I love this idea because anytime I visit a friend’s house, I’m genuinely curious about what they keep in their pantry. As for me, I know exactly what I always need to keep stocked for those days I really need to whip up a solid meal or baked good…on a whim of course.
Oh, how often do I find myself in a bind for dinner and while sure we could drive into town to eat, there are days where I’m so worn down from the day that driving is the last thing I want to do.
Trust story: the day we redid our garden layout (a few weeks ago) I hadn’t gone to the grocery store in a while…like the lowest we’ve probably ever been on the essentials, so we concocted one of the weirdest dinners to date.
Frozen tamales, vegetable bird nests from Trader Joes, and fried rice.
Talk about a combo.
Anyway, enough rambling. Heres a cumulative list of things I 99% of the time have stocked in my pantry to be able to throw together some sort of meal when in a pinch.
- Strawberry’s Seasoning | Listen to me, even if it’s only this one time, THIS is THE seasoning to have. A friend of mine from college turned me onto this seasoning from her home town (which I now know you can buy on Amazon) and it rocked our worlds. We completely replaced Cavender’s (a southern fix it all) and basically only use this. It’s especially good on fish and chicken but we literally use it on everything from fresh veggies to soups.
- Chicken/Beef Broth | I haven’t quite made it to a point in life where I can these two things myself, so for now the sodium packed Cambpell’s version will do. You never know when you need broth for soups or steaming veggies.
- Frozen Beef | that we grew within the family and had processed ourselves. Trust me on this, Way-Mart’s beef will make you gag at the smell once you’ve eaten farm-raised beef that’s not been mass produced on crappy kept farms that are over crowded. So many times am I able to throw together spaghetti, burgers, tacos, etc. by keeping a deep freezer stocked year around. Plus, cost efficiency. For two people, one of which prefers to eat meat less often than most, we don’t go through it super quick. I would say it saves us upwards of $50 per grocery trip.
- Little Red Potatoes | When it doubt, starch it out…am I right!?
- Garlic Powder | sprinkle it on EVERYTHING. Hash browns, fried potatoes and okra, deer meat, asparagus. Maybe even bathe in it. Yes, it’s that good.
- Bread flour | two things I’m so happy to have received as gifts…a kitchen aid mixer and a bread maker. There is NOTHING like a fresh loaf of bread. Second to physical affection, it’s my love language.
- Crisco | Why? Because homemade biscuits on the whim. They take that same time as whoppin’ biscuits but taste way way better.
- Frozen fish | that we caught. Do you know how quickly I can throw together grilled fish and veggies with steamed rice? Faster than it would take us to drive into town and pick-up McDonalds. Plus you can fry it, bake it, grill it, sear it, put it in soups–I mean the possibilities are endless.
- Hunt’s Fire Roasted Tomatoes | These are noncompromisable. They add that necessary kick to soups, cheese dip, and even homemade salsa.
- Jasmine rice | Not white rice. Jasmine rice. The hearty flavorful love child of all rices. It makes the best second day fried rice or pairs perfectly with Trader Joe’s Orange Mandarin Chicken.
- Butter | Not just any butter. Homemade butter. I gave up the store bought stuff when I realized how many preservatives and chemicals were in it. Now it takes me 5 minutes and fresh cream in a kitchen aid mixer to make myself. It’s also easy for me to flavor with fruit or salt to accompany my needs.
- Canned Pasta sauce | Whether I’m making cheese roll-ups to dip in the sauce or lasagna on the fly, this is a necessity.
- Course sea salt | like super course. Baby tiny super small rock course because this is how we clean our cast iron skillets that we cook with almost every. single. day. Soap = bad for your cast iron. Salt and water = happy cast iron