A pantry cooking series seems appropriate right now. I know that not everyone has a well stocked pantry, but many of us may discover that we have more food in our homes that we realize. This series will include 30 posts about cooking from your pantry, utilizing things you have on hand to create delectable meals for your family. Pantry cooking is something we often do here at Patty Cake’s Pantry. That’s supposed to be the whole point of this site.
“Turning Pantry Staples into Mealtime Stars”
Before we begin this series of recipes, I want to encourage every reader to look in their cabinets, on their counters, in their freezers, and in their refrigerators. Examine everything and make a list of what you have. I did this recently. I have one cabinet over my counter with double doors where I store my canned goods. I was shocked to realize how much food I have in my house. I knew I had some canned goods, but I didn’t fully realize how much was there.
My cabinet had become disorganized and many of the items were hidden behind others, or in the wrong place. I actually made a list as my oldest son and I cleaned out the cabinets and put the food back in a more organized fashion. I made a spread sheet with boxes representing each can of food, so I can check them off of the list as we proceed to eat our way through the cabinets.
My spread sheet, when I finished with it, was several pages long. I discovered that I may have more than a year’s supply of gelatin and lots of pudding mix. More practical discoveries included several cans of both evaporated and condensed milk, canned chicken, tuna, some cream of soups, pasta sauces as well as a couple of cans of salmon and roast beef. There were also several cans of fruit and some cans of pie filling.
Then, there were the usual pantry staples. I have some flour, baking powder, baking soda, a packet of expired yeast, and sugar. There’s also the collection of spices and seasonings that I always keep on hand to flavor my food. I also had some dried beans, a couple pounds of rice, and about 20 pounds of pasta. (It was buried in the wrong cabinet).
I won’t bore you with the rest of the list, but I went through what I found and realized that by adding things from the freezer. I could prepare 45 different meals for our family of five without having to set foot in a store. Since I’m an essential worker, and I work with a high risk population, it’s very important that I practice social distancing. Also, since there are members of our household who are a very high risk, we are choosing to stay home as much as possible.
Since we’re doing some pantry cooking, we thought it might be nice to bring along our readers on our adventure. We’ll share what we’re making, and we’ll give you our honest opinion of what we thought of it. We’ll even share our failures, but we’ll warn you what went wrong. So far, everything has been good, but one recipe didn’t look very appetizing.
If you have any pantry ingredient’s that you aren’t sure what to do with, leave a comment below, and we’ll try to make a suggestion or two. We’ll link to recipes on other blogs if we don’t have one.
There are also some websites where you can enter ingredients and they will give you a list of possible recipes. Here are three that I have tried that seem to work well.
- SuperCook: You choose ingredients and indicate the type of meal you want, Super cook provides recipes.
- My Fridge Food: There’s an ingredient checklist that you fill out. Then click on “Find Recipes”, and a list of suggestions pop up.
- All Recipes: Inside the search bar on the top of the page are the words “ingredient search.” Click on those words, and you can enter ingredients that you have on hand to search their database. I like this site because it allows you to exclude ingredients, too.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.