Pantry Prep

Posted by Brette in Food

On the Feb 17th Martha Stewart show, Martha talked about pantries – what should be in yours and how to make inexpensive meals using pantry items.

My messy pantry

My messy pantry

When we moved to this house I was so excited to actually have a real pantry. It’s a closet built over the basement stairs and it has lots of shelves and space to keep food. Almost all of my dried and canned goods are kept in this pantry.

Martha and guest Anna Last (Everyday Food Editor) talked about what should be in your pantry and I thought the list was good. I have every single item on the list!

– Canned tomatoes

– Tuna

– Black beans

– Chick peas

– Breadcrumbs

– Panko

– Pasta

– Rice

– Mustard

– Vinegar

– Olive oil

– Chicken stock

– Mustard

– Salt

– Pepper

– Capers

– Anchovies

There are a few other things that are always in my pantry. Martha might not agree with them though!

– Mac and cheese. I know. Martha would think it’s gross, but when you have kids, sometimes they really do want the orange box stuff.

– Beef stock

– Bouillon cubes. Sometimes I add these to soup when it is tasting a little weak.

– Tomato paste

– Spaghetti sauce. I like to make my own, but it is very labor intensive to peel 50 tomatoes and then end up with enough for only one or two meals.

– Dried herbs. Are we all pronouncing the ‘H’ in herbs? I have a pretty large collection of herbs and spices.

– Different salts. My family loves exotic salts from around the world and they are especially good on steak.

– Balsamic vinegar. Mini-Martha will only use this as a salad dressing and nothing else.

– Tamari sauce, hoisin, fish sauce, teriyaki sauce, and rice wine vinegar are my Asian must-haves in the pantry.

– Canned soup. I always have a can or two of soup around, organic if possible, because you never know when someone is going to get sick and really want a bowl of soup.

– Kidney beans. I use these in chili and other Mexican dishes.

– A jar of minced garlic. I know, Martha would yell, but fresh garlic doesn’t last forever and I like to have a jar of this just in case.

– A jar of pesto. Another item Martha would disparage, but I love the way it tastes and fresh basil is not easy to come by in the winter.

What are your must-have pantry items? Do you agree with Martha?

Didn’t you love how Martha was doing a show about affordable meals and yet mentioned how she goes into her grocery store and buys every single type of pasta (over 30 types) that they sell?! She can afford to do that, but most people watching her show can’t. And even if they could, who has the space to store over 30 types of pasta?Things like this make me wonder how in touch Martha is with the rest of us. Does she not realize not everyone can do this? Or is she aware, but simply doesn’t care how extravagant it makes her look?

I also loved how Martha told Margot Olshan how she has a rosemary tree and Margo said something snarky like “I’m not surprised”. I actually had a rosemary plant I kept in the house for a few years, but then eventually I killed it.

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4 Responses

  • Tara says:

    I don’t know if you remember the episode recently where she had the guy on from Italy that makes this super long pasta. She said she gets a lot of it and although it is expensive it is worth it. Between all of her imported Italian pasta and and her thirty pastas, she must have a room just to store her dried pasta! Having said that, part of me is surprised that she even eats dried pasta because I would think she would only eat fresh pasta! I would love to see Martha’s pantry at home–that would be a great idea for a spread in “Living” magazine.

  • Yes, I remember that episode because I think it was the one where they had another chef make pici which did not work for me at all when I made it. She said Alexis found the pasta and gave her some for Christmas and now she loves it. What does she do with all this food at home I wonder? It seems like she is always eating out.

    For a peek into Martha’s homes, visit the Martha Moments blog which is listed on my blogroll. Andrew is working on a project where he is looking at each of her homes. No photos of her pantry so far there though, but it is amazing to see inside her homes. Of course, she’s probably able to write all of them off as tax deductions or have them owned by the company or something because of all the photo spreads.

  • Tara says:

    Yeah I always wonder what she does with all of this food she seems to almost “collect.” I also wonder if she really does the cooking or if she has a personal chef make some meals. From Martha’s blog it is clear that even on a recent Caribbean vacation she did some cooking but I wonder if she has staff to cook at all. She does seem to eat out quite often.

    I think it is almost commonplace now for one to have a rosemary bush because around Christmas they sell them in all the grocery stores. I love taking a sprig off and lighting it on fire and quickly blow it out. It makes the house smell so good!

  • She definitely has a personal chef. She mentioned something about him leaving and her going to the restaurant he is now at and how she has someone else. I remember the photos of her cooking while in the Caribbean though. Think how easy it would be to decide you want something for dinner and you tell your chef exactly what you want and how you want it made. Sheesh. I could get used to that for sure. None of this rolling the dice in a restaurant to try to get good food done how you want it.

    Speaking of lifestyles of the rich and famous, I could NOT believe it yesterday when she opened that fortune in the fortune cookie Jennifer 8. Lee gave her and pretended it said she would be wealthy.