Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Ideal Pantry Contents

Since I'm anticipating moving in September and am due November 6th, I imagine I won't be able to do much, if any, of the moving myself. Having never moved with the Army before, I don't know what to expect, but they are supposed to pack all of our stuff for us (bringing their own boxes and tape)and unpack for us and my only "job" will be to catalog what is in which box and make sure nothing gets damaged or lost en route. Despite the fact that I will be leaving all I'm familiar with behind and will probably want to be surrounded by my stuff to comfort me, I am getting excited about minimizing our stuff -- reducing what we have to maintain and clean around and thereby making our lifes easier. I am also getting quite excited about being able to start all over with a new pantry. I have a neighbor up the street who runs a day care that I plan to give our surplus stuff that I don't want to move with us to. Once we are settled, I plan to look at this as an opportunity to start over. No more HFCS, artificial colors, artificial flavors or GM ingredients in our house to tempt us. I know that this means I will be cooking more stuff myself and am taking the opportunity now to learn as much as I can about cooking food that my kids and I will enjoy and that's good for us. Its easier said than done, but all in all its been fun so far, so why not keep it up?

My ideal pantry (as I see it in my head now) would consist of dried beans (pinto, black and 15 bean mix for now, but I may keep other beans on hand if I learn how to cook them by then), onions, potatoes, 100% cane sugar, King Arthur flour, baking powder, baking soda, Aunt Jemima pancake mix (the kind you add milk, egg and oil to), sunflower oil, olive oil pan spray, spices, Ragu and Prego spaghetti sauces, dates, crackers, rice, agave nectar, honey produced near where we are moving to (helps with regional allergies), salt without iodine, canned diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, mayo, apple cider vinegar, tobasco sauce, salsa, all natural peanut butter, cashews or mixed nuts, black olives, apple and grape jelly, chicken broth, and noodles (ziti, tortellini, spaghetti, lasagna, and fettuccini to start with). I'm sure I'll think of more as I continue to plan this out, but that's what I have so far. While not all of these products will be organic, they will be GMO, artificial sweetener, artificial flavor, artificial color, and HFCS free.

In my fridge will be eggs, milk, spinnach, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, sour cream, yogurt, avacados, whatever fruits are in season, garlic, Simply Orange's orange pineapple juice, Kefir, organic chocolate soy milk, flaxseed meal, butter, mayo, mustard, ketchup, salsa, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, broccoli, pepperoni, bacon, sausage, ground venison, chicken, sliced american cheese, shredded cheese, and port wine cheese among other things. As with the pantry items, not all these products will be organic, but they will be GMO, artificial sweetener, artificial flavor, artificial color, hormone and HFCS free.

In my freezer will be fries, fish, chicken, venison, frozen fruits for smoothies, frozen veggies that can be steamed in the package they come in, popsicles (if I can find any without hfcs or artificial colors as almost all the popsicles I see have one or both) or popsicle molds with green smoothies as the "juice", Amy's frozen garden lasagna, and butter.

It sounds like a lot of food, but considering that I plan on cooking 95% of what we eat, I feel its important to keep healthy ingredients on hand for any genre of food we might want at any given time. . . It sounds more daunting than it is or at least that's what I am hoping.

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