pantry perfection, part two

pantry items

I’m always torn between buying less of a quality item, or buying more of a lesser-quality item to make sure I have enough on hand.

It’s usually a bit of both, but I’ve made a decision to stay as organic as possible.  When I can’t find a good deal on what I want, if I wait a few weeks it will probably go on sale at the local food co-op.  And when items that I dream about go on sale, I make the most of it and buy as many as my budget will allow.  That way in a year’s time when I wish I had a jar of capers lying around, I do!

That doesn’t just go for the really gourmet stuff.  I like to have various fruit-related items in the pantry, particularly for winter after the farmers’ markets are over.  I try to take full advantage of harvest time and do some canning {more about that coming soon} but I supplement with buying jams, preserves and things like applesauces and butters.  They’re great for winter baking or simply having with tea and toast, and will last a long time in your cool pantry.

pantry

It’s also worth mentioning that bottled lemon juice is crucial for me in a pantry.  Around here, organic lemons are 99-cents each.  That’s just two tablespoons of lemon juice for a dollar.  Instead of only using fresh lemons, I buy Lakewood Pure Lemon ~ it’s organic, not from concentrate and, although not fresh-squeezed, it’s great for just about any recipe calling for lemon juice.

Other items that I like to find of a higher quality are oils.  I buy generic peanut oil in quantity for deep frying; but when it comes to olive oil and things like safflower and sesame oils, better is better in my book.  There are usually good deals on imported olive oil at the co-op along with other quality organic domestic oils.  So, little by little, I try to stock up.

oils in pantry

The same thing goes for me with vinegars.   Generic jugs of white vinegar are good for pickling and cleaning, and bottles of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and a moderately priced red wine vinegar for everyday.  Then I’ll keep my eyes peeled for sales on sherry, balsamic and champagne vinegars.  They stay on hand for those special dressings and salads, and will last for many years.

Part three soon to come…

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2 comments on “pantry perfection, part two

  1. Zoe is one of my favorite olive oils from Spain! Your pantry looks fun!

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