5 things you’ll always find in my pantry…

So if you’ve read as many Bon Apetit magazine issues as I have, you know that for years on the last page they would interview some personality about their cooking skills, memorable meals, their mother’s home cooking…  And one questions they often asked was, “What 3 things would we always find in your fridge?”  It does say a lot about a person’s food predilections.  So in that spirit here are 5 things you’ll always find in my pantry, as well as 5 favorite fridge foods!:

#1.  Baking staples– I have most everything on hand to bake up cheddar biscuits or a pecan tart at the drop of a hat– I keep a varied supply birthday candles, dark Hershey’s chocolate and my favorite pumpkin pie spice on hand at all times.
#2.  Pasta– in all shapes and sizes from orzo to angel hair to boxes of that adorable mini penne made by Barilla.  Pasta teams up with just about any ingredients you have in the fridge.
#3. Vinegars galore– Tarragon for perfect salad dressing  or Orange Muscat Champagne for a sweeter fruity salad, cider vinegar for baking or with meats, white balsamic for a hearty antipasto salad, old fashioned white vinegar for cleaning out the coffee pot…
#4.  Beans, beans beans– bags of mixed beans for soup, jalapeño refrieds for our all those Mexican meals, cannellini  for Italian, pinto or black beans for chili, pork’n’beans for when Laurel comes home to visit.  And can I include lentils here? split peas?
#5.  And always a box of chocolate pudding mix–the cooked kind!  for the absolute best warm from the pan comfort food.

#1.   Green olives–after 12 years in Spain I’m always on the prowl for perfectly marinated olives.
#2.  Diet Coke– one of my favorite bad habits.
#3.  A few kinds of basic cheese– parmesan-romano, jack-cheddar, mozzarella because you never know when you’ll need to make a pizza, feta with garlic & herbs, honey goat cheese from Trader Joe’s if friends are coming in.
#4.  Those cunning little minced garlic cubes– in mini ice cube trays from Trader Joe’s.  Keep them in the freezer and you’ll almost never have to peel another garlic clove.
#5.  Chinese eggplant– my new vegetable obsession, use it for pizza, for baked pasta, roasted or on a salad.  I just ran into a recipe for spaghetti with grilled eggplant and roasted red peppers.  I’ll let you know if it’s a good one.

So now I’m curious what I’d find in your pantry, your fridge.  Any lovely foods I am missing?


3 thoughts on “5 things you’ll always find in my pantry…

  1. Derek and I love to make the cook and serve chocolate pudding and eat it hot with whipped cream…if it is “vanilla” night we eat it hot and topped with whipped cream and a few vanilla wafers! This is a favorite in the winter when the snow is piled high. It goes down warm and slow good! 🙂

  2. I couldn’t agree more Brenda– Chocolate pudding is my favorite winter comfort food. And olives. Since we lived in Spain, were there are vendors with dozens of types of brined olives, our expectations are pretty high. I usually get them from the deli at Ralph’s. But the bottle ones from Mezzetta are good too. Don’t know if that brand has made it to Illinois yet…

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