A well-stocked kitchen is certainly key to the comfort of home. As we gather indoors more in this autumn season, a stocked up pantry adds comfort and pleasure to the home. A homemade meal, a batch of cookies, a favorite hot drink, a quick loaf of bread —all these are quite easy to produce if the ingredients and equipment are right on hand. It all comes down to preparation. A bit of planning, a strategic shopping trip, a small dose of organization, and you have a home stocked and ready for a sudden blizzard, an unexpected guest, an impromptu celebration with those you love.
For autumn, of all the seasons, is the one when the urge to get cozy and comfy, to invite others over, to gather the ones we love close near the fireside, is strongest.
If you’ve never stocked up on basic ingredients before or envisioned your own home as a place to gather resources, here’s a list to get you started.
You should, of course, adjust the list according to your preferences and needs. I have adapted this list from Sally Clarkson’s book The Lifegiving Home.
• Flour (whole wheat, organic, unbleached white, bread)
• Sugar (white, light brown, dark brown, confectioner’s)
• Salt (regular iodized salt, kosher salt, sea salt)
• Cornmeal (white, yellow, self-rising)
• Cocoa (dark and semisweet)
• Baking powder and baking soda
• Dried herbs and spices (allspice, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, oregano, sage, thyme)
• Herb and spice blends (chili powder, curry powder, and a favorite—herbes de Provence)
• Chocolate chips
• Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios)
• Grains (barley, dried corn [oatmeal, quinoa, rice [brown and white], and wheat [for fresh grinding if you have a mill])
• Pastas and couscous
• Dried legumes (pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, split peas, lentils)
• Dried fruit (raisins, coconut, apricots, cherries, cranberries)
Canned, Dehydrated, and Bottled Goods
• Beans (white, garbanzo, navy, kidney)
• Vegetables (corn, peas, green beans)
• Fruit (peaches, mandarin oranges, pineapple, cherries, pears, applesauce)
• Apple chips
• Pie fillings (cherry, apple, pumpkin)
• Tomatoes (crushed, sauced, diced, whole, tomato paste)
• Jams and jellies
• Pickles and chutneys
• Ethnic foods (green chiles and jalapeños, enchilada sauce, salsa, soy sauce, coconut milk, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce)
• Nut butters (almond, peanut)
• Oils (olive, peanut, coconut, avocado, grape seed)
• Condiments (mustards, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice—many of these will need to be refrigerated after opening)
Fresh and Refrigerated Goods
This supply will be constantly renewed, of course, but the following items are good to have on hand:
• Dairy (milk, cream, half-and-half, yogurt, sour cream, butter)
• Fresh vegetables, preferably local and in season (onions, peppers, tomatoes, avocados, and a variety of salad mixes)
• Fresh fruit, preferably local and in season (berries, apples, pears, oranges)
Soup and Bread Combos
• Potato soup and whole wheat herb and onion bread
• Chicken and vegetable noodle soup with rolls
• Navy bean and ham bone soup with cornbread
• Broccoli cheese soup with buttered whole wheat toast
• Vegetable beef soup with oatmeal muffins
• White chicken chili with green-chile-and-cheese cornbread
• Butternut squash and apple soup with cranberry-walnut rolls
An assortment of teas(herbal, black, green, specialty)
An assortment of your favourite coffees
Hot chocolate mixes, mini-marshmallows
I hope these tips for a well stocked pantry for fall will add pleasure and comfort to the season for you and your loved ones. What kitchen essentials do you like to stock up for the fall?
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