In today’s New York Times, “The Minimalist” Mark Bittman brings home a point that became all too clear to me during our recent “Storm Watch: 2008!” when I, like so many of you, hunkered down at home and cooked. During that lengthy home-‘n-hang I turned to my fridge and pantry with considerable more interest than usual, to keep from having to de-ice-and-snow the car or walk in (ankle-) deep snow to get to the market for provisions.
Using ingredients I had on hand I made soup. And turned to my larder for homegrown potatoes to eat with that comfort-food specialty, roast chicken. I also baked many loaves of the Bread Recipe That Roared (thanks again, Bittman!). I even delved into my notorious downstairs freezer for inspiration.
So this morning, when I saw the photo accompanying The Minimalist’s story “Fresh Start for a New Year? Let’s Begin in the Kitchen” and read what he had to say about the literal “ins” and “outs” regarding cooking essentials, I immediately wanted to share it with you. And here’s why:
Point by point I emphatically agree with The Minimalist — with one exception. He says out with the packaged bread crumbs, I say packaged panko rules! And, what do you know: I wasn’t at all surprised to find that my larder could pose as the poster-child to back up his kitchen philosophy:
What Bittman said, in a nutshell (or, as we say in the business, a nut graf), is “if your goal is to cook and cook quickly, to get a satisfying and enjoyable variety of real food on the table as often as possible, a well-stocked pantry and fridge can sustain you.” Damn straight.
So read it, then eat it. And tell me: what fridge and pantry staples are a must-have in your house?