Pantry pantry pantry pantry pantry! And a challenge!

Oh God, that pantry.  I really have to do this whole pantry sorting thing more often, because the shelves are wide and deep and all sorts of things lurk up the back.  It’s scary.  And big.  And, currently, empty and awaiting cleaning.

(the table, on the other hand, is full)

The things I’m finding aren’t always bad things, of course.  It turns out, for example, that in addition to my four containers of dried chickpeas, I also have five litres of extra virgin olive oil, about a kilo each of cocoa and almond meal, two kilos of brown sugar, six different kinds of rice and an astonishing array of liqueurs.  Also, 11 kinds of honey and 12 kinds of jam, not counting what’s in the fridge.  And cocoa butter!

I see a lot of baking in my future.  In particular, I suspect a lot of honey cakes and Linzer tortes are on the horizon, not to mention a lot of chocolate cake.

I’m seriously considering attempting to live for the next month entirely on my rather frightening supply of pantry staples, plus fresh fruit, veg, dairy etc.  About the only thing I don’t have in quantity is tinned tomatoes, really.  Otherwise, I am pretty much set.

I have, in addition to the rice, many kinds of pasta, wholemeal, white and spelt couscous, quinoa, barley, semolina, oats and bread flour, not to mention rye flour and a lot of different gluten-free flours – chickpea, coconut, chestnut, tapioca, potato starch…  So I’m set for carbohydrates.  I have a wide variety of tinned and dried beans.  I have a reasonable number of spices (I don’t seem to stockpile these), and, while I am a bit low on cooking oils, I have a fabulous array of virgin oils and infused vinegars suitable for salads.

On the sweet side, aside from all that cocoa and almond meal and sugar, I’m slightly less well-stocked… which is to say, by normal person standards, I have plenty to work with, but I haven’t been actively stockpiling things.  Still, I have a good collection of dried fruit and nuts, a scattering of glacé fruit, and some tinned fruit.  And all the aforementioned flour, too, and even some couverture chocolate.

You know, I think I’m going to do this.  I don’t think I can go a month without using any tinned tomatoes, so I might allow myself an exemption for those, and I may, in the end need to get some more olive oil to cook with.  Say, an allowance of 5 tins of tomatoes and 1 emergency bottle of olive oil for May.  Beyond that… fresh fruit, veg, dairy and meat as needed, bread if absolutely necessary (I will bake bread until I run out of suitable bread flour) but no grains, no legumes, no pasta, no tinned goods – in short, no pantry staples.  And no lollies or chocolate, because we actually have a fair number of those lurking around too (not to mention heaps of pectin – if necessary, I will make my own lollies as well.  Actually, I have an awful lot of white sugar, so that’s probably not such a bad notion…).

Let’s see what happens…

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5 comments for “Pantry pantry pantry pantry pantry! And a challenge!

  1. May 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

    Sounds like a fun challenge. I am eating through my pantry too. 🙂

    • Catherine
      May 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

      It’s going to be interesting, actually – finally, I’ll be eating all the things I think I want to cook with but never get around to, which can’t be a bad thing!

      I must admit, part of it comes from how appalled I was at the number of things that had expired or been got at by pantry moths – such terrible waste! Definitely time to take a more intentional approach to my pantry. And to make jam thumbprints, of course…

  2. May 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Ah yes. We had a pantry like that at mum’s house. Cleaned it out once and found 12 tins of beetroot.

    We recently managed to defrost our freezer on top of the fridge and because we had to take everything out I went through and catalogued everything in that and the chest freezer.
    So many frozen bananas. We ended up defrosting them enough to get the skins off then puréeing them all and freezing them in smoothy or banana cake sized portions. Will do that from now on rather than just chucking them in the freezer when they’re going off.

    We also ended up with a fruit and veg box, veg from our usual grocer and went to the tiny farm stand in our tiny village. So we have loads of fresh stuff that will need to be either cooked soon or processed.

    I think we’re basically going to eat through the freezer this month. It all needs using

    • Catherine
      May 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Good grief. What did you do with all that beetroot? Enquiring minds want to know…

      It sounds like you have a *lovely* freezer right now. I think I’m envious of all your banana-breads-in-potentia…

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