For me, keeping well stocked, organised cupboards and a freezer full of the basics is absolutely essential. I think most people think this way! When something runs out, replace as soon as possible and keep an eye on use-by dates. You always know you can whip up a “meal from nothing” if you take charge of your supplies! It is economically wise to know your cupboards inside out as you will avoid overspending on things that are probably already lurking at the back.
You will more than likely be familiar with the basics. Guides to a well stocked kitchen are absolutely everywhere. But this is my blog – and it’s full of recipes that I make the most – so it seems sensible to list what I consider to be the essentials.
Fresh ingredients are of course the key to most recipes and you should always try to plan your weekly ‘menu’ so you can buy exactly what you need. I always keep a variety of onions and potatoes in a very dark, cool cupboard, and the salad drawer of my refrigerator is usually crammed with carrots, parsnips, leeks, and an assortment of stir-fry vegetables. I always keep a supply of milk, Greek yogurt (my daughter eats this every day and, conveniently, it’s a perfect substitute for sour cream in recipes), mature Cheddar cheese, unsalted butter and free-range eggs; however to list anything else would be pointless, as the items vary from week to week depending on what I’m going to cook. Don’t buy a sack of aubergines just because you like the look of them – they’ll soon spoil if you don’t already have a use in mind for them! However, having a plentiful store cupboard – and I’ve tried to list mine in its entirety – means that you’ll only need to buy a few fresh ingredients without having the stress of buying everything else all at the same time.
I don’t have a huge kitchen. But I do have separate cupboards for dry goods, tinned and jarred food, oils and vinegars, a big battered spice rack and finally a couple of cupboards and shelves devoted to cake and bread making making goods such as flours, icing sugar and the ubiquitous stack of cake tins! (Please also read my guide to essential equipment – coming soon!)
I have split this guide into three sections, please use the menu links above or click below: