All over BlogLand, there are posts going up about getting rid of clutter. About getting rid of stuff and emptying out cabinets and closets.
This is not one of those posts.
I am in Sunny Southern California, but Al Roker just mentioned that almost half of the country is snowed in and/or trying to operate under reeee-diculously cold temperatures. I know that if I were in weather like that, which I’m not, (because Southern California only has 3 seasons: Fire, Rain and Mud-slide) I wouldn’t want to go out if I didn’t absolutely have to.
That being said, I offer up items that I try to keep on hand No. Matter. What.
First (and possibly, foremost) is toilet paper. There is no excuse for running out of this, people. I always have one of those 12 packs in the garage. When I bring it into the house, it’s time to buy another one.
In your refrigerator, it is unacceptable to run out of eggs (which keep longer than you think), butter, (which you can stock up on and keep in the freezer) cheese, and (in our house at least) sour cream and milk.
In the freezer, a pound of bacon always comes in handy, frozen, chopped spinach is a must, your favorite bagged frozen veggies, ground beef, chicken breasts (I like boneless, skinless) and a loaf or two of bread. Yes, bread.
In addition to sugar (white and brown), flour, cornmeal, salt, rice, both vegetable and olive oils, baking powder, baking soda and cornstarch… your pantry should have a ready supply of:
canned tomatoes (I like the diced, fire-roasted kind),
balsamic vinegar (makes anything better!),
cream of mushroom soup,
cream of chicken soup,
chicken broth (or bouillon cubes),
beans (canned or dry – I hoard cans of black beans),
onions (red and yellow)
jarred spaghetti sauce,
apricot preserves (adds a touch of sweet or balances the spicy in a dish),
canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (adds a touch of heat)
coffee and filters (that is imperative! Coffee just tastes wrong if made with an improvised filter, made from a paper towel)
Do I need to tell you that your spice cabinet should have garlic powder, garlic salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano, basil, thyme, paprika, pepper (black and cayenne) bay leaves and parsley? Of course I don’t.
But I make sure I never run out of dried cilantro, dry mustard, Chinese 5 spice, chili powder, ginger and rosemary.
Excluding the TP (ha ha), if you always have these items on hand, you can pull together a great meal even if you have “nothing” to cook for dinner, and you can always make breakfast, even if you’re out of milk.
Do I always follow my own advice? No. Just the other night Handsome Hubby was in the middle of a recipe and discovered we were out of eggs. I had to run out to the store to get some.
Make sure you have a bottle of laundry detergent/dish soap. Shampoo?
Make sure you keep whatever medications or OTC remedies you may need on hand. Really? The last thing you want to do if you’re sick is run out for a bottle of Nyquil. It’s worth mentioning that you should keep your gas tank topped off too. Do you want to leave the couch, with your drippy nose and fever, dig your car out of the snow so you can go to the store, only to discover you need to stop and get gas too…? Welcome to Suck Town.
If you have pets you should always have some of their food stocked away.
If you will not be able to function without a certain item, make sure you always have extra on hand. In my case, wine.
What do you think is a must-have staple?