‘I said pantry… not panty… you sicko’.
My pantry is the most important place on Earth to me. I mean, it doesn’t have any doors and I constantly cook in a state of fear that it’s going to collapse and kill me but I know for a fact if we were in a nuclear war, it would be my safe place. My panic room.
But believe it or not, my pantry is more than just a safe place in a warzone. It also provides a safe home for all of the bits and bobs I need to put my meals together. I’ve decided to list 5 things that I absolutely would not be without in my pantry, my ‘staples’ so to speak.
1. Maldon Salt
First and foremost, without fail, I will never be without Maldon salt. Sometimes I may stray a little to the left and get myself some Smoked Maldon Salt but you will never catch me sideways without my salt. I keep it in a little salt pig in my pantry which is just behind my cooker so I can grab it whenever I need it.
2. Tinned Tomatoes
I have panic attacks when I don’t have tinned tomatoes in the Kitchen. They’re the basis of everything delicious and in really struggling times, I’ve made a pasta dish just using them. I mean that’s when I’m in a dire situation but they form such an important part to my cooking. I buy my tinned tomatoes from any old supermarket – but make sure you buy the ones that have ‘chopped tomatoes’ because I’ve been victim on more than one occasion purchasing plum tomatoes. If this is the case, pour them in anyway and hack at them with a scissors.
I am a huge garlic fanatic. I don’t understand people who don’t like it. There is nothing close to it that you can replicate? I can make a sauce without onions, I can make a sauce without celery etc but I can’t make anything without garlic. I try as often as I can to buy garlic from Cardiff Market or the Vegetable stand outside my office because the taste is so much better than a supermarket. 9 times out of 10 I grate garlic into my food as I’m cooking but if I’m adding chopped garlic, I crush it with the blunt side of my knife and then dice the hell out of it.
I’ve made no secret about my love affair with lemons. It’s funny because an ex used to absolutely rinse me for my using of lemons in everything. Whatever. Lemons are literally like another seasoning. And the zest tastes completely different to the juice (I actually prefer it). Try grating a little lime zest over your salads for an extra perky flavour amongst the leaves.
As boring as it sounds, I can’t be without eggs. They make me sleep easy. I’ve said before, if I could be any food, I’d be an egg. My grandmother always told me if I knew how to cook an egg in multiple ways, I would never go hungry and she is so right. What’s better than egg and chips? A lot of things, yes – but sometimes that’s exactly what you’re craving. If you see a dish with a fried egg draped on top of it, just know it’s for me.