In The Pantry

In The Pantry

Pantry, store cupboard, larder – call it what you like, it’s the heart and soul of your kitchen, where most good meals begin! A plentiful pantry brings peace of mind!


Dry ingredients
Keep these items in airtight containers! (The Lock & Lock range is hands-down the biggest and most reliable range.)

  • Pasta (We use fusilli and macaroni the vast majority of the time)
  • Rice – basmati, arborio and “pudding rice”
  • Egg noodles
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Red split lentils
  • Dried ‘broth mix’
  • Fine cornmeal/polenta
  • Semolina
  • Masa harina
  • Cornflour
  • Fine sea salt
  • Bisto vegetable gravy granules
  • Oxo vegetable cubes
  • Coconut milk powder

Tins, jars and bottles


  • Tomatoes – plain, chopped tinned tomatoes and tins of tomato puree.
  • Beans – cannellini beans, butter beans, kidney beans, chickpeas
  • Sweetcorn
  • Baked beans

Make life easy for yourself. Have a few jars on standby such as good quality pasta, curry and and chilli sauces. Sometimes you just don’t want to chop onions! Also:

  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Chutneys and pickles
  • Mustards – Dijon, wholegrain and of course Colman’s!
  • Thai green curry paste
  • Golden syrup
  • Black treacle
  • Honey
  • Peanut butter


  • Olive oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Sunflower oil (excellent in any cake that calls for oil rather than butter)
  • Soy sauce
  • Sweet chilli sauce
  • Heinz tomato ketchup
  • HP sauce. No other brown sauce will do. Even if you don’t care much for it, a slosh of this really adds a nice oomph in a shepherd’s pie base and the like.
  • Cider vinegar
  • Malt vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice

Herbs & Spices
The sheer choice in the supermarket is fairly daunting. These are the ones that I absolutely use the most, the ones I consider essential. Keep your spice rack organised! I tend to keep stuff in three sections: herbs, spices for savoury dishes and spices for sweet dishes. And you can keep that pesky jar of ground ginger somewhere in between…

Spices for savoury dishes

  • Ground cumin
  • Cumin seeds
  • Mustard seeds
  • Ground coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Dried chilli flakes
  • Chilli powder
  • Nigella (black onion) seeds
  • Paprika
  • Garam masala
  • Ras al Hanout (Moroccan spice mix – Sainsbury’s sell this in little tubs alongside the herbs and spices).

Spices for sweet dishes

  • Ground ginger
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Mixed spice
  • All-Spice
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground cardamom


  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Coriander
  • Rosemary
  • Herbs de Provence


Baking Ingredients


  • Plain flour (preferably very fine “00” grade flour) / all-purpose flour
  • Self-raising flour (cake flour)
  • Strong white bread flour
  • Strong wholemeal bread flour
  • Rye flour
  • Fast-action yeast


  • Caster sugar (used most frequently)
  • Soft light brown sugar
  • Soft dark brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Demerara sugar


  • Vanilla bean paste
  • Almond oil extract
  • Orange oil extract
  • Lemon oil extract

Dried fruits:

  • Cranberries
  • Sultanas
  • Apricots
  • Nuts – I like to use a lot of pecans, brazil nuts and macadamias


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