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Old 08-06-2007, 09:29 PM   #1
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Stocking the Pantry

Just wondering what others think should be on your pantry shelves. I don't mean the usual "flour, sugar, bread, etc." I'm thinking in much larger terms. I try to keep processed foods out of our diet (dd is on a modified Feingold diet), although there *are* a few items that we feel comfortable with. I have to be very diligent about reading labels. Right now we have, for example, about 50 cans of different varieties of tomatoes, dozens of canned vegetables and fruit, 20lbs. flour, 40lbs. rice, 20lbs. pasta, many pounds of dry beans, lentils, peas, etc. Dry cereal, sauces (like bbq sauce), baking goods, salt, coffee. There's more that I can't think of now. Most, well about 90%, of our foodstuff is fresh (except for some junk for my mother) and I'm having a hard time thinking of what needs to be put up for long term storage.

What do you think needs to be in a well-stocked (long-term) pantry? Indiana used to get some really nasty winters and I'm preparing for that. Next year, I hope to have the garden producing enough to can.

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Old 08-06-2007, 10:20 PM   #2
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I also keep a well stocked pantry because Im so far from town I have everything you have including dehydrated tomatoes that I grew, albacore tuna some canned beef,sardines,smoked oysters,salsa,jams,dried and canned beans,mango chutney,Thai Pad noodles with sauce,rice and soba noodles, molasses,karo syrup,maple syrup,cocoa,corn starch, peanut butter ,canned and dried mushrooms,homemade venison jerky,dried fruits,dried minced onions,garlic etc.A few canned soups and dried soup mixes and so on.It sounds like alot but I dont have huge stocks of any of these things but yet well stocked.I dont even want to get into the two freezers.
The good thing is my neighbors (sp?) know where to go if they need something wether its a spice,dried herb or saurkraut I usually have it.I also rotate my stock fresh or other wise.
Im sure Ive also missed a few things.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:33 PM   #3
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I've always kept a well-stocked pantry. I've raised 8 children and made it a point to have at least 6 months-worth of canned/dried/frozen goods. We also live 30 miles from the nearest grocery store.

Even though it's just the two of us, I still adhere to that way of housekeeping. There is essentially no packaged goods in our pantry, too. More like home-canned/frozen fruits and veggies. Can't abide the packaged stuff because of too much salt, among other additives.

When the Y2K flurry came about, we didn't worry about how we would fare. The only thing we added to our stores was bottled water.

Just off the top of my head, we have at least 15 different kinds of canned and dried beans in the pantry. Mostly dried.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:20 PM   #4
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I always make sure I have Rice, Corn Starch, Veggies, Soy Sauce, Chili Sauce, Hot Sauce, some cooking Oil, foil and tupperware for easy storage, extra napkins, drinks like diet soda and sugar free energy drinks that arent ready to take up space in my fridge.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:36 AM   #5
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I always have oils (olive, peanut, canola, toasted sesame), vinegars (distilled white, red wine, white wine, balsamic), a variety of dried pastas (capellini, spaghetti, linguine, lasagna, penne, rotini), rice and couscous. Chicken broth in the 4-cup boxes. Canned tuna and clams. Salsa.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:01 AM   #6
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My pantry is a joke among our friends. Our pantry is a separate room about the size of the kitchen (about 12 x 12). I also keep pots and pans there, but I'm known for keeping lots of everything there, maybe not 6 months, but every person doing a food drive knows they will make out like bandits at our house. I don't know the psychology of why I keep so much stuff, but it may be from not having a grocery here until about 10 years ago. I keep whatever we use that doesn't need refrigeration. The fridge and freezer are other problems - they stay stuffed too. In fact, I need to clean two freezers now.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:34 AM   #7
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My pantry items are nearly identical to GotGarlic's, with the addition of lots of canned tomatoes & a large variety of canned & dried beans. We also pretty much steer clear of processed foods, but I do have a weakness for the Zatarain's rice mixes, so always have a few of those on hand. With the addition of sausage, chicken, or shrimp, they make a quick meal.

I also have one pantry cabinet devoted solely to Asian food items - dried shitake & wood ear mushrooms, canned gluten, different types of Asian noodles, curry pastes, blocks of tamarind, soy sauces, soups, coconut milk, etc., etc., so I can whip up a stirfry or curry at a moments notice.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
I also have one pantry cabinet devoted solely to Asian food items - dried shitake & wood ear mushrooms, canned gluten, different types of Asian noodles, curry pastes, blocks of tamarind, soy sauces, soups, coconut milk, etc., etc., so I can whip up a stirfry or curry at a moments notice.
I really like this idea I'm starting to put stuff into my new cabinets (kitchen renovation is almost over, yay!), so organizing them by cuisine is a great idea.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:08 AM   #9
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I get teased about hoarding food, but I think that's because there was a time in my life when I went hungry. I'm also a creative cook, and like to have ingredients on hand when I have a sudden inspiration.
I have a pantry built into my kitchen cabinets, and shelves in the basement for the overflow.
Here's a basic inventory: beans, rice, assorted pasta; canned soups, canned vegetables; dry packaged mixes of Onion soup, Italian Dressing, Ranch dressing; sauces such as catsup, pesto, assorted mustards, soy, teriaki, Heinz 57, BBQ; canned meats like tuna, salmon, sardines, chicken breast, ham, crabmeat, clams and cocktail shrimp; olives, black and green, capers, marinated artichoke hearts; box mixes like Zatarains, Rice-a-Roni, Uncle Ben's, and the ubiquitous blue box of mac & cheese, Jiffy cornbread mix; assorted cake mixes and Bisquick; cornstarch, sugar, flour, cocoa; assorted salts; lots of herbs and spices; pickles and relishes...I think that's pretty much it. The deep freeze is full, too.

Oops...forgot the assorted vinegars, oils, canned broth, evaporated and condensed milks. Thanks for jogging my memory, Robo.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:12 AM   #10
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kosher salt, corn meal, cracker meal, various flour, various pepper.

barley, bulgar, couscous, orzo, pasta, various, rice, various lentils dried beans etc.

cans of whole tomato, diced tomato, crushed tomato, tomato paste (no sugar added packed with basil, san marzano)

cans of broth/stock

large cans of clams

coffee beans, teas, sugar, molasses, baking soda and powder, spices and dried herbs.

crackers and crisp breads, nuts

various oils, olive canola peanut and lard in the fridge.

various vinegars

various condiments (mustards, ketchup, sauces and syrup, some jams and jellies)

canned milk both condensed and evaporated

(In the freezer: peas, chopped spinach. I consider these pantry items.)

none of these are in large quantities. shelf life is never much more than a year. beans dry out and get too hard to use. canned milk separates, etc.
nuts rice etc can go rancid. but these items are on hand regularly.

I make my own soups stews chilis etc, so the stuff gets used. I do not bake much except pancakes of all types waffles and popovers/yorkshire pud., cornbread and simple biscuits, banana bread.
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