Domestic Details: 10 Items to Stock in Your Pantry
Stocking one’s pantry is a tricky thing, and based on some of the kitchens I’ve been in recently, many of you choose not to do it. This is very bad, since having an empty pantry severely limits your domestic progress, people. If you don’t have anything in your kitchen, you’re much more likely to get takeout and eat Hot-Pockets than try to pull together a decent meal on your own. Fact.
To those of you are thinking, “Stop being so judgy, Serena, I don’t even have a pantry,” try not to be so literal. Obviously, I’m using the term “pantry” loosely. The “pantry” in my last apartment was a giant plastic box 3-feet from the front door, and it served me quite well. Whether you have half a kitchen cabinet, a container under the sink, or a walk-in pantry (jealousss), stocking it with a few key items will make everyday cooking much less stressful. No matter what is in your fridge, I guarantee that you’ll be able to whip up something dank using the pantry essentials I’ve conveniently listed below. You’re welcome.
10 Items to Stock in Your Pantry:
1. Canned Tomatoes- I recommend keeping 2-4 cans of diced tomatoes in your pantry at all times. Honestly, canned tomatoes are so versatile that I go through several cans a week. From pasta sauce and chili to baked eggs and ratatouille, you can whip up almost anything with these bad boys. Get some.
2. Pasta- Because when you’re low on supplies and motivation, pasta is a Godsend. Dinner in ten minutes. Boom.
3. All-Purpose Flour– In case you want to bake anything, ever, you should probably buy some flour. It comes in handy when it comes to thickening sauces and frying things. (Plus, it makes a decent dry-shampoo in a pinch. Just saying.)
4. Sugar- Like flour, you’ll need sugar to bake almost anything awesome, but it also comes in handy in salad dressings, marinades, and sauces for a variety of dishes. To cover all your bases, I suggest buying both granulated sugar and light brown sugar.
5. Whole Grains (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, farro, etc.)- Stocking your favorite whole grain (or a few different ones) is a wise move for your sanity and your waistline. Whole grains are high in fiber, so even a small amount will keep you relatively full, and they make a simple side dish, as well as a great base for salads, stir-fries, and stuffings. Booyah.
6. Low-Sodium Chicken and/or Vegetable Broth- This stuff will save your life. First of all, it’s used in at least 50% of the recipes on this blog and probably in the universe. You need it for soups, sauces, braising liquids, and infinity other things that I can’t even think of right now. Unless you make your own stocks on the reg (fancy!), please keep this on hand at all times.
7. Canned Beans- Beans are a magical thing, as they can be used to “beef” up almost any meal. They’re a great addition to salads, pasta, soups, stews and chili, and even on their own with some kickass seasoning. Sure you can get dry beans, but that just seems like a lot of extra work, no?
8. Oil- There are endless fancy oils out there (I own ALL of them), but you only really need two: extra virgin olive oil and a neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed. If you want to get crazy, my next picks would be sesame and coconut, but these are by no means required.
9. Vinegar- Like oil, there are a million and one vinegars out there, but I recommend keeping a balsamic, a red wine, and an apple cider vinegar on hand. With these three vinegars, you can make a variety of salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and even do some pickling. (I know the latter is a long-shot, but I like to picture all of you being very domestic.)
10. Peanut Butter- Whether you’re spreading it on toast or a banana, putting it in a sandwich, or making peanut noodles, peanut butter is a comforting, protein rich pantry staple. Plus, if you were ever stranded in your apartment without fresh food for some reason (storm, hangover, etc.) I’m confident that you could live on a jar of peanut butter for several days. Better safe than sorry.
Since you’re pimping out your pantry, you may as well stock your spice rack too. For the five spices you need in your spice cabinet, see here.
Domesticity is all in the details, friends. Bow to your sensei.
*If you have a burning question that you’d like featured on a future edition of Domestic Details, don’t hesitate to contact me or leave it in the comments. Help me help you.
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