I am torn, as I prefer to blog about current events, but this post about pantry can be both. My uncle, prior to his death, lived in Galveston, Texas. Consequently, Hurricane Ike has my attention. My local county has started a new emergency preparedness site which also has my attention. I am changing some items of quantity in my pantry due to the change in seasons which has my attention.
As my good friend Cynthia Townley Ewer reminds me when I visit her website OrganizedHome.com, pantry is not a physical location. Pantry is a state of mind, an attitude. Some religious groups push pantries as a preparedness aspect for hard times. Some homemakers think a pantry is a location in their homes. I think pantry is a little of both and definitely a mind set.
All that being said, do you have a pantry? If so, what is in it?
Spice racks are pantries. You have on hand more than the quantity needed to make a meal. My spice collection – I don’t own a rack – grows constantly. It includes peppercorns and ground black pepper, sea salt, kosher salt and regular salt (not sure why as I use salt seldom), dried parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, dried basil, whole celery seed, paprika, ground mustard, seasoned salt, crushed red pepper, chicken bouillon cubes, alum, cumin, oregano, vanilla, ground cayenne pepper, fennel seed, pumpkin pie spice, onion powder, garlic powder, tumeric, bay leaves, chili powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, crystallized ginger, cinnamon sticks, food coloring, poultry seasoning, Chinese five spice. I am sure this is everything I would ever need – no. I am sure it does for day to day cooking and baking – yes.
Then, there is my actual pantry. The pantry has items like paper plates and bowls, plastic utensils and cups – items in case the power goes out in a thunderstorm or in a winter storm so I can eat without dirty dishes piling up in my sink since no electricity means no water. I also keep other paper products on hand – extra toilet paper, extra tissues, extra napkins even though I use cloth napkins normally.
The pantry also has cereal. I always keep more than one box of what each family member is eating now that there are only three of us. I keep cans of beans on hand – black beans, canellini beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans. I keep pasta on hand – all whole wheat but different kinds. Since these tend to come in 12 to 13 ounce boxes, my pantry goal is to have four on hand. If they came in pound boxes, I would probably only have three on hand. I keep extra coffee, hot cocoa and canned spaghetti sauce on hand. I keep cans of crushed tomatoes – blasphemous at this time of year but come January a good idea. I keep canned pumpkin, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, powdered sugar, flour, whole wheat flour on hand also.
Is this a financial strain? No, I buy things as the pantry items are used for regular use. This is why my pantry will look different from your pantry.
Is this difficult to maintain? Yes and no. I hate, when money is tight, to replenish the canned goods. I do it, though, as I know that when it is 20F outside and I have no power I can still stay in my home and feed my family.
So, do you have a pantry attitude? What’s in your pantry?