Pioneer Woman's show last Saturday showed her making meals from food she always has in her pantry. This got me thinking about which food items I keep on hand all the time.
1. Ketchup. I don't care for it, but Cliff absolutely cannot live without it. He considers it a food group all by itself, and if we run out, it means a special trip to the store or a phone call to any relative who might be going past a store.
2. Dry beans of all kinds: kidney, pinto, garbanzo. Also lentils and split peas.
3. Popcorn. I often have popcorn for supper.
4. spaghetti, macaroni, and dry noodles. I don't use these as much as I did in the past, but I try to always have them available.
5. Canned tuna: if all else fails I can make tuna-noodle casserole or tuna salad sandwiches.
6. Celery and carrots, because I add them to anything imaginable: Today I have pinto beans cooking, and you will find celery and chopped carrots in the mix. I've also added lots of...
7. Onions and garlic. How can anyone live without them? I like to chop onions and freeze them, so if I run out of fresh ones I have some to cook with. It's nice if I'm in a hurry, too. Just take a cup to the freezer and dip into the freezer bag.
8. Potatoes. Cliff doesn't get mashed potatoes as often as he would like (that would be every day), but it's handy to nuke a potato in the microwave to go with a meal. Quick, filling, and easy.
9. Cabbage. It's cheap, and we love it boiled or stir-fried. If I stir-fry it, I add onions, celery, garlic, and carrots, because I always have them in the house. I add it to any kind of beef stew, also. Slaw is good, but I don't seem to make it much any more.
10. Miracle Whip
11. Sweet pickle relish
12. Grape jelly
13. Rolled oats and cream of wheat, because that's what we usually have for breakfast.
14. Raisins, to dress up number 13.
15. Bananas, unless we don't get to the store often enough.
16. Lettuce and tomatoes, most of the time.
17. Yellow corn meal, because soups and beans require corn bread.
18. Crisco, because there really IS a difference in shortenings.
In the freezer, of course we have plenty of beef at present; when we weren't butchering on a regular basis, I usually only bought ground beef, because it is economical and versatile.
There's cooked, diced chicken and frozen chicken broth that I prepare and divide into portions periodically for casseroles and soups. There are two-cup portions of kidney beans I cook and freeze for chili and meatless casseroles.
As long as I have all these items in the house, there is no problem with figuring out what's for supper.