What You Need In Your Pantry Cabinet
Sometimes people don’t know where to start when planning out their pantry cabinet storage goals. I get emails from people asking where to start when putting together food storage.
I get it. We have all been there. Some of us have more shelf space, others not so much.
Some of us had parents who always had a pantry stocked with food. My mother was a woman who taught her 4 daughters how to sew, cook from scratch, can food, make bread, and how to make biscuits. Not everyone was so lucky to have a mom like I had.
It was a way of life for our family to cook together in the kitchen and prepare meals as a team. We never ate out, unless it was someone’s birthday.
When I was growing up, I remember one food drive-up that had teenagers wearing roller-skates to deliver food to cars and hook the tray on our door via the rolled-down window. Now it seems that eating out, particularly at fast-food drive-up windows, is part of our culture rather than eating at home much of the time.
If you are buying smaller packages of flour, I highly recommend King Arthur Flour.
These are the one-pound bread pans I have for all my bread-making: One-Pound Bread Pans (7.75 x 3.75 x 2.5 inches). My mother used two-pound or 1-1/2 pound pans, they are too big for me.
I like my bread fresh and soft. I store my bread in Bread Bags. Yes, I freeze my bread after baking it.
What You Need In Your Pantry Cabinet
Nowadays, I see some popular drive-throughs for fast food with cars lined bumper to bumper in my little town. And it’s not just one drive-through that’s super busy, it’s almost every drive-through.
Here’s the deal, I understand everyone has a busy life, kids, grandkids, sports, carpooling, plays, etc. Grabbing a quick meal has become very popular, at least in my town.
Here’s my concern, are we so busy that maybe we are not taking the time to teach our families to cook from scratch? There are many families that are teaching their children and grandchildren, I realize that. This skill will be a blessing in their lives for generations to come.
One thing I learned when eating at a dinner table were words like, “please pass the salad,” or “please pass the butter.” How can we teach our kids manners in a car in a drive-through?
And setting the table the correct way, and learning you always use a napkin, no exception. Okay, I will get off my soapbox.
Let’s get started. I can’t list everything in today’s post for a beginner or advanced pantry cabinet. But it will be a very good start.
In case you missed this post, Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store
What You Need In Your Pantry Cabinet
Why should I stock flour?
First of all, I could not have a pantry without white bread flour. And it has to be fresh because if it’s older than 12-18 months your bread will not rise as it should. I’ve been making bread for over 50 years, white bread, dinner rolls, breadsticks, and cinnamon rolls. Fresh is best, for the very best results.
If you stock white flour, you can make waffles, pancakes, lefse, tortillas, biscuits, and any kind of bread your heart desires. My recipes are no-fail if you have FRESH ingredients.
Just remember, you can’t store yeast in the pantry or wheat-gluten (for whole wheat bread), or dough enhancer. It must be stored in the refrigerator, or the freezer is even better.
My White Bread Recipes
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tsp. SAF instant yeast
- 2 tsp. dough enhancer (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1/8 cup oil-I use olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 to 3-1/2 cups white bread flour
I start with a Bosch bread mixer, although you could make this in a bowl. I put the yeast, warm water, salt, oil, and sugar in the bowl. I then add the eggs and lightly mix it in the Bosch so the egg does not “cook”. Then I add the warm milk and flour slowly. I continue to add flour until the bread dough pulls away from the sides of the Bosch bowl. I knead for about 7-8 minutes. I place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I let the dough rise until double the original size. I punch down the dough and make into loaves and place these in greased pans (this recipe makes two-1 pound loaves). I let it rise once again (using the same plastic wrap) until it doubles in size and then I bake them at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes. I lightly butter the tops of each loaf after baking and removed from the pans.
HOW TO MAKE SCONES
I start with a very large skillet and heat the oil one to two inches deep until I can spritz a few drops of water into the oil ever so carefully, then I know it’s hot enough. You will start with one ball of dough about the size of a tennis ball, maybe a little smaller, but bigger than a golf ball. Then mash the dough with the palm of your hand on a greased countertop and use a rolling pin to roll the dough from the center out. You keep rolling from the center out until they are very thin.
Then place them in the hot oil really carefully because the oil will splatter. Here’s the deal, it’s a big mess, but I’m talking about memories right now. Adults and kids always love hot scones. You fry them until they are golden brown, and turn them over to cook the other side until that side is golden brown too.
White Bread-8 Loaves
- 4 cups warm milk
- 8 tsp. SAF Instant Yeast
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup Oil – I use olive oil
- 8 teaspoons dough enhancer – optional
- 3 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 13-14 cups white bread flour
I start with a Bosch Mixer, although you could make this in a bowl and stir by hand. I put the yeast, warm water, salt, oil, and sugar in the bowl. I then add the eggs and lightly mix it in the Bosch so the eggs don't “cook." Then I add the warm milk and flour slowly. I continue to add flour until the bread dough pulls away from the sides of the Bosch bowl. I knead for about 7-8 minutes. I place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. I let the dough rise until it's double the size. I punch down the dough and make into loaves and place these in greased pans (I make eight-1 pound loaves). I let it rise once again (using the same plastic wrap) until it doubles in size, and then I bake them at 350 degrees for 27 minutes. I lightly butter the tops of each loaf after baking while cooling on wire racks.
Do I need yeast?
You can make a lot of things without yeast, you can also make a lot of things with yeast. Either way, I recommend stocking SAF Instant Yeast. You can make the best waffles with yeast, of course, you can make bread, soft dinner rolls, and the best ever cinnamon rolls. This is the only yeast I use: SAF Instant Yeast
You can also make a sourdough starter within 3-4 days and make all of the above without regular yeast. Sourdough bread doesn’t typically use regular yeast because the starter is the yeast. The awesome thing is it only uses two ingredients, water, and flour. The water can’t be chlorinated, just giving you the head up.
If you want to learn how to make my sourdough starter, you do not need to pay for a class, my friends. It’s two ingredients, you can do it. And you will love it. How To Make A Sourdough Starter + Bread
What spices, etc. do I need?
This is where I can use your help. I will list my favorite spices, but let’s add yours as well. We all love to cook, but we may use different spices.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Salt & Pepper
- Brown Sugar
- Powdered Sugar
- Chili Powder
- Sweet Basil
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Dried chives
- Smoked paprika
- Herbs de provence
- White pepper
- Pepper flakes
- Cayenne pepper
- Garlic salt and powder
- Onion salt and powder
- Old bay seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Beef, chicken, ham, and vegetable bouillon cubes
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- Sea Salt
- Dill weed and dill seed
- Cream of Tartar
- Ground Mustard
- Lemon Pepper
- Mrs Dash
- Lemon Pepper
- Baking Powder
Should I stock hard white wheat?
Now, if you do stock hard white wheat, I hope you have a wheat grinder. It can be electric or hand. If you decide to get a hand one, be prepared to have sore arms, just so you know.
If you have a heavy-duty blender, you may be able to do one cup of wheat berries in a batch. Let the blender cool down so it doesn’t overheat.
You can sprout the wheat or grind the wheat and make pancakes, waffles, wheat chili, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat dinner rolls. Please don’t be intimidated by making bread for the first time. If you have fresh ingredients, you can make bread.
I know there are bloggers who sell their recipes in a book, I can’t do that. My love of making bread is my gift to you. All of my recipes are no-fail, truly.
My Whole Wheat Bread Recipes:
- 6 Cups Warm Water
- 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Honey
- 2 Tablespoons Dough Enhancer
- 2 Tablespoons Wheat Gluten
- 2 Tablespoons Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Saf Instant Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 14 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
Start adding the ingredients in the order shown above with one exception into your mixing bowl…start with 7 cups of flour and slowly add more flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. I use a Bosch Mixer. I grew up making bread without a mixer, it can be done by hand. I grew up letting my bread rise twice so I still do that. Old habits are hard to break! I mix it for 10 minutes in my Bosch. Cover with greased plastic wrap until it doubles in size. Punch down and form dough into eight one-pound loaves or less if your bread pans are larger. I let the dough rise one more time with greased plastic wrap. Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes. If your pans are larger you will bake your bread longer. You will love making whole wheat bread, I promise!!
My Smaller Recipe for Two Loaves:
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup or so of honey
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon SAF instant yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon dough enhancer
- 1/2 tablespoon wheat gluten
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups whole wheat flour
Start adding the ingredients in the order shown above with one exception into your mixing bowl…start with 2 cups of flour and slowly add more flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. I use a Bosch Mixer. I grew up making bread without a mixer. It can be done by hand. I grew up letting my bread rise twice so I still do that. Old habits are hard to break!
I mix it for 10 minutes in my Bosch. Cover with greased plastic wrap until it doubles in size. Punch down and form dough into two one-pound loaves. I let the dough rise one more time with greased plastic wrap. Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes. If your pans are larger you will bake your bread longer. You will love making whole wheat bread, I promise!!
Is white rice really important to have on hand?
White rice lasts a very long time, and you can make so many dishes with rice. You can make fried rice, rice and beans, and plain rice as a side dish. Plus, leftover rice is great with milk and sugar for breakfast. So there you have it.
You can always add leftover rice to soups, and burritos, life is good. How to Cook Rice
Do I need to stock beans?
Beans are great to store, they are cheap and filling, and full of protein. I stock mostly pinto and black beans, dry and in cans.
If we happen to have a power outage, beans are ready to eat right out of the can. If you have a butane stove, you can heat them up. Butane Stove
Here is where it’s great if you can make tortillas, just add some beans and rice with some salsa. Is your mouth watering, yet?
What You Need In Your Pantry Cabinet
I hope you enjoyed my post today on what to put in a pantry cabinet. We all have different budgets, tastes, and health issues. We know what our family will eat, so please stock those items. I see prices going up every time I head to a grocery store.
The price also seems to have gone up each time I pull up to the gas pumps. Also, building supply prices have gone through the roof, so to speak. We still can’t get canning lids here, let alone any canning bottles and other supplies. We see a few cases of bottles but so many of us just need the good lids, right?
If you try to get started, or add to your current inventory, using these staple items, you’ll be well on your way to filling your pantry and feeling comfortable with your steps to be prepared. If you think I should have listed other items too, let me know. May God Bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Small Pantry Deposit photos_382686452_s-2019
30 thoughts on “What You Need In Your Pantry Cabinet”
Your question about how can we teach manners to kids when eating fast food in a car. SO TRUE!!!
I would add oats to the list. These can be used in so many ways. As a person who eats GF, I often grind them into flour. In a pinch we can also make oat “milk” using oats & water if need be.
Hi Amy, oh my gosh, I made oat milk with my daughter! I will add the oats. The manners, I see how kids talk back to their parents, there are no words. I do not get it. I hope they outgrow it!! LOL! Linda
I used to work at a convenience store and oh my the things I heard kids mouth off to their parents or whoever they were with. There were times I couldn’t hold back and I did say something to those kids but not actually what I wanted to say. There were some kids I would have loved to went over the counter after, but these kids are NOT taught
manners, of course look at the grown ups and road rage. O.k. off my soap box.
Hi June, oh I like your soapbox story! I can’t believe that people get so mad on the freeway or highway or even on downtown city roads. The road rage is out of control, times are crazy and I think things are going to get worse before they get better. Nice soapbox! LOL! Linda
You’re probably tired of hearing from me today; this is my third comment, but hey, You give out good information and these bread recipes are wonderful, not sure about the wheat bread though, I don’t buy it at the store. However, I will try your recipe when I get a loaf pan or two. Homemade is the best, fresh and hot coming right out of the oven and lathering butter on a piece. Also, I really like the picture of the pantry at the top of the page. It gives me an idea of how I can build mine in the coat closet I’ll use for it. Have a wonderful day!!!
Hi Pamela, I want that pantry, LOL! Mine does not look like that one! LOL! I’m never tired of hearing from readers. I call this my forum, and it works! Linda
I feel ya. The coat closet I’m redoing isn’t that big, but I have plans.
And, I don’t know if you remember, but mentioned something in my reply to your castile soap post the other day. I cleaned one of my winter boots, and took a before/after pic, but see I can’t attach it to this. I simply can’t get over the difference. They’re blue, but they’re two different colors of blue right now. Thanks for the tip and will try it on any other suede and Nubuck items I have/get.
Hi Pamela, oh yeah, I remember!! Yay, I’m glad it worked! Yay for cleaning our own boots!! Linda
Pamela Donahue, when you do shelves in your closet, I’d like to make a suggestion. There are side shelving boards with pre-drilled holes for these little ‘clips’ on which your shelves are placed. This means you can easily move your shelves up and down as your supplies change! I did this type of shelving on an entire wall of my bonus room. My side wall shelves are only held in place by 6 screws …2 on each top, 1 apiece on the bottom of the side walls. The 2 other middle up and down shelves are held in place by the horizontal shelves which act as braces. In a closet, it would work basically the same except you wouldn’t have to put in center vertical boards? I’m thinking you’d only have to put in one screw on top, one on bottom, of each side board? The main reason I did this was because I wanted to be able to move the shelving if I had taller/shorter things as I kept storing. I also didn’t want to do big wall repair if ever I wanted to remove the entire shelving system. I got the boards at Menards, btw. Hope this helps.
Wendy, Thanks for the suggestion. I will save your reply for future reference. Right now everything is up in the air because I’m still trying to furnish my apartment with other things I still need. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do the closet for a pantry, I’ll see something I like and think; wow, how can I apply that to my little closet! Even Linda has offered a couple of suggestions. I do appreciate your idea… and if you have any others, please let me know what you have in mind.
Spices! They make EVERYTHING better!! I addition to those you sugg8, I use curry & ginger alot. Curry is great on eggs, in chicken salad. Ginger goes in alot of sweet recipes. Both spices are very nutritious, too!
Hi Gwen, I just added the curry and ginger. When I get to typing, sometimes I draw a blank. So, I love when readers suggest items I have forgotten!! I love it! Linda
Yes Linda, you were lucky to have a mother who taught you so much. My mother never seemed to be interested in doing anything and I decided at a young age that I would learn as much as possible. Thank the Lord for my junior high home ec. teacher! She was patient with me and taught me how to love sewing and cooking.
At any rate, I will try your bread recipes. I have a couple that I use but am always willing to try something new.
Hi Paula, I sure wish they would bring Home Ec. and Shop back to the schools in Utah. Have fun trying my recipes, I could bake bread every day. There are so many ways to use that white bread recipe. Linda
Hi Linda! I agree with adding curry and ginger, and would also add nutmeg, dried chives, smoked paprika and herbs de provence. Oh, and white pepper– I much prefer its flavor to black pepper. Thanks
for the good ideas!
Hi Jan, I just added the ones you suggested, yay! I love ideas to add, thank you! Linda
Linda, I love this post, especially the bread recipes–which I need to try.
I would say that the first thing any Prepper needs is a pantry to store food in. Too many people don’t have one and have very limited cabinet space too. If folks have that problem they should use under the bed and even on closet floors for storage.
Hi Ray, I agree, we all need a pantry, mine is small but I added more shelves to slide cans in. My dream would be a walk-in pantry. LOL! That’s not going to happen. We have to make do with what we have and make it work. I have food everywhere. And I can sleep at night. Linda
Hi, I just wanted to add some spices we use off the top of my head. Red pepper flakes, great on spaghetti and corn on the cob, Cayenne pepper for closing up small deep cuts and stop bleeding, not too much as a spice.LOL Garlic salt and powder, Onion too I use a spice grinder to grind up dried onions and garlic, ( powder goes hard at my place before it is all gone). Old bay is great to use in making homemade rubs for BBQs and etc. Italian seasoning too.
I bake bread and have had problems with my dough enhancer I now know why, Dah I should have kept it in the freezer with the yeast, Thank you for that one. Now what to do with all my old vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer, any Ideas? I have a few #10 cans full.
Hi Kahne, thank you for the spices, I added all of them. I keep all my dough enhancer and wheat gluten in the freezer as well as my yeast. I would toss the ones in the pantry if that’s where they were stored. Now, onto the #10 cans, are they open and on the pantry? Id so, toss them. BUT, if the cans are unopened and have not expired, they should be good. I only buy a certain brand in bags and it goes directly into the freezer. You will be amazed how well you can make bread with fresh ingredients!! Linda
Linda, in addition to your list, I keep bouillon cubes, Pink Himalayan Salt & Sea Salt in my pantry. The bouillon cubes I prefer are no longer available, so I’ve been checking out the ethnic food sections for a suitable replacement. Besides the chicken & beef bouillon I have added both ham & a veggie bouillon to my pantry. All can be used in soups, stews or to add extra flavor to rice or pasta.
I use the salts to season meat. A little goes a long way & really seems to add more flavor than the iodized salt. I also use a sprinkle of Pink Himalayan Salt as a mineral boost in my drinking water on very hot & humid days when I have to be outside for any length of time. Heat exhaustion in senior citizens is a very serious issue here in NW Florida, so I find adding this mineral salt to my water is a help in avoiding this problem.
Hi BDN, these are great ones, I just added them to the post, thank you!! Heat exhaustion is scary! It’s been crazy hot here in Southern Utah. We had one day at 117 degrees, it’s hard to breathe outside in the hot dry air. Mark and I have been lucky and have stayed well through the last year and a half. We have had a few neighbors who have not been so lucky. Stay well, stay safe, Linda
We must have dill weed in our spice cabinet (and garden).
We get the best dried pinto and Anasazi beans from Adobe Milling Co. in Dove Creek, Colo. (about an hour drive from our city of Moab, Utah). We buy them in 10 lb. burlap sacks. I store them in thoroughly cleaned and dried plastic soda bottles (the 500 ml or 16.9 oz size). I have found they hold exactly one pound of these beans. I am going to try this method to store some dried split peas, lentils, and garbanzo beans (chickpeas). I suspect the peas and lentils will weigh more in these bottles. Anyway Linda, I have a question for you and the group: Do you think it would help to put a small (1″x1″) packet of oxygen absorbers in each bottle? Or does it really matter if the lid is tight and I store properly?
Hi Tom, I personally do not use oxygen absorbers, it’s a personal preference. I store all my beans in buckets with Gamma lids. Lets’ see what other think. I live in the desert and you do as well. I never use them. I will add dill weed to my list, thank you so much! Linda
“Here’s my concern, are we so busy that maybe we are not taking the time to teach our families to cook from scratch? There are many families that are teaching their children and grandchildren, I realize that. This skill will be a blessing in their lives for generations to come.”
This is so very true. Fast food occasionally is Ok but I see and know people who eat out nearly every meal: breakfast from the coffee shop on the way to work; lunch out; then dinner on the way home from a fast food place.
So, something I just read on another blog that I follow: the statement was made that we all think of smoking as the biggest issue with health but apparently there is a great concern about our lack of healthy eating and that it may contribute as much or more to our declining health than smoking does.
Hi Leanne, I agree, fast food is the new addiction. Or take out, whatever you want to call it. I never thought about comparing it to smoking, it’s so true. Wow, great comment, thank you! Linda
I may have missed these spices on your list but I just replenished my supply: cream of tartar, ground mustard and lemon pepper (I get Mrs Dash so no salt added). There are a few recipes which won’t taste the same without the first two and I love lemon pepper on fish and chicken. Plus, sometimes lemons can go bad pretty fast since they are trucked long distances to reach me up north. Today I need to also replenish my baking powder and cornstarch. I think mine are pretty old since I don’t use them a lot but whew, when I need them, I really do. Peace!
Hi Wendy, I’m going to go add those spices, they need to be on the list, thank you. I agree, I need to replace those two as well. When we need them, we need them!! Linda
First, let me say that your bread recipe is THE best out there! I finally learned how to perfect my bread making using your recipe. My husband is very happy about that! Now I’m going to teach my grandson how to make bread.
I did not grow up in a dysfunctional family yet I didn’t have the kind of old fashioned values, teachings, etc. that I would have liked. As a single parent of 3 kids, one with special needs, I did the best I could but in hindsight, could have done better. One thing I was adamant on was manners…”magic words” – please and thank you, no running in stores, no touching anything and especially no playing in the clothes racks, etc. I treat all my grandchildren and great-grandchildren this way. Now that I have my 12 year old grandson living with us full-time, I can reap those rewards. I get compliments on his manners, etc. all the time. People just don’t teach basic manners anymore and wow, does it ever show!
We eat our meals at the table and most of it is from scratch. I’ll use canned stuff, box mixes, etc. but the majority of the meal is made from scratch. My 2 youngest grandchildren love to cook and bake with me and I’m more than happy to teach them…not that I’m the best cook out there but I try!
I have an amazing walkin pantry and can almost always count on having something on hand when I want a specific recipe. It really helps to organize it/group foods. I’m always reading your blogs for updates, ideas, etc. I love this blog!
Hi Robbie, oh my sweet friend thank you for your kind words!! I love hearing you make bread all the time. It brings me so much joy to hear this! Isn’t it wonderful that your kids and grandson now, have manners, oh my gosh, this has to make your heart swell with pride! I think we all use some mixes, but if the majority is cooking from scratch, that’s what is so important. We are teaching others how to cook!! I buy Costco Krusteuz pancake mix. It is far better and cheaper than making it from scratch. It is all good! I remember teaching my girls the magic words, it’s funny how you forget after so many years. Thanks for the reminder, I LOVE it! Linda