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Making a Pantry

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am trying to entirely rethink our food situation over here. We are now members of a CSA so we get a weekly box of fruit, veggies, and eggs. I want to switch to local foods including meat, so I assume that is going to require planning ahead and freezing. I want to use as much as we buy/get and have very little waste. I want to use whole foods, and cook from "scratch".

In short I want a pantry in the traditional sense - canned goods from our garden, and dry goods.

Can you tell me what specific dry goods you keep? I have a zillion little bags of different bits of flour left over from various baking projects - but I am looking to move to large glass canisters of a variety of grains.

Please give me suggestions on how to move from where we are now - some processed, some fresh, not great planning, almost no frozen... to where I want to be. While I fantasize about being a farm wife, I was raised in a Skippy PB and Wonder Bread kind of house, so I need some training!
post #2 of 9
Wow Beka, seems like you have a job ahead of you! I really don't know what I say will be of benefit to you, because I use way too many convenience (read that not that good for you) foods. I'd love to have a garden and eat fresh veggies, but we don't own the property we're living on, so it's not an option.

I would say that you should have canisters for flour - two - one for self-rising and one for all-purpose; sugar - if you use it; a couple for beans and noodles and whole grains, and one for tea/coffee (or two if you drink both). Then, I would think the things that you can't grow, would need to be kept in a cabinet/pantry of some sort.

When freezing, make sure you mark the date the item was put into the freezer so you know which item needs to be used first. Then, I'd suggest storing like items together to make things easier to find.

I hope some of this helps.
post #3 of 9
From the top of my head, some things we keep at all times:

I keep on a shelf at hand:
Whole wheat hard flour
Unbleached all purpose flour
Oat flakes
Brown sugar
Granulated sugar
Basmati rice
My homemade granola
The spice racks, coffee and tea are also nearby.

In the actual pantry:

More flours: Unbleached hard flour (for occasional white bread), whole wheat cake and pastry (a few recipes I make call for it). Cornmeal.

The nuts: Almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds.

The grain/dry bean type things: Barley, couscous, kidney beans, chickpeas, navy beans, black turtle beans, split peas (I'm forgetting some, that bin is really heavy).

The oils/vinegars: Vegetable oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, shortening/lard, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar.

The sweet stuff: sweetened condensed milk, graham cracker crumbs, choc chips, skor chips, coconut flakes, icing sugar, two types of cocoa powder, baker's chocolate, vanilla extract, almond extract, molasse, honey, maple syrup, raisins.

Baking things: baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, etc.

Pasta: spaguetti, fettucini, pennes, macaroni, soup noodles, lasagna noodles, long macaroni, vermicelli, udon noodles, wide rice noodles, egg noodles. (I'd like to move away from some of those and make them fresh by hand more often. I just need a pasta maker since I can't seem to roll it thin enough by hand.)

We don't keep very many canned goods (but I intend to do alot of home canning this year) aside from diced tomatoes, coconut milk, chicken broth and a couple creams of soup that go in some recipes.

Most things we eat only require a few fresh ingredients mixed with some pantry staples. We're well stocked for baking since we never buy baked goods. Most pantry things I purchase at the bulk store.
post #4 of 9
I keep many of the things that Malva does.

On my counters, I have all purpose flour (I use white lily--it is more like cake flour than bread flour), sugar, rice, and brown sugar. Everything else is in the pantry.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay, this is helping...

I guess that I am really trying to build my supply of basic ingredients, so that when I get our CSA box I can work with what is already in the house. Since I come from a non-cooking background (I'm getting better!) it is hard to know what I need.

keep it coming... :
post #6 of 9
One suggestion I have is to keep an inventory of what you have in your pantry, and the freezer. It makes it easier to plan, and reduces waste. (I only actually follow this advice sporadically.)
post #7 of 9
my friend is starting her own website to teach people how to do this exact thing.....i need training too: its www.cooktosave.com its still in the beginning stages but all you have to do is register, which is free, and you can email her or send a pm and she will answer you back. the site should be fully up and running by the end of the month. her name is jennifer. hth
post #8 of 9
We keep a lot of foods in our pantry. My eventual goal is to have pantry staples on hand for six months worth of meals.

Off the top of my head we have:

Baking Staples

whole wheat flour
whole wheat pastry flour
bread flour
rye flour
white flour
oat flour
cornmeal
brown sugar
white sugar
confectioners' sugar
honey
maple syrup
vegetable shortening
lard
coconut oil
olive oil
canola oil
baking powder
baking soda
cornstarch
salt
coconut
dried apricots
raisins
dates
dried apples
dried pineapple (odd health food store purchase - we really don't use them often)
dried cranberries
knox gelatin packets
fruit pectin for jelly making


Nut Butters, Nuts & Seeds

sunflower seeds
mixed nuts
cashews
pecans
walnuts
tahini
natural peanut butter
sesame seeds
caraway seeds
popcorn
flax seeds

Meal Staples

home canned chicken stock
home canned beef stock
various home canned homemade soups (turkey, bacon & bean, etc.)
quinoa
millet
jasmine rice
brown rice
pastas (spaghetti, elbow macaroni, rotini, etc)
canned tuna
canned salmon
canned stewed tomatoes
canned diced tomatoes
tomato paste
canned beans (kidney, red beans, great northern, chick peas)
dried beans (kidney, navy, great northern, pinto, etc)
split peas
lentils
home canned pinto beans
dehydrated potato slices

Assorted spices & dried herbs too numerous to detail - but you'd want to base those on your preferences
post #9 of 9
I have a large, tall shelf in the garage where we keep our pantry foods. The following is my usual "build to" list... what I have when I have just gone shopping.

6 pounds of whole wheat pasta -2 penne, 2 rotelle, 1 linguini, 1 spaghetti
1 case Annies organic whole wheat mac&cheese
3 28oz cans diced tomatoes
3 15 oz cans tomato sauce
3 6 oz cans tomato paste
3 pounds raisins
1 pound pumpkin seeds
3 pounds sunflower seeds
4 16 oz jars peanut butter
12 pints homemade jam
1/2 gallon jars of: brown basmati rice, yellow split peas, garbanzos, green split peas, red beans, white beans, whole wheat couscous, whole wheat macaroni, red and brown lentils, quinoa, garbanzos, polenta
1 gallon jars of black beans, pintos, mixed beans, short grain brown rice, oatmeal, granola
4 cans each black, pinto, red, white and kidney beans
8 cans garbanzo beans
Tahini
box of Luna and Clif bars
box of low calorie single serving snacks
A few boxes/cans of broth, tofu, premade soup
2 4-packs of shelf stable organic milk (for "emergencies")
2 bottles of blackstrap molasses
3 pounds of honey
Canned milk
Coconut milk
canned pumpkin
A few boxes of cereal, crackers, etc. (I try to keep at least 1 unopened package of O's, triscuts, ryvita, bunnies, graham and TLC's)
Popcorn
1 gallon bags of whole wheat and ww pastry flour are in the freezer with flaxseed meal, wheat germ and powdered milk
2 pounds organic sugar
5 pound bag refined white sugar (mostly for hummingbird food)
I keep a little bit of white flour on hand for sauces and occasional baking
Yeast
Wheat gluten
corn meal
brown and confectioners sugar
Homemade pancake mix

Spices, teas, a good bottle of olive oil, vinegars, salt, baking soda/powder, a neutral flavor oil like canola or safflower
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