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Readers Respond: Could You Make Dinner Without Going to the Store?

Responses: 22


If there were a snowstorm or hurricane or nuclear winter that prevented you from getting to the grocery store, would you be able to make dinner with the items you stock in your refrigerator and pantry? Which ingredients are ALWAYS on hand at your house? For me, it's eggs, butter, milk, garlic, onion, noodles, rice and tomatoes. How about you?

Nuclear Winter Dinner Prep

I could survive on the staples in my home, which are milk, deli-thins, cereal, eggs, cheese, apples, oranges, skim milk, frozen veggie burgers, canned salmon, frozen vegetables, frozen pizza, cottage cheese. Also nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, flour & sugar are always on hand since I bake a lot. Yeah...I wouldn't be losing weight anytime soon!
—Guest Nancy

Scalding Milk

I absolutely agree that scalding for bread is necessary for the proper results. Today, I made Paska bread that requires scalded Half & Half and would NEVER make it without that necessary step. It's the best recipe for Easter bread! Maybe it's not a big deal for anything else, but it surely enhances a bread recipe. Just my two cents' worth.
—Guest Nancy

Enough for an Army

I grew up on a farm in the country with grandparents from the old country and parents who grew up during the depression, so I shop and store like the world will end tomorrow. Always have because that's how mother shops and taught me - "just in case". I always have butter, eggs, flour, yeast, sugar, canned goods, sauerkraut, sausage, tomatoes, jam, frozen berries from my garden, potatoes, onions, carrots, frozen meat, noodles, herbs and spices, beans and lentils, rum and spirits. We could live well on my larder for a good long time!
—Guest Spottysmom

My staples are extensive!

I could probably feed a family of house guests without going to the store. Of course they would have to be content with meat and fresh veggie sides after the first day! I keep everything I may need for any dish at all times. Fridge -- milk, eggs, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, margarine, mayo, Miracle Whip, 3-4 dressings (ranch, blue cheese, ginger, Italian), yellow, spicy, and dijon mustard, hot sauces (chili, crushed chili, Louisiana, wing sauce), barbecue. Cheese is always sliced -- provolone, Cheddar, shredded taco mix, sliced American, and string cheese. Deli meats-- ham and turkey. Veggies include tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, carrots, and fresh chili. Pantry -- pastas (spaghetti, vermicelli, macaroni, and shells), rice (white and jasmine), oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, various canned goods (basics for casseroles, veggies, and beans), flour (bread and plain), sugar (powdered, brown, white), Jell-o om bstopid g;sbptd. Koolaid, potatoes, onions, and so on. Spices -- everything!!
—Guest Singingbluefae

Healthy, Inexpensive, and Kid-friendly!

We could - and often do- survive for quite a while without a trip to the store. The most commonly used items in my inventory are: whole wheat flour (lots of pancakes eaten here!), pastas, brown rice, oatmeal, dried and canned beans, peanut butter, a variety of dried fruit, applesauce, canned tomatoes, canned chiles, honey, several vinegars, TONS of spices, extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, mayo, Dijon, Parmesan, garlic, fresh ginger, onions, carrots, celery, frozen peas, frozen berries, tea bags, and Ovaltine.
—Guest mom of three

LOTS ! Actually

As far away from any major store as we are, our larder is well stocked. An example is in our baking cabinet. We have Whole wheat, Rye, All-Purpose, Bread, Cake, Mas Harina (corn flour not starch) flours. Our freezer has a whole leg of lamb, several chickens, turkeys, pork, beef, fish (mostly fresh water..,bass, blue gill), venison and lots of finished product for quick meals (Bigos, soups, stews, pasty's, casseroles) etc. Dry goods, several types of rice, barley, noodles, lentils, peas, beans and more. There's more, but you got the idea. In short Barb.., if in the future..,it hits the fan, head for my house.

Stripped Down These Days

I used to keep a lot more on hand, but with reduced ability to cook, I mainly stock my freezer... Always have chicken breasts , talipia, and an assortment of frozen veggies on hand, as well as quick-heat dinners and snacks. I also keep an assortment of dried beans on hand, and the fridge always has real butter and an assortment of cheeses in it. Since I try not to have to grocery shop more than twice a month (and usually only once), I certainly can make dinner without heading out to the store first. :-D

Lots of Stuff...

Eggs, milk, cheese, chorizo, salad ingredients, tons of hot sauces, sun-dried tomatoes, cocktail onions, limoncello, wine to cook with. Freezer has to have several types of bread, puff pastry, vodka, frozen berries and ice!
—Guest Lisa

Staples and So Much More

I keep staples on hand of course like salt pepper vinegar and olive oil, things you can't do without in a kitchen. Also fresh fruits and salad veggies. I have to have spices, especially turmeric, green chilies, onions and tomatoes or I don’t cook. Butter, brown sugar, vanilla, self rising flour, walnuts and chocolate chips and cocoa powder for baking. I leave it to your imagination as to what.
—Guest S_Khalsa

Staples for both adults and kids!

Eggs, milk, butter, nuts, pasta, peanut butter, garlic, onions, apples, lemons, hot sauce, rice, flour, sugar, bread, lettuce, canned beans, and more! It's a combination of basics for the kids and for my husband and myself. Yes, I could make dinner without going to the store for at least several days.

The Dairy-Free Fridge

I ALWAYS have soy margarine, almond milk, nutritional yeast, peanut butter and/or cashew butter, tomatoes, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, celery, cooking wine, and fruit. In my pantry, I always have a store of nutritional yeast, agave, chickpeas, lentils, brown rice, onions, flour (and other baking agents!), and potatoes.
—Guest dairyfreecooking

Queen of Improv

I keep white wine, farm eggs, goat butter and cheese, almond and soy milk, salad greens, olives, lemons, and veggies in my fridge. The freezer always has some kind of fish and shellfish. The pantry has various beans, lentils, sardines, dried wild mushrooms, onions, garlic, organic pancake mix and lots of spices and grains. Can you tell I'm a foodie?
—Guest macrojen

Some basics plus wine

In my fridge, I always have eggs, butter, cheddar cheese, diet Coke and salsa. I usually have lettuce and tomatoes. In my pantry I always have pasta and dried beans and cracked pepper Triscuits. And there is always red wine in the wine rack. So we can always have omelets or frittatas, beans or bean soups, or pasta dishes, usually with a salad. And the red wine makes it all better!

My Pantry

We typically have all the spices and accoutrements of a meal, but nothing to actually make the meal. Part of the problem is that hubby is a chef so we have condiment and herb central. We have at least six kinds of sugar, four kinds of oil, spices galore, regular soy sauce and reduced sodium, dried mushrooms, all of the baking staples, etc etc. When it comes time to cook, however, we usually have to go out and buy the eggs, protein or milk.

Bare necessities

I always have Parmesan, hummus, two kinds of hot sauce, oyster and soy sauces, good dill pickles, real butter, and organic peanut butter. In the pantry – different types of pasta, refried beans, and chai. Not too fancy – what can I say, I’m a grad student!
—Guest Kallie
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