Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Well-Stocked Pantry

One of my greatest cooking challenges is keeping a well-stocked pantry. Rarely am I able to cook a meal that does not require a trip to the market to pick up at least one ingredient, and usually I have to get a basket worth’s (and a wallet worth’s) of ingredients. The biggest source of this problem is that I do a poor job of planning menus for the week; all too often, I plan meals on the train ride home from work, stopping at the grocery store before I get home to pick up ingredients, some of which I am bound to already have on hand. Menu planning is a skill that I am trying to improve on. My other problem is that I enjoy cooking somewhat complex meals that do not always contain the “standard” ingredients. Lastly, I normally cook for one; unless I cook the same thing every night of the week, perishable foods that I keep on hand are bound to spoil before I have a chance to use them up. Whenever I am able to cook a somewhat complex meal without having to pick up more than a couple items at the market, it is a triumph. I just wish that would happen more often. Surely other amateur cooks have been able to get around these challenges and maintain a well-stocked pantry. What are your strategies?

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