Cupboard cooking

We are not about to chop up a dead pantry to make a cooking bonfire, despite my early cooking lessons being over an open fire at a Girl Guide camp.  However, this stream is about one very valuable lesson from those times – be prepared!

What we are trying to avoid is some version of the stereotypical movie/TV show shot of the exhausted worker/superhero going to the fridge only to find nothing but a dried out, empty carton of orange juice and a science-experiment-in-the-making where the last bit of milk, cheese or yoghurt used to be.

From where I sit, the fridge, the cupboard and their friends should be able to hold some long life items that can be magicked into a meal – for unexpected visitors, that night when you didn’t get to the market or shops on the way home like you intended, or even after a trip when you come in hungry and can’t face yet more eating out after relying on it while travelling.  So here I will be collecting ideas on how to be ready for anything with a little ‘cupboard cooking’ – in that spirit, I’d like to gather your ideas as well so have a look below at ‘What are your staples?‘.


The actual cupboard     Deputy fridge     Mr Freeze     Quick recoveries

What are your staples?


For the budding junior cooks, this is great ideas fodder for getting them to learn planning – the first big step in going from zero to one spoon is, in my view, thinking about what you have to work with and how those can be put together.  For an easy example, I mix up my own dukkah regularly, and always have good olive oil on hand – this means that if I do no more than grab whatever bread is available (and yes, I nearly always have a loaf in the freezer) then a meal is minutes away.  For the hungry, a couple of eggs added in to that fills some more gaps – and dukkah on eggs is a taste sensation anyhow!  (Of course, you’d be right in guessing that I always keep eggs on hand – in the fridge, given our climate).  So let me know your ideas and I’ll gather my thoughts to share grouped according to where the items might come from for a round of cupboard cooking.