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View Full Version : What is your cupboard essential?



--Lime--
2011-03-09, 05:01 PM
I've thought about this. There are many things my kitchen cupboard is never without, but I think if I had to choose something I'd be lost without, it'd be tinned chopped tomatoes.

Not oil for frying, not mayonnaise or ketchup, not even frozen vegetables or mince.

As long as there was something to put with it, I could make at least five meals with a tin of chopped tomatoes, regardless of what they were.

How about you guys?

Winter_Wolf
2011-03-09, 05:26 PM
Rice. Grew up on it as the staple, even more than potatoes or bread. It can be mixed with so many things, and the things you mix in could be used in tiny amounts and you still end up with decent tasting food.

Greensleeves
2011-03-09, 05:30 PM
I'd say bread and cheese. Probably my two favourite edibles, I can't really see my cupboard/fridge without them.

On a more strict meal-basis, I'd have to say pasta. By far what I use the most in my cooking. Easy, filling and very tasty.

Miscast_Mage
2011-03-09, 05:31 PM
Porridge. Porridge + water + microwave = hot, filling meal. Sure it might have little-to-no flavour, but if there's only one thing I can have in my pantry garunteed, it's something filling like porridge.

zeratul
2011-03-09, 05:38 PM
I would probably have to say canned pureed tomatoes, although fresh garlic is definitely a close second. this is probably due to the sheer versatility of the stuff since you can use it as the base for soups, taco meat, sauces, and various other things. Also they're really cheap which must count for something.

Haruki-kun
2011-03-09, 05:44 PM
Eggs. I eat a lot of them. Or maybe milk. Milk and eggs are my two "buy every time" items.

arguskos
2011-03-09, 05:45 PM
If we're talking the thing I always have, it's pasta. Recently, been having a lot of mafalda and penne.

However, if we're talking about the thing I use the most in my cooking, it'd be a kind of salt I only can find locally, called Smoky 4S "Special Seasoned Sea Salt". It's sea salt, some pepper, a really REALLY nice smoked spanish paprika, a little chili powder, and a few other misc spices in there. Gives a wonderful smoky taste to basically anything.

Eldan
2011-03-09, 06:03 PM
Cheese. If you have the right kind of cheese (I usually have six or seven lying around), you can add it to any meal.

If that category is too broad: green curry paste number 3, extra hot from the local thai shop. They have a cook who makes amazing curry (they also have a restaurant) and the curry paste is basically all the spices you need in a delicious package. Just add some coconut milk, vegetables and any kind of meat and you have a meal.

Plus, it's great on a sandwich. Or with cheese.

Greensleeves
2011-03-09, 06:21 PM
Cheese. If you have the right kind of cheese (I usually have six or seven lying around), you can add it to any meal.

If that category is too broad: green curry paste number 3, extra hot from the local thai shop. They have a cook who makes amazing curry (they also have a restaurant) and the curry paste is basically all the spices you need in a delicious package. Just add some coconut milk, vegetables and any kind of meat and you have a meal.

Plus, it's great on a sandwich. Or with cheese.

Cheese is just wonderful, isn't it?

ghost_warlock
2011-03-09, 06:25 PM
"Hot" taco sauce. I needs it.

CynicalAvocado
2011-03-09, 06:27 PM
http://www.cajunoutdoorcooking.com/images/tn00001_cajun_seasoning_spices_louisiana.jpg
this stuff

THAC0
2011-03-09, 06:33 PM
Flour. I can make breads, pastas, pizza, pancakes... but I need the flour! I normally stock 3-10 kinds of flour at any point in time.

Ellardin
2011-03-09, 06:56 PM
3 Way Tie:

- Ketchup
- Rice
- Tea

Decisions.....Decisions.

PanNarrans
2011-03-09, 07:03 PM
Worcestershire sauce. Instant deliciousness!

golentan
2011-03-09, 07:41 PM
Hmm... I've got to go with "milk or cream." I can make it sing, roll over, and do a dance. I can make appetizers, sides, main courses, desserts, and more with it. Usually with only one or two other ingredients.

Naturally, my family has a hereditary milk allergy, so I don't usually have occasion to give myself free reign. :smallmad: Even worse, it usually manifests around age 30, so I may develop it myself in a few years and have my home cooking ruined FOREVER!!! :smallfurious:

Kneenibble
2011-03-09, 08:10 PM
"Hot" taco sauce. I needs it.
We all need it, sir. We all need it. (http://theoatmeal.com/comics/sriracha)


- Tea


There's a decision?
This is mine, for sure. Insert Chinese saying.

Lady Tialait
2011-03-09, 08:34 PM
Salt. Recently I ran out of this divine substance, and I was crippled in cooking for the three days it took to get to pay day.

Salt brings out the taste of anything, it makes cooking a breeze, it removes the blandness of food.....Salt...you are my anti-drug.

--Lime--
2011-03-09, 09:06 PM
Wow! So many variants!

And so many I can agree with.

I love cheese but it's too expensive for me at the moment (Yeah, I'm poor...).

I love milk but whenever I buy it I end up drinking it in a day. Seriously. I've had a UK gallon of milk in an afternoon before (1.2 American gallons) and wasn't even sick. Not kidding.

Worcestershire sauce is lovely, especially in Bolognese or on cheese on toast.

Eggs are a wonderful food. I should probably eat more of them.

Rice! Yeah, I must admit that I tend to go for pasta more, but I do eat a lot of curry (home-made from scratch, using said tomatoes) and you just have to have rice with that.

Flour is a pretty hardcore choice. The only things I can do well reliably with flour are cakes, pancakes, and shortcrust pastry (hooray steak and ale pie!). I'm so lazy when it comes to pizza. I tend to buy cheap margaritas and add frozen chopped peppers, frozen chopped onions, and frozen chopped mushroom because it's cheaper that way (see previous "poor" comment).

I didn't count tea. I'm English, so sue me. To not have tea is practically a crime. (That, and it's a drink, not food, but I really didn't specify because I wanted to open it up :smallsmile:)

EDIT: Oh and salt? My mother was Irish, so this is pretty integral too. Although lately I've got into black pepper as well - more healthy if you can train yourself to substitute, but it isn't easy.

thubby
2011-03-09, 10:46 PM
garlic.
meat, fish, vegetables, sauces, there are very few things you cant make into a meal with garlic.

--Lime--
2011-03-09, 10:53 PM
Maybe a roll-call of where we're all from?

I'm English and proud. It may explain my choice(s), perhaps you could all do the same? Just state your state, if you're US. Don't want to go prying for personal details. Much more interested to see if there is geographic correlation.

Soilborn
2011-03-09, 11:02 PM
Oh, this one's tough. I've got a 6-way tie.

-Cayenne pepper
-Crushed red pepper
-Chili powder
-Jalapeno powder
-Habanero powder
-Ground chipotle powder

No wonder I've got GERD.

Now if only I could get my hands on some Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper) powder my collection will be complete.

arguskos
2011-03-09, 11:08 PM
Now if only I could get my hands on some Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper) powder my collection will be complete.
Good stuff. You can buy it in specialty stores these days.

--Lime--
2011-03-09, 11:11 PM
But you're missing Garam Masala, Cumin, Coriander, Garlic Salt, Paprika, Tumeric, Ginger, Cinnamon...

Yeah, yeah, I know I said essentials. I say this mostly to give you food for thought (excuse the pun) of what to add to your spice collection, as someone who appreciates it.

EDIT: Ooh ninja'd

THAC0
2011-03-09, 11:48 PM
Maybe a roll-call of where we're all from?

I'm English and proud. It may explain my choice(s), perhaps you could all do the same? Just state your state, if you're US. Don't want to go prying for personal details. Much more interested to see if there is geographic correlation.

I'm from Alaska!

BizzaroStormy
2011-03-10, 12:01 AM
Horseradish
Sprecher's Gourmet Soda (any flavor other than orange)
Mashed Potato Flakes

I could pretty much eat horseradish potatoes every day and wash it down with gourmet soda.

rayne_dragon
2011-03-10, 12:02 AM
Probably sugar for me. It is one of the few things I keep on hand more consistantly than anything else. I don't use it every day, but there's not much else I keep a constant supply of. Even milk is something I sometimes don't bother to have around for weeks at a time.

Tea, cocoa powder, baking chocolate, olive oil, and red wine vinegar are all other things I like to keep in stock in my cupboard.

Xyk
2011-03-10, 12:50 AM
I like my peanut butter. I have it virtually every day. Also honey nut cheerios.

I'm from Texas if that means anything for these choices. Also 18 years old. That's probably more relevant.

Kneenibble
2011-03-10, 12:52 AM
EDIT: Oh and salt? My mother was Irish, so this is pretty integral too. Although lately I've got into black pepper as well - more healthy if you can train yourself to substitute, but it isn't easy.

What does being Irish have to do with using salt?

Phishfood
2011-03-10, 06:30 AM
Tinned tomatos are high on my list, but probably even higher is onions. I can just sit and eat whole onions.

Its hard to pick just one thing, I mean people saying rice and so on...but you can't make a meal of rice (or onions, lets be honest).

I suppose I always have:
* basmati rice
* pasta (whichever shape I felt like at the shops)
* tinned tomatos
* onions
* various herbs.

I suppose the herbs are actually my most important thing. I'll happily eat pretty much any meat or veg but I have to herb and spice it up. Plain food is boring.

Lioness
2011-03-10, 06:35 AM
Rice, definitely.

Secondary ingredients...eggs, peas, pasta, chicken

--Lime--
2011-03-10, 07:13 AM
What does being Irish have to do with using salt?

In my general experience, Irish people like to use a lot of salt. And they like stuff "well done". Things may be different these days, but among the older generation it's certainly true.

KuReshtin
2011-03-10, 08:46 AM
I always try to have canned, chopped tomatoes, canned dolph.. I mean tuna, and some sort of pasta and or rice.
With those three ingredients, I could survive for ages.

Eadin
2011-03-10, 08:52 AM
some kind of pasta, noodles, soy sauce, chili sauce,( frozen prawns in the fridge), extra dark chocolate, tea, can of cocktail sausages

Miscast_Mage
2011-03-10, 12:03 PM
What does being Irish have to do with using salt?

Not much, that I know of, unless you count the fact that there's salt in almost everything here, but I think that's true for everywhere, really. The only two things off the top of my head are traditional irish sodabread and I remember my mam using a good bit of salt in the ham and cabbage dinner, though I haven't had it since I was a kid so I may be misremembering that. ...Damnit, now I want ham and cabbage again! And sodabread! I don't have the time to bake it though... :smallfrown:

Expanding my choice of porridge a little:
Green tea- Just cannot live without it. I actually have a weird habit of putting milk into it, back from when I switched from black tea(though I still drink that quite often). Anyone else here like milk in their green tea?

soups-I tend to stockpile tins of the stuff, it's just so handy to have as a lunch or a quick dinner. You can really pad it out too if you add in microwave rice or a tin of sweetcorn.

LaZodiac
2011-03-10, 12:11 PM
From the sounds of it, I'm the odd one out. The only thing I have in my kitchen cupboards are dishes and pots and pans and stuff!

I have a food pantry for all the other stuff you guys are talking about, though maybe that kinda counts as the same thing, not sure.

Also, because Lime asked (sorta) I'm Canadian, so maybe even that effects why all my cupboards have dishes.

--Lime--
2011-03-10, 12:53 PM
On the subject of pantries: I wish I had one.

As it is, most people keep pots, pans, plates, bowls, barious utensils, the Good China, and tinned/dried food in kitchen cupboards over here. Anything that says "Store in a cool, dry place" gets put there. A pantry, for those who don't know, is like a small room where you keep foodstuffs cool and dry, and out of sunlight. Like a walk-in kitchen cupboard.

Weimann
2011-03-10, 01:51 PM
Well, I haven't actually thought so much about it. Let's see...

Well, you can always make a meal out of oats flakes. Put 'em in water, heat, you got yourself porridge. Also, jasmine rice. I can eat it plain, it tastes great.

Red onions is pretty much my goes-with-everything vegetable.

Lady Tialait
2011-03-10, 03:01 PM
I'm from the USA, Oklahoma if you need a state...Northwest Oklahoma if you want the area.

Potatoes are something MOST people here keep a lot of, but sadly I am allergic to them, so...no potatoes in my cupboard. There is a top 10 things that MUST be in my kitchen at all times.

10. Pasta, Something very important to quick meal making. When you spend your day taking care of a 2 year old...you need quick meals.

9. Cheese, my hubby is a cheese fiend, and my son is the same way. I can just chop up some cheese and hand it to the pair of them and they will just graze on that for hours.

8. Crackers....goes with the cheese. It can replace the cheese for my son.

7. Curry Powder, I love curryed eggs for breakfast, some curryed lamb for lunch, and a spoonful of curry powder in my dinner.

6. Garlic, you can do a lot with it. It's very nice to season something that came out bland.

5. Canned Peeled Tomatoes, these are a Godsend, they can save my meal in a pinch...just bake them with a little parsley and garlic sprinkle a little sea salt and put them on a plate....saves my life sometimes.

4. Canned Fruit, I have a 2 year old, and he will not eat fresh fruit...canned fruit however is his candy. I serve it for desert and sometimes as snacks.

3. Mrs Dash, Life saver here. I don't much care for black pepper and my hubby does. This is the happy medium for my cooking.

2. Flour, this stuff is amazing, it is mana from the heavens and can be made to sing and dace for me. Flour is my staple.

1. Salt, this stuff is in everything. I taste a dish and add salt, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. It's wonderful. This might explain my hypertension however.

Coidzor
2011-03-10, 04:06 PM
http://www.cajunoutdoorcooking.com/images/tn00001_cajun_seasoning_spices_louisiana.jpg
this stuff

Good man. :smallamused:

It would seem that it's canned diced tomatoes around here at my parent's house.

Ravens_cry
2011-03-10, 04:24 PM
Natural Peanut Butter. Not that stuff where they add more icing sugar and hydrogenated vegetable shortening then peanuts, gah, but the stuff you have to stir to keep the oil mixed in. Why? It's so darn versatile. I add it to noodles, I make sandwiches with bananas or jam as equally as with tomatoes, I can smear it with a chicken burger. Even by itself, it is nicely nutty without been overly smooth and choke you glutinous like the adulterated stuff.
My other staple is Hut Fong Sriracha Sauce. The stuff is excellent on, well, pretty much anything you want. I squirt it over noodles, pizza, macroni and cheese, and sandwhiches and burgers. Any time I want a blast of heat and flavour, I like Sriracha Sauce.

Odin the Ignoble
2011-03-10, 05:15 PM
Beef Jerky, bacon and steak sauce.

I don't really cook. Just about everything i eat comes frozen and prepackaged for the microwave. when I feel creative I add one of the three things above to create a new meal.

Frozen burritos with steak sauce is a current favorite.

Xyk
2011-03-10, 06:09 PM
Natural Peanut Butter. Not that stuff where they add more icing sugar and hydrogenated vegetable shortening then peanuts, gah, but the stuff you have to stir to keep the oil mixed in. Why? It's so darn versatile. I add it to noodles, I make sandwiches with bananas or jam as equally as with tomatoes, I can smear it with a chicken burger. Even by itself, it is nicely nutty without been overly smooth and choke you glutinous like the adulterated stuff.
My other staple is Hut Fong Sriracha Sauce. The stuff is excellent on, well, pretty much anything you want. I squirt it over noodles, pizza, macroni and cheese, and sandwhiches and burgers. Any time I want a blast of heat and flavour, I like Sriracha Sauce.

But...unnatural peanut butter is soooo tasty! I have it on bagels and waffles (frozen) and on sandwiches and occasionally mixed with various spices and soy sauce over rice with chicken.

Amiel
2011-03-11, 12:31 AM
Cockroaches; essential for that requisite protein post nuclear war and winter.

Lady Tialait
2011-03-11, 12:33 AM
Cockroaches; essential for that requisite protein post nuclear war and winter.

Remind me to conveniently miss your dinner parties.

Amiel
2011-03-11, 12:36 AM
Remind me to conveniently miss your dinner parties.

You shouldn't make a judgment if you haven't tried them.

RTGoodman
2011-03-11, 12:40 AM
There are a handful of things I ALWAYS try to keep on hand.

1. Onions (specifically, sweet onions): They go with pretty much anything. (Especially sauteed in some butter.)

2. Black pepper and garlic powder: Two go-to seasonings that go with pretty much everything.

3. Peanut butter: I eat a lot of PB&J sandwiches for lunch. And sometimes just peanut butter crackers for a snack.

4. Sweet tea: I'm in the South, so I think it's a requirement that I keep a
pitcher in the fridge.

EDIT:
#5. Thai chili paste, Texas Pete, and red pepper flakes: I like my food really spicy, and these go well with lot of different things.


I don't really cook. Just about everything i eat comes frozen and prepackaged for the microwave. when I feel creative I add one of the three things above to create a new meal.

I used to be like this, but it's really terrible for you in the long-run. When I moved into my current apartment last year, it didn't come with a microwave, and that was the best thing that's ever happened to me. Combine that with the fact that I've cut almost every bit of excess sodium out of my diet, and I've lost weight, eat a mostly nutritious diet, and generally feel better.

Ravens_cry
2011-03-11, 12:46 AM
You shouldn't make a judgment if you haven't tried them.
What you should know is that while far better then humans at surviving radiation, cockroaches are pretty bad by bug standards (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-6cIy_s8pQ) at taking the stuff.

Lady Tialait
2011-03-11, 01:12 AM
What you should know is that while far better then humans at surviving radiation, cockroaches are pretty bad by bug standards (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-6cIy_s8pQ) at taking the stuff.

I won't eat flour beetles either.


Ants, and Grasshoppers on the other hand are very nice roasted.

Eldan
2011-03-11, 03:27 AM
There are a handful of things I ALWAYS try to keep on hand.

1. Onions (specifically, sweet onions): They go with pretty much anything. (Especially sauteed in some butter.)


What exactly is a sweet onion? I know red onions, white onions, spring onions, silver onions and giant onions, but I don't think I've heard of sweet onions.

Phishfood
2011-03-11, 09:20 AM
What exactly is a sweet onion? I know red onions, white onions, spring onions, silver onions and giant onions, but I don't think I've heard of sweet onions.

They look like spring onions crossed with regular onions. They don't have such a "bite" to their flavour.

Elder Tsofu
2011-03-11, 10:12 AM
White pepper. I use it in every dish except pancakes (more or less).
Other comes the staple food such as pasta, rice, wheat flour etc.

RTGoodman
2011-03-11, 11:21 AM
What exactly is a sweet onion? I know red onions, white onions, spring onions, silver onions and giant onions, but I don't think I've heard of sweet onions.

Yeah, like Phishfood said, they're like normal onions but with less of a bite. The most famous variety is the Vidalia onion (which is only grown in one part of the state of Georgia), but there are others that are usually just labeled "Sweet Onions" in the grocery store.

Tiger Duck
2011-03-11, 11:29 AM
Seeing as I only really know how to make one dish,

Fresh spinach
Tortellini
Soy Cream
Bacon
and an onion
and a bit of Black Pepper, Curry and Olive Oil



And a few

pffh
2011-03-11, 11:39 AM
Salt. I can eat everything with salt.
Food burned? Salt
Slightly gone bad? Scrape it and salt it
No other spices? Salt
Don't want to seem rude by refusing a disgusting meal? Salt

Hell I sometimes find myself munching a couple of salt crystals while reading the newspaper in the morning.

If not salt then pasta. I can live for forever on pasta.

Kneenibble
2011-03-11, 11:46 AM
Now there is an image of a hooded skeleton (possibly Irish) with sunglasses and a hangover crunching salt between its teeth reading a newspaper in an old apartment kitchen with those linoleum floors patterned like 5-pin bowling balls, cat lurking around. The holly makes it worse.

--Lime--
2011-03-11, 11:56 AM
Anyone want to help me create a Salt Reaper? With Sunglasses of Superb Dispelling, Scythe of Death Attack, and a phylactery which is a cut lead crystal salt cellar, with the sprinkler made from Alchemical Silver.

His role is to reap the souls of those who die as a result from excess salt. This annoys him, because he doesn't get much work, and so can often be seen with his familiar (a cat) lounging around his 1970s-decor kitchen, checking the obituaries and munching on salt crystals.

Lady Tialait
2011-03-12, 02:52 AM
Hell I sometimes find myself munching a couple of salt crystals while reading the newspaper in the morning.

Mmmhmmm I dat too.

Dubious Pie
2011-03-12, 05:33 AM
For me it is various citruses and small shrimp. I eat both those things continuously.