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top ten staples in my fridge

February 13, 2009

I started paying attention to how I cooked about two years ago.  This is shameful to admit, as my older two kids had a good 13 years of mediocre food being churned out by their reluctant resentful cooking mother.  But since reading 100 Mile Diet and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle AND going to Italy, I’ve changed my ways.  I think renovating our old gross kitchen helped too.  Instead of pining:  I want to be a better cook, I started thinking WHY NOT? 

Anyhow, some weird things started to happen, like I only bought food memoir books to read, I started asking for cookbooks for birthdays, and the way I stocked my fridge changed. 

Now I cannot live without:

1. Lemons and limes.  Fresh ones.  Not in the bottle.
2. A big chunk of Parmesan.
3. Italian flat leaf parsley, although this is hard to find in Edmonton  (Italian Center and Superstore carry it).
4. Other fresh herbs:  cilantro, basil, rosemary and thyme.
5. Garlic and ginger, now not powdered or jarred.
6. Capers.
7. Creme fraiche.
8. Chipotle peppers.
9. Bacon. (My boyfriend Jamie loves bacon in his recipes).
10. Organic chicken stock (I know, I know.  I should make my own.  But one step up from the powdered stuff, non?).

These staples form the foundation of most everything I make.   How about you?  What are your must haves in the fridge?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2009 6:02 pm

    I am guessing they don’t have to be in the fridge. Here’s my top ten:

    1. Sambal Oelek
    2. Kejap Manis
    3. Fresh ginger and ginger powder
    4. Black Pepper (more important to me than salt)
    5. Chicken, and vegetable stocks (yes, also store bought)
    6. Semisweet chocolate
    7. Fresh chilis (habaneros and serranos)
    8. Old cheddar
    9. Wine (not really as an ingredient but indispensable to the process)
    10. Frozen peas.

  2. February 13, 2009 6:08 pm

    I sadly did not know what your top two items were.

    Thank god for google:
    Sambal Oelek = variety of chili peppers
    Kejap Manis = Indonesian sweet soy sauce

    Is that correct??

  3. February 13, 2009 7:26 pm

    Some staples in or near my fridge:

    1. Butter
    2. Kosher salt
    3. Black pepper
    4. Quality farm eggs
    5. Some home-made bread
    6. Variety of fresh veg, pref. from the garden
    7. Plate of defrosting game/pork/chicken/whatever from the freezer.
    8. Chicken Chili Sauce
    9. Variety of jams/jellies
    10. vast pack of pork intestine destined for fresh and dry cured sausage making in a few weeks.

  4. February 13, 2009 8:17 pm

    Here’s mine.

    1. Apples
    2. Carrots
    3. Homemade bread
    4. Cilantro
    5. Yogurt
    6. Sriracha
    7. Garlic and ginger
    8. Onions
    9. Limes
    10. Chili’s (serrano,scotch,jalepeno)

    And of course the kosher salt/black pepper.

  5. February 14, 2009 11:16 pm

    1. soy sauce
    2. olive oil
    3. cheese of all kinds
    4. rice
    5. garlic
    6. ginger
    7. fresh vegetables
    8. fresh fruit
    9. whole grain bread
    10. peanut butter

  6. February 15, 2009 5:43 am

    Love your top ten. I would swap creme fraiche for sour cream, but that’s just the Ukrainian in me talking.
    Capers I could do with out as well, I’d swap them for eggs, which we eat all the time.

  7. February 15, 2009 9:28 am

    Where do you get creme fraiche?!

    1. Eggs
    2. Garlic
    3. Fleur de sel
    4. Lemons
    5. Wine

    (It’s Sunday. Too lazy to think of 10)

  8. February 17, 2009 8:32 am

    Kecap manis is a little like soy sauce crossed with molasses…a thick sweet soy sauce that substitutes well in all those recipes that combine soy sauce and a sweetener…also very good added to chili.

    Sambal Oelek is a good everyday source of heat. Finely cut red chilis in tamatoey sauce that melds well with tomato recipes (spagetthi and sauce etc).

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