelf: pickles, beets, salsa, jam x 2, marmalade, maple syrup, juice x 3, soda x 3, non-alcoholic beer
Drawers: specialty cheese x 3 (Xmas and New Year’s), nice olives, tofu, oranges and clementines, lots of onions and parsnips (2-for-1 deals), red cabbage, radishes, sugar snap peas
Fridge door: milk x 2, dregs of 2 loaves of bread, butter x 2, lemon and lime juice squeezers, mustard x 3, sesame oil, pickles x 2, olives x 2, salad dressing x 4, chili sauce, ketchup, tiny bit of HP sauce, Worcestershire sauce (not used), chutney, pesto, sundried tomatoes, capers, jalapenos, red pepper jelly
Freezer compartment: (top shelf) blueberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries, rhubarb, chick peas, kidney beans, pizza crust, leftover pancakes, ww bread, white and ww bread rolls (bottom shelf) peas, green beans, Brussels sprouts, squash, edamame, San Marzano tomatoes, leftovers, 1 ice cream bar from summer, (not shown) French fries, bananas for baking
The only things I haven’t shown you are on a shelf that holds tall bottles: olive oil and wine.
If you are vegetarian, how does this compare with the kind of things you buy? Does anyone else have a lot of separate items, shelves or areas for different members of the family?
I’ll be back tomorrow to show you my grocery haul and how much it cost!
PS From Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus and The Carpenter:
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”