Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pantry Ramblings

A Pantry  traditionally a space or a cupboard that serves as a pantry storage is a very useful thing to have. Mine is stocked to the gunnels but then that has been my way for many years. Probably as a result of my grandmother who did keep a well stocked pantry.  However my pantry although being stocked to the gunnels
is still not big enough but then at least I have a pantry.  I have enough in there to keep me in food together with the freezers for a year.  We are constantly using and I am also restocking as we go along.  I prefer fresh stuff where I can which is why I am aiming at some point to have a veg patch in the garden again no matter how small as anything you can do to help yourselves will pay dividends in the long run especially when it comes to salads and the like.  I have tomato plants and herbs and hopefully after this weekend I will be able to get stuck in with a few more. seeds being sown.  So the fresh veg garden is also a different kind of pantry

I have been at the brunt end of only having my wage come into the house.  for about 4 years all told in one stretch but in the 29 years we have been together he has been out of work for 8 1/2 years all told.  The last time which was the worst  OH did not get any help with the rent even though it was in his sole name.  I ended up having to pay it so we became pretty self sufficient and managed on my meagre wage at the time.  Because of the way I stock the pantry we were not without food.  It was just maybe that what we were having was not always what we fancied but it was a meal all told and I think that is the important bit.  We have become used to fancy things on our menus and when they are not available we become a bit bored not really knowing what to do.  However for me that was a very experimental time and some of it worked and occasionally some of it did not but that's a good thing as you are working out your parameters.  We go more for flavourful simple food rather than it being exotically presented.

Because of my medical conditions and now OHs most of what I cook is cooked from scratch - not all but the majority is as it is easier for our bodies to process good food without our systems being slowed up by things that are added to a lot of bought food in the way of additives which in the greater scheme of things are really unnecessary.  Yes it is a bit time consuming especially when you are tired but it is better for you in the longer run

Yesterday evening I cooked chicken kievs for tea but I also roasted a chicken as well.  I made use of the oven.  Sometimes it is cheaper to make your own pack ups for the week and a chicken is excuse the pun a "cheaper option" costing far less in the long run for pack ups during the week.  OH as a result has quite happily gone to work armed  with a chicken salad and there is still plenty left for later on whether that be used in wraps and taken to work for pack ups, the remnants of the chicken used up by way of Coronation chicken  or chicken satay for a spread for sarnies or frozen and popped into the freezer to use up in a chicken curry or as an addition to soup.  You can pot it also for a sarnie spread and the carcass can be used for making home made stock.  Don't have the time to make the stock now freeze the carcass until you have a couple or so and then have a mammoth stock making exercise.  I don't just use the stock in soup I freeze in ice cube trays and then add a cube or two to gravy as well. Home made stock gives so much more flavour. My mum always said that food on its own was always tasty and good but that the best bit of any meal was always the gravy.

Don't ever waste chicken or the carcass there is so much you can do with it.  We always get at least two to three meals out of a chicken and then the cats and Missy also get some as well.  So a chicken really can go a long way and save your purse some money.

 If you grow your own as well don't waste the outer wrappings of your veggies and salad turn them into veggie stock.  Home made stock of any description always has so much more flavour but in reality people will go and buy veggie stock off the shelf which is probably not as good for you as it should be and yet are wasting a valuable resource by disposing of veggie leaves and peels instead of turning them into home made veggie stock.  Years ago the thrifty housewife always had a stock pot on the go whether that be for meat or veggies stock.  Nothing was wasted.

Food is going up and we have a responsibility to feed our familes as best we can.

Bread is a prime example of waste.  I dry mine in the residual heat of the oven but I also make bread pudding in slices which is spiced and makes a good addition to the tea table and the pack up box.  I also make bread and butter pudding with marmalade and some Cointreau to jazz it up sometimes with mandarin oranges.  A chocolate version is lovely too.  You can make your own breadcrumbs, brown bread ice cream.   I also make my own stuffings from scratch and dry my own herbage to use in stuffings.  Stuffings are a good filler upper as are Yorkshire puddings.  When you have children in the house you have to keep the bottomless pit of their stomachs fed but within your budget.  However it is not only that you are paying out good money for these things so why waste them when there is a meal or an addition to a meal to be had out of them a freebie if you like.

Tarte Tatin in its  various forms is also another good one to have on the pudding list.  Fluffy pancakes with ice cream or cream and stewed fruit or a can of fruit also make a quick slightly indulgent filling pudding.  There is always something that can be done and finding recipes that work for you and your family is all part of the journey as each household has very different tastes to the other and the trick is finding out what works for you even if it means reincorporating traditional kitchen skills back into a modern kitchen.  Sometimes the old ways are the best.

Catch you soon.



  1. I haven't made bread pudding for years. Mainly because I am the only one that eats it, and I am wanting to lose weight. I make my own breadcrumbs, stuffing, etc and always cook from scratch - although sometimes if we are late back from an auction we grab some chips to share. I try and keep a well stocked larder and freezer, though I am guilty of not using my dehydrator anything like enough.

  2. This is some valuable advice Tricia, thank you. I'll use it as reference as always x


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Meet the Moggies

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