Sunday, 5 January 2014

A Well Stocked Larder Makes Cooking Easier

I am lucky in my tiny kitchen to have a space with shelves where I can keep canned and dry goods for the
Left side of larder
kitchen.But really, any cupboard or a seldom used closet can be set aside and have a few shelves added. It doesn't even have to be in the kitchen!

These are things that I like to buy in bulk when they're on sale because they won't go off quickly. They're also handy for last minute meals and snacks.

I know, that if all else fails, I can always pull a few tins out of the larder to put together a meal. And as much as I enjoy cooking, if I am feeling sick and not up to cooking a meal from scratch, or if the weather keeps me from getting to the shops, I need something that I know I can put together without a lot of fuss and bother.

Since I have these items to hand, I am hardly ever caught short when it come to cooking. Here, I have my dried herbs and spices, jars of peanut butter, jam, and sandwich spreads, flour and sugar, assorted pasta and dried beans, and in a couple bins near the floor my onions, potatoes, and garlic.

Old coffee jars have been repurposed to hold bulk spices - be sure to label everything! Unless you want to spend all your time sniffing jars trying to figure out what is in them. 

These are the items I have in my larder.

Top shelf

Pasta - spaghetti and farfalle (the only 2 pastas my 11 year old will currently eat)
Center shelves of larder
Rice - brown rice, basmati rice, and risotto rice
Dried beans - pinto beans, butter beans, lentils
Breakfast cereals - besides the sugar laden stuff the kids like, I keep a bag of rolled oats and a tub of muesli
Basket of assorted bulk packets of dried herbs and spices - including dried chillies

Second shelf down

Jars of spices
Jars of dried herbs
Mustard powder
Different types of mustard - English, whole grain, honey
A small jar of anchovy fillets
A small jar of capers
Salad creams and dressings
Corn flour

Extra packs of biscuits

Third shelf down

Tinned goods - chopped tomatoes, beans (kidney, chilli, chickpeas, butter beans, and refried beans)
Sandwich spreads - peanut butter, jam, chocolate-hazelnut spread
Tomato puree and paste

Tinned fruit
Tinned soups
Cocoa powder
Tinned fish - tuna, salmon, and sardines

Fourth shelf down

Drinks - assorted squashes, tea bags, and hot chocolate
Dried milk
Flour - plain flour and bread flour
Corn flour
Sugar - caster, granulated, and icing
Tub for onions and garlic
Large bag coarse sea salt
Dried yeast


Tinned dog food
Dry dog food in a plastic container
Large bottle cooking oil
Tub for potatoes

When something starts to get low, I add it to my shopping list and replace it the next time round.

As you can see from the pictures, my shelves are not meticulously organised. But, I have a general idea of where things will be when I go to get something out.