Our Winter Pantry

“Hey Dear, could you pick up subs for dinner on your way home?” “Babe, how’s $5 pizzas for tonight?” Other times, we’re just feeling unsinpired to make dinner. We’re all too familiar with the mealtime crisis, aren’t we?

Managing a pantry is a skill that I learned from my mom, and I’ve found that it’s especially important during the winter. Managing a pantry involves more than having a stack of canned green beans. By having a well-stocked pantry we eliminate the first road block to cooking – what’s for dinner?? It’s often the main difference between a last-minute dinner scramble (“Spaghetti again, Mom?”) and a stress-free family dinner. When we have things on hand, we’re more likely to get in the kitchen and make home-cooked meals that will keep our famlies well-nourished and happy. I realize that a stocked refrigerator and freezer are essential too, but I’ll focus on our pantry today.

How can I cook everyday, three meals a day for a family 9 without constantly running out of food? My secret to being able to rely on what’s in our pantry is having two of each food item. What do I mean? I have the food item we’re using and a new one in the pantry. Do you do something similar? For example, I have a 10lbs bag of flour in the cupboard and another unopened in the pantry. As we are running out, we add it to the grocery list. This way our pantry shelf is never depleted.

A full pantry gives us confidence that we can make nourishing meals. When days are full, or we’re sick, or life gets hard, it is so much simpler to make a healthy meal for our family. Making simple meals at home does wonders for your health and your budget. Carryout or convenience foods can pack questionable ingredients (and pack on the pounds!), but stocking our pantry allows us to have control over what is in the food that our family consumes.

I’m certain that having a well-stocked pantry allows us the freedom to bless others. We can extend hospitality without much notice because we are confident in the basic ingredients that we can quickly reach for. For me, having food on hand takes most of the stress out of hosting.

No two cooks’ pantries will contain the same exact items, but I’m sharing with you the list of foods that are in my pantry right now. They all come from Costco or Trader Joe’s. Also, I always have beer and wine for cooking which I buy at Aldi. Drumroll……. Here it is : )

Costco

extra virgin olive oil

canola oil

coconut oil

ketchup

mustard

pasta

marinara jars

canned tomatoes

tomato paste

chicken bone broth

canned pumpkin

coconut milk

vinegar (red wine, balsamic, apple cider)

mayonnaise

dried beans and lentils

brown rice

flour

sugar

tea

coffee

almond butter

Nutella (of course)

box of crackers

chocolate chips

cocoa powder

rolled oats

raisins, dates

nuts (walnuts, almonds)

corn tortilla chips

salsa jars

canned tuna

canned salmon

jam

Trader Joe’s

coconut aminos (similar to soy sauce)

baking powder

baking soda

canned green chilies

cereal bars

tomato soup

sundried tomatoes jar

tartar sauce jar

pizza sauce jar

spices and herbs

canned coconut cream

roasted peppers jar

capers jar

shelf-stable whipping cream (love it!)

FirstFruits Farms : )

vanilla

honey

maple syrup

There’s no end to the yummy goodness that can be made and shared from a well-stocked pantry. Do you have some pantry management tips? I enjoy hearing your ideas. By the way, Happy Valentine’s Day!

with love. Damaris

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