No matter the size of your kitchen or your pantry, a well-organized and cleverly-stocked pantry can not only make cooking easier but infinitely more enjoyable. Get rid of what you don’t need, never use or don’t love. Pitch or donate. If you’re never using items, then they’re just taking up valuable real estate. Get yourself some jars, they don’t have to be expensive: Ikea is a good place to buy jars in bulk, Mason and Ball jars come in various sizes and are mainly what I use. Invest in some baskets or plastic containers to group items and some labels. You’ll be amazed not only how much better the pantry looks when things are taken out of packages and put into jars but it also frees up space and keeps them away from any little furry rodents that might drop by. Cans stack nicely so leave those alone and the same with anything already packaged in glass and sealed.
Do the same thing to the fridge and the freezer – pitch, clean, label and such. You know those sauces you thought were a good idea to buy at a market but have used once? They’re also taking up valuable space. Get rid of them. Be ruthless. If you don’t have a cheese drawer, put cheeses and dairy into baskets. Foods that you use every day say to make lunch, keep them in a basket to save time instead of grabbing them individually.
You might already have a lot of what is on The Essential Pantry items’ lists below. I don’t consider you’d run out and buy everything on the lists. These are the ingredients I use in my cooking with exception to fresh ingredients, meats, seafood, dairy and occasional dry goods items of which I will most likely use the whole box or package (think graham cracker cookies for an example). My intention is to send weekly dinner recipes out to subscribers to help with the ever challenging decision: “what am I going to make for dinner tonight?”. The recipes, especially the newer recipes as in the ones from 2021 onwards, will use these pantry items so all you will have to do is purchase a few fresh ingredients. Some of the items, such as the Asian ingredients, you might not be familiar with but everything can be found at a grocery store or online.
I’ve also included an equipment list. It’s by no means only what I recommend to have in the kitchen as I’m sure most of you have a decently selection of cooking bits and pieces. It’s equipment I use in my recipes along with all the obvious things such as bowls, veggie peeler and such. For the baking ware, I’ve stuck with standard US and UK sizes.
To print, either take a screen shot of each list page, or print this post – see the top of the post. You can also do what I have done and create a Pinterest section for anything pantry related. There are some really great ideas for big or small pantries. Lovoni xo