Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rebuilding My Pantry

Though I have been cooking a bit since returning to the states -- our temporary apartment has a kitchen equipped with the base essentials -- I have had to spend a considerable amount of time and energy re-stocking my pantry. When I moved to Germany, I was allowed to bring some food items. That meant, spices, vinegars, and sauces were able to come with us. Upon return to the U.S. the movers were way less lenient. (I guess it was a German thing.) No food, no liquids.

I simply couldn't bear giving up all of the food and liquid in the house, and hid a few select items in my dressers and desks, but couldn't hide everything. What was worth violating customs regulations? The giant can of duck confit from Paris; a bottle of Champaign given to us to celebrate the baby's arrival; and the large bag of saffron from Spain all made the cut.

But all of basics were handed off to friends in Germany. Here's a list of what I've determined are the basic pantry items:

  • Grains: All purpose flour, oats, polenta, pasta, brown basmati rice, cous cous, and corn meal
  • Spices: Salt, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon
  • Oils: Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil
  • Vinegars: Balsamic, apple cider, red wine
  • Condiments: Mustard, mayo
  • Canned fish: Tuna, salmon
  • Veggies: Canned crush tomatoes, artichoke hearts, black beans, white beans, chick peas
  • Misc.: Peanut butter
  • Sweeteners: Brown sugar, honey
I still need a bunch of stuff, but so far this has been enough to get me back on the road to home-cooked meals.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I'm not the only one thinking about restocking my pantry. Read today's article in the Times dining section: