Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Purpose of a Well-Stocked Pantry

After four beds in ten days and 1200 miles of traveling, I am so glad to be home. Pulling into the garage mid-afternoon, I started running through the list of tasks that had to be done to settle our family back into the house. Grocery shopping was not top on my agenda; I needed to rely on my well-stocked pantry. Without hesitation, I was able to offer several meal choices to my family. We settled on spaghetti with homemade sauce and green beans.
A well-stocked pantry saved a trip to the grocery store when I was just wanted to stay home. As I have thought about the contents of a well-stocked pantry, I realized I must define the purpose of preparing the pantry. At the very basic level, a prepared pantry will contain enough items to pull together a few meals without needing a quick run to the market. Our pantry is one that not only offers meal choices but supports creative cooking, with a supply of spices, sauces, and other ingredients. When I have time to cook, I will go to my pantry to determine what flavor profile I want to use for the meal.
              Lately, I have been hearing a bit about a survival or emergency pantry. At first I thought it was an alarmist or doomsday approach to stocking our home. However after hearing about people who have utilized their emergency pantry when there was a job loss or illness, a survival pantry makes more sense. Also it a charity pantry, providing food for others when there is a need. Preparing an emergency pantry has more appeal for me when there is a real and practical application for it.
There are many lists available with suggestions for your food store. Here are links to a few I like and a few meal ideas that can be pulled together from the pantry. Note: I am not endorsing any website, merely pointing to a list that may be helpful to you.
Well-stocked Pantry Links
Pantry Meals – all from my pantry (Does not include cold items from the freezer)
Spaghetti with marinara or alfredo sauce
Parmesan Polenta with lentil gravy
Tuna/salmon/ chicken coquettes
Pancakes with spiced peaches
Crepes with creamy chicken or veggie filling
Black beans soup with cornbread
Chickpea patties sandwiches
Risotto with peas and parmesan
Vegetarian chili