WARNING: The following post contains material that may be upsetting to some culinary-minded individuals. Reader caution is advised.
I have a confession to make.
The shocking photo at left is an un-retouched image of my own pantry, taken just days ago in a moment of quiet desperation. I have grown to know and love you all, dear readers, so when I realized I had a problem, I knew I had to come clean...
Things have been pretty hectic lately. What with work, family in town and about a million other things going on, I've not had a lot of time for planning, shopping or cooking - at least not cooking of the creative variety. We've been eating out a lot, and when we're at home, it's all about grab-and-go.
I guess I didn't understand just how dire the situation had become until I was rooting around to see if I had another jar of jam - to slap together the 900th pb&j of the week - and discovered that, no only didn't I have the jam, but I didn't have much of anything else either. The cupboard was basically bare, save for a few spices, some ancient canned goods and a bag and a half of Fritos (I swear those aren't mine...). Oh, the shame! What self-respecting food and wine enthusiast would have allowed things to reach such a desperate low? How did I manage to continually knock eating well at home so far down my priority list that I wound up scavenging for Smucker's in my very own pantry? I'd laugh if it weren't so sad.
I believe I've taken the first step in my recovery by coming clean to you all today. Now the restocking can begin. But where to start? I'm not keen on those pre-made pantry lists put together by the experts - I'd really like to know what you all always keep around. What pantry items do you find the most useful for quick and tasty meals and snacks? What are you never, ever without? Hopefully, with a few good pointers, my pantry and I can soon return to happy, healthy harmony once again.