Weekend Pantry Challenge?

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velochic

Sous Chef
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
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874
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Midwest
I was reading today online about this "cook from the pantry" challenge. Has anyone heard of it? I wasn't really sure what it's about. I think the basic premise is that you randomly pick a weekend and on a Friday afternoon say to an unsuspecting friend, "We're not going to the grocery store until Monday or eat out until Monday and we have to fix all our meals and snacks from what is in our cupboards at THIS moment." I guess a friend of mine on the West Coast of the US did this with another mutual friend and it produced some quite extraordinary results of what you can do with what you have.

I was wondering if anyone had done this before and what sorts of dishes turned up from it. I thought the idea fascinating, although Sunday shopping is pretty much out for me, anyway. :)
 

texasgirl

Master Chef
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Apr 16, 2005
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North Texas
Well, I guess we would starve. Unless you can figure out a way to make something eatable with spices and condiments:LOL:
I'll be glad when tax time is over. I'm getting a freezer so that I CAN have food all the time instead of week to week.
 

Michelemarie

Executive Chef
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
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Suburb of Chicago, IL
my house wouldn't have a problem, i got more food in that pantry (and my backup pantry) to last through til the next weekend, but i am goofy like that.
 

Piccolina

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
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4,319
Location
Toronto, Canada
No problem here either, we have a super small fridge and freezer so I depend a lot on what I've got in the cupboard since we don't have a car and shopping trips are often done by me on foot.

My mom and I both agree that we love the comfort factor that comes with having a decently stocked pantry. And I find it so helpful during extra lean months or weeks when almost every meal becomes a "whats on hand" dish.
 

extremesoccermom

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 23, 2006
Messages
10
Location
St. Louis, MO
I usually plan and purchase everything except fresh produce for the whole month! So I will occasionally do a "Pantry Challange" for a week to use up all the stuff in my freezer and pantry. I actually have planned to do one in a couple of weeks.
 

licia

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
3,835
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USA,Florida
I need to have a pantry "purge" and probably a freezer "purge" also. I'm one of those who probably have a fear of going hungry. I keep some of everything stocked at all times. Some of this comes from living where no good grocery store was located for about 20 miles and some of it just comes from overspending. One good thing - I never run out of something to cook.
 

pdswife

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
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Mazatlan
If I could do with out fresh veggies ...
Paul and I could live for four or five months with out going to the store.
Our pantry and freezers are filled to the brim with stuff. We might not always have the exact meal that we want but... we'd survive very nicely.

We even have a nice supply of canned food and bottle water in the basement for when the "big one" hits Seattle. lol.
 

texasgirl

Master Chef
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Apr 16, 2005
Messages
9,509
Location
North Texas
pdswife said:
If I could do with out fresh veggies ...
Paul and I could live for four or five months with out going to the store.
Our pantry and freezers are filled to the brim with stuff. We might not always have the exact meal that we want but... we'd survive very nicely.

We even have a nice supply of canned food and bottle water in the basement for when the "big one" hits Seattle. lol.

Don't laugh. Your being smart. You never know what can happen.
 

pdswife

Chef Extraordinaire
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Nov 4, 2004
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Mazatlan
I only laugh because...we have enough in the pantry to last forever but... hubby "needed" a special box filled with stuff.
 

licia

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
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USA,Florida
I've come up with some really good combinations by cooking from the pantry, or cooking from the freezer. One of my latests "hairs" is to cook up lots of stuff into good recipes and freeze them with my new foodsaver bags so we can have short order when we need or want them - or when I just don't want to cook, perhaps. In the process I will get my freezer cleaned out and have things in a more nearly "ready" state, like ready made meals, but homemade.
 

velochic

Sous Chef
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
874
Location
Midwest
licia said:
I've come up with some really good combinations by cooking from the pantry, or cooking from the freezer. One of my latests "hairs" is to cook up lots of stuff into good recipes and freeze them with my new foodsaver bags so we can have short order when we need or want them - or when I just don't want to cook, perhaps. In the process I will get my freezer cleaned out and have things in a more nearly "ready" state, like ready made meals, but homemade.

Oh, yeah. If I had the freezer space, I'd love to do this "cook once a month" deal. I totally bow to those that can do this.
 

luvs

Master Chef
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Aug 24, 2004
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9,671
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da 'burgh
i do that often. cook from what's around already. i buy fresh, & keep plenty in the kitchen, too.
 

buckytom

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Joined
Aug 19, 2004
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21,933
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My mountain
pdswife said:
I only laugh because...we have enough in the pantry to last forever but... hubby "needed" a special box filled with stuff.

your hubby is a smart man in more ways than just choosing a wife, trish.
ya never know. be prepared (doing the boy scout hand sign)

we always keep between 5 and 30 gallons of water in our basement. that is, we buy bottled water, usually 30 gallons (3 individual gallons per box) from the supermarket, and use it over a few weeks instead of drinking the heavily chlorinated "pool water" that comes out of our taps. when we get low, i haul home another 10 boxes.

we also could live for a month or 2 on our freezers and pantries, but there would be some very strange combos in the final weeks.
 

AllenOK

Executive Chef
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
3,463
Location
USA, Oklahoma
I'm getting ready to go on temporary layoff for a month as the country club I work for closes for the month of Feb. I'm trying to stock up on some items, so that I don't have to go to the store to much. Luckily, PeppA is working, we'll both have tax refunds to work with, and I'll be able to get unemployment, so I'm not sweating it.

I think of Feb. as time to explore new techniques and cuisines, and to experiment with other things. I'm trying to stock up on the supplies needed so I can make a few batches of Lo Mein Noodles, as I'm kind of dissatisfied with the local Chinese places, and I want to put a good recipe for that in my cookbook.

We're also working with what we have "on hand" at work, trying to clear space out of the freezer, as that's where a lot of our perishable goods are going. Fresh produce, bread, and other goodies that can't be frozen will be given out to the help Sunday.
 

Piccolina

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
4,319
Location
Toronto, Canada
I started my pantry menu last night - with help from things in the fridge. Tonight I'm making vegetarian sweet and sour sauce and veggies over rice and chicken spring rolls. DH is getting a treat (lol, which I must go start momentarily) of a chocolate custard pie. It's fun to play around with what you've just got on hand, I've come up with some pretty cool recipes before that way :)
 

mudbug

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
11,166
Location
NoVA, beyond the Beltway
I'm getting better at being a food pack rat, but we've been pretty good on the water thing like buckytom (our tap water tastes fine, btw, so this stash is for your basic emergency situation).

At first we were calling it our Y2K water. Now it's our al Quaeda water.
 

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