The Pantry

Doing any job is easier when you have the right tools on hand. One of a cook’s best tools — and secret weapons — is having a well-stocked kitchen pantry.
Cooking is much simpler if you know that you’ve already got what you need on hand, and aren’t going to have to run to the corner market every time you want to fix a meal.
Having a well-stocked pantry is also the secret weapon especially when unexpected guests drop by.
You’ll be able to make every guest feel special and welcome because, whether it is appetizers for four or dinner for ten, you can handle it with style and panache. In fact, your reputation — and your sanity — will be assured, because with these things in your pantry, you can put together beautiful and tasty food that is beautifully presented in just minutes, simply and easily.
Here is a list of basic ingredients that should be in any well-stocked pantry. (One great way to stock your pantry is to buy one or two things on the list each time you go shopping, rather than trying to get it all at once. If you watch the sales and take advantage of seasonal buys, you’ll be able to save money as well!).
Remember to rotate everything in your pantry on a regular basis, and adjust the items on this list to suit your family’s likes and dislikes.
Herbs, Spices, Extracts and Sauces:
Salt (Sea and Iodized)
Pepper (Whole Peppercorns, Black, White and Red)
Nutmeg (Ground and Fresh)
Cinnamon (Ground and Sticks)
Pumpkin Pie Spice (Ground)
Allspice (Ground)
Cardamom (Whole and Ground)
Ginger (Whole and Ground)
Curry (Ground)
Garlic (Fresh and Ground for Emergencies)
Mustard (Ground)
Bay Leaves (Dried)
Rosemary (Fresh and Bottled)
Thyme (Fresh and Bottled)
Sage (Fresh and Dried)
Sweet Basil (Fresh and Dried)
Parsley (Fresh and Dried for Emergencies)
Cumin (Ground)
Oregano (Dried)
Onions (Flakes for Emergencies)
Vanilla Extract
Maple Extract
Almond Extract
Lemon Extract
Orange Extract
Soy Sauce
Cooking Wine or Cooking Sherry
Rice Wine Vinegar
Sesame Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Citrus Vinegar
Teriyaki Sauce
Barbecue Sauce
Sweet and Sour Sauce
Tabasco or Other Hot Sauce
Chili Sauce
Steak Sauce
Packages of Salad Dressing Mix
Packages of Dried Onion Soup Mix (Or Other Flavors)
Soup for Sauces (Cream of Chicken, Mushroom, Celery and Cheese)