Bain Capital Did Not Save My Pantry* *”Staples” Joke

Since I’m a in a question-asking mood (plus I am extraordinarily nosy), I was wondering what you all keep in your pantries and fridges. What are your must-have staples you have on hand at all times?

Here’s my list. I’m going to try to to keep it basic:

  • Some sort of rustic or artisan bread
  • Frozen peas
  • Chicken stock
  • Cooking sherry
  • White/red wine for cooking (and/or drinking)
  • Coconut milk
  • Dried pasta
  • Dijon mustard/mayo
  • Fresh and canned tomatoes
  • Fresh basil, cilantro, parsley
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Fresh and granulated garlic
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery and Carrots
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Any variety Asian chili-garlic sauce
  • Red and Green Thai curry
  • Indian curry powder, plus cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, nutmeg, crushed red pepper (I have a huge spice collection…fessing up)
  • Olive oil/canola oil
  • Sour cream/Greek yogurt
  • Parmesan cheese (prefer ungrated hunk, but will take a grated tub in a pinch)

I think that’s about it. Not insubstantial. But, damn, I really just couldn’t function if I didn’t have that stuff.


42 thoughts on “Bain Capital Did Not Save My Pantry* *”Staples” Joke

  1. While there is definitely some overlap I’d say you’re much better stocked in the kitchen than me (heh). A few from my list :

    Sesame oil
    Hot sauce (usually home-made)
    Lemons/Limes (I drink heavily)
    Canned beans, black and other (they’re canned so sue me)

    Interesting question because some of my staples would have registered as wtf? (with me!) as little as ten years ago. I guess we’re middling cooks. If I’m cooking dinner every night and not eating out or frozen fricken pizzas 3 nights a week (which is how I grew up) then I’m happy.
    For the last several months we’ve been encouraging lil’g to pull a chair up to the kitchen counter and help us cook dinner every night. Seeing his interest and progress has given me quite the thrill.

      • We usually get so many peppers in the garden thats why hotsauce. The basic is chopped up peppers white vinegar and salt, cook for 30 min or so then food process until liquid. After cool xfer to clean (boiled) bottles. Cap cover bottle in foil and store in cabinet 3 mos. About an hour actual work and lots o waiting.
        Sometimes we’ll make em w/garlic, onion etc. but for immediate consumption.

  2. Well. Looking at my two boxes of mac and cheese and random unusable cans of whatever from eight years ago (we’ve moved quite a few times in that period…hate to throw those canned garbanzo beans away!). I’m thinking I’ll just copy your list and see what happens.

  3. That looks pretty damn close to what I keep on hand with a few additions/changes:

    I buy frozen garlic, basil, and cilantro in these little frozen “cube packs” from Trader Joe’s — when fresh isn’t available (or I’ve run out) they’re super handy to have stashed in the freezer. Yeah, they’re not as good, but they’re still way better than dried.

    Cans of black/refried/garbanzo/kidney/green beans.

    Maseca (masa) flour for making tortillas. Also good to mix with panko for breading stuff.


    Kosher salt.

    About 12 different kinds of mustard.

    I’m probably forgetting several other things.

    • I wish so much the Trader Joe’s were closer to us. I LOVE the idea of those herb cubes. That is so cool. I’ve been tempted a time or two try to do something similar with basil. It’s so persnickety. Most of the time, i just buy a basil plant. I just bought some refrigerator herb-keepers and so far I’m very pleased. The cilantro is looking very perky. Kosher salt is a must. And I rate for fresh-ground pepper, but use coarse-ground in a pinch. Pun intended.

  4. OK, first of all, there’s nothing must-have. And cooking is a) boring & dull; b) interferes w/ dicking about on the Internet/watching telebision.

    But I’ll look in the kitchen & see what I have. I have a big-ass jar of store-brand peanut butter on hand most of the time, but prices are up, those things are heavy & salmonella; none here now.

    Who am I kidding? I couldn’t care less what’s in the galley. But, stuff that’s there (mostly because I seldom use any of it) includes olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, Thai Yellow Curry sauce, mayo, mustard, pancake mix, couple cans of tuna, dill for tuna salad (or salmon) cheese & bread, sourdough English muffins or tortillas. Usually do have an onion & garlic, & a banana or two.. Canned goods: chili, black beans, frijoles, couple of soups.

    Also in the fridge: Potato salad that I bought on a whim & haven’t opened (best by: 9 November 2010) & some frozen corn (best by 1 November 2010). One of these days. (Must’ve lost my mind w/ consumption desire sometime in 2010.)

    What I have to leave the bunker for most often: Milk. For coffee & the bachelor’s friend, cereal. (Always a bagged store brand.) Fortunately there is a convenience store not far away.

    This should teach you about nosiness.

    • Actually, you’ve got some great stuff in your pantry. I’d love to always be stocked with tuna (canned) and tortillas. I gotta pick and choose, or I’d end up spending 600 bucks each trip. Not gonna happen.

      • Tuna is 79¢/can at the supermarket, & 50¢/can at the 99¢ Only Store. What’s holding you back?

        Added expiration fun: Have used 1.5 sticks of a lb. of butter that “expired” 30 July. (2012, at least.)

  5. So pleased to see so many other culinarily deficient pantries. My self-image is placed, once again, in proper, if lowly, context.

    • Hey, not everybody enjoys cooking. And some lucky people just aren’t that into food (so they get to be skinny). I make no judgements! (Although I do hate a lot of processed/junk food. )

  6. We have a lot of overlap with you and OBS, especially with regard to the Asian products (I buy sriracha in 32 ounce bottles)- I also keep tofu around (the best is the super-firm fried tofu from the Asian market). I also keep at least one bottle of olive oil (usually two, extra virgin for adding to things and lesser stuff for frying things), tahini, lemons, cornmeal (polenta is my go-to “got no cash, don’t want to hit the bank, don’t want to leave the house” food), dried chickpeas and pigeon peas, several varieties of flour (wheat, rye, buckwheat). Frozen spinach. Tomato paste (I like to saute it in olive oil as a base for a lot of dishes).

  7. Wine
    Chives, parsley, mint, spring onions, garlic, herbes de Provence
    Sweet chili sauce, hot chili sauce, Indonesian chili paste, piment d’espelette, soy sauce, plum sauce, tomato sauce, oyster sauce, hoi sin, char siu, saté spices, tandoori spices, best curry I can lay my hands on, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar …
    Naan & pita & tortillas
    Filo pastry
    Tinned kidney beans, tomatoes, sweetcorn, tuna, salmon
    Dried mushrooms: girolles & cepes & morilles
    Wholegrain mustard
    Sunflower oil & olive oil
    Wheat flour, rice flour, 10 varieties of sugar
    Rougette lettuce
    Whatever vegetables are in season – right now that’s courgettes, carrots, broccoli, beans, poivron – and fruit
    Lasagna sheets and canneloni
    Home-cured bacon
    Duck fat
    Eggs & butter, goat cheese, hunk of parmesan, old comté

    In the downstairs fridge, a batch of curing bacon and a couple dozen bottles of white/rosé

    And in the freezer, confit duck legs, popsicle lobster, scallops, thick pork chops, some hampe (skirt steak, or like it), mined pork, minced steak …

  8. Pingback: How Not to Waste Food « Super Karate Monkey Death Car

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