So the Bossy Blonde is officially staying in the Harbor of Sags for the rest of the season (doesn’t that sound just so darlingly patrician?) while I am basically collecting fruit flies and furiously making labels here in my loft. I’d like to make a lame comment about the apparent lack of fairness in the situation, but since I’m going to haul myself out there to visit her fabulousness anyway, I shouldn’t really complain. And it’s not like we don’t have a million email conversations a day. In fact, she forwarded me a very enlightening email from Chef Kenobi just the other day, but more on that in a few...
In an attempt to cleanse the old palate from the last few posts, I thought I might write something that is actually useful in the kitchen, something that is not the ramblings of a girl in the midst of some boredom-induced psychotic break. So here it is. The first official posting of “No Pantry Left Behind.”
One of my favorite parts of many of my cook books is the little section where the chef or the author of the book talks about their favorite tools or what basic pantry supplies you should have on hand. Being a novice cook, I have found these sections to be invaluable; one of the most challenging aspects of learning to cook has been making sure I have everything I need at any given time. It has been a daunting learning curve-- if you don’t have certain staples on hand you can never really learn how to improvise in the kitchen or just whip something up for yourself (or for your friends when they stop by unexpectedly). I have gleaned a tremendous amount from these pages-- about what I need to have on hand and how to plan out the most effective and least wasteful use of the perishables I buy at the farmer’s market every week.
The email from Chef Kenobi that Bossy Blonde forwarded to me was especially interesting because she asked him what were the salts, vinegars and oils that a pantry needs to be complete, and I have been like a tornado trying to build (and organize like a label making OCD girl on crack) my own. Since he’s a master chef, I thought you might like his professional opinion along with some hyperlinks of where to find the staples...
Good Italian Red Wine Vinegar
And while we’re at it, and since I am so obsessed with my own open-to-the-world-because-I-have-no-storage pantry, here are some of my favorite places to get supplies, tools, linens and staples:
sur la table bakeware, pots & pans, canning jars, tools & more.
fantes tools of all kinds, jars; especially great mortars & pestles
surfa’s spices, oils, salts, supplies, baking supplies, chocolate
brook farm general store beautiful vintage jars, linens, tools & supplies (and great gifts!)
cube oils, vinegars, honey, gifts, linens & dried goods/ pasta
above: Brook Farm General store
below (from left to right): Surfa’s online, Fantes, Sur la Table
Here’s to a beautiful, functional and abundant pantry-- and to the internet for making it so easy to get such great, quality ingredients.
Back to labeling and plotting for me.
See you on Sunday... Soup on!