Cupboard Essentials Shopping List
My kitchen cupboards are ready for anything. You, too, will benefit from stocking up so you’ll be ready with a canister of nuts waiting to be toasted for a salad or snack, a package of pasta for a quick fix, the elements of a stew or soup, a package of store-bought meringues for a two-minute desert, or all of the above. Here’s my basic list of necessities:
- Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice.
- Chicken stock, beef stock, vegetable stock.
- Garbanzo beans.
- Nuts (all varieties, from almonds to unsalted peanuts to macadamias).
- Crackers and Ezekiel bread for snacking, sandwiches, or as an accompaniment to a cheese course or appetizer.
- Pastas (buckwheat and flour) in assorted shapes and sizes.
- Rice: brown, wild, and Arborio.
- Tea, both regular and decaffeinated.
- A selection of peppers, including different-colored peppercorns. Each has a different flavor.
- A variety of rock salts and sea salts, which are the principal flavoring ingredient most of us use on our foods. Sea salts add extra flavor and texture. A fine salt is saltier to the palate than a coarse salt, and once you’ve tested one or two, I promise you’ll never go back to the more popular commercial brands.
- A tiered, well-organized shelving system of alphabetized herbs and spices, including oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley flakes, garlic salt, herbes de Provence (you can find this spice mix at many gourmet stores, if not at your local supermarket), paprika, coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
- Sugar (granulated, confectioners’, and brown, both light and dark).
- Olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, walnut oil, truffle oil.
- Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, sherry vinegar.
- Dijon mustard, grain mustard, and spicy English mustard.