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What is in your larder?

Tomato soup

Shopping on a Sunday afternoon, I know it is not the best time for fresh food but I still expect to see food. I ended up needing to go to two different large chain supermarkets to get the following: a chicken, baking potatoes, chestnut mushrooms and a green vegetable.

There just was not a lot of food on the shelves, which left me thinking is “empty shelf syndrome”, the first product of our impending recession? Are supermarkets ordering less food to avoid wastage?

I used work in a fashion boutique, where the rule was you should have 20% of your stock left at the end of a season, which means you have catered to all your customers. I don’t know if this works the same way in the grocery sector, but there definitely was not much fresh food left in either of the supermarkets I visited last Sunday.

I am wondering if the supermarkets trying to save as much as possible at a cost of their customer’s wants and needs.  Are we going to be cooking more from our larders? Are we going to have to learn, what our mothers knew, how to cook from canned goods including retro ingredients like Cream of Mushroom soup? Here is a link to over 4,000 recipes using Cream of Mushroom soup from RecipeZaar.  These recipes seem very reminiscent of the food of the 1970’s, which is quite appropriate since we are going through similar times with inflation, gas and heating prices fluctuating, I just hope we will not be dressing in brown and orange.

So what is in your larder? I always try to have a well stocked larder which usually contains several tins of tomatoes, various beans, pasta, rice, dried porcini mushrooms, onions, dried chillies and fruit, tortillas to make wraps or burritos as well as always having garlic and a basil plant. I try to keep my larder well stocked as if in a pinch, I can pull together a reasonably healthy meal without running to the supermarket.

In this current economic climate, I think it is wise to stock up on your basics for the larder as well as taking advantage of meat that is on special offer (sale) and freezing it. I always have minced (ground) beef in the freezer, which lends itself to so many different dishes from meatballs to chilli to bolognaise sauce.

My question to you, dear readers, what are your larder essentials?  What are your favourite larder recipes?

6 thoughts on “What is in your larder?”

  1. Hi there. like the blog btw.

    I always have chilli oil – which I make myself. its excellent for spicing things up a little. such as a sausage pasta – onions, sausages cooked and chopped up, tin of tomatoes, garlic and a splash of chilli oil. its best with smoked cheddar, but the normal stuff does ok. its also pretty good using quorn sausages.

    I love risotto – uses up the stock I make from our (good quality from the nice butcher) chicken we have most weeks…. obviously risotto can come in all sorts of flavours….

    you have to have soy sauce – which along with garlic and the chilli oil can make rice into stir fry – I usuallly use an egg and all sorts of veg. I have become a fan of frozen peas and brocolli…

    a packet of cheap chicken or prawn flavour noodle soup – with garlic, fish sauce, chilli oil and a dash of lime juice (you can get it in a bottle, its not as nice as fresh, but its better than nothing and it survives in the fridge for ages….. along with whatever veg and hopefullly some prawns, makes a damn fine thai noodle soup type dish. …

    oh and tinned tuna. and capers. with these (and garlic, chilli oil and pasta) you can make a sort of puttanesca which is not at all bad and all from larder staples and its VERY quick (fry garlic in chilli oil add tomatoes and capers and tuna. mix in pasta. e voila.)

    xx keep posting. am thinking of getting my own blog soon. I love holly is stopping shopping. and being a new mum am suddenly forced into living on 50% of our household income. but that – as you say – should not stop a rich and fulfilling lfe. it just takes a little planning.

  2. Well, first you’ll have to tell me what a larder is, lol. I’ve never heard the word before, but my husband and I are from Florida.

    As far as what we keep around, we usually have a lot of beans, rice, pasta, sugar, and flour around — though of those I’m now only eating the beans much at all since I’m eating lower-carb, lower-GI these days. (Also why I no longer have a lot of potatoes around.)

    We also keep plenty of seasonings and loose tea. Of course, we drink our tea cold here — though I don’t drink sweet tea much nowadays.

    In the fridge, we keep onions, nuts, seeds (for sprouting as well), cheese, vinegar, some other simple condiments, and eggs.

    Then about every 7-9 days my husband and I go grocery shopping for fresh produce, meat, and milk, and also restock the other things as necessary.

    We occasionally freeze some meat or leftovers like rice, but we rarely buy frozen food except maybe some frozen berries. And we rarely buy anything canned. My husband gets cereal sometimes and some granola bars, but other than that we rarely buy anything boxed, either.

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