Saturday, August 27, 2016
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Time to take stock of Fall & Winter needs
Along with chili (which can be heated up at any time), I made a family favorite cheesecake with the cream cheese I had bought two months ago when it was on sale. Don't you love how far out the "Use By" dates are on cream cheese?
When I was mixing the cheesecake batter, I used the last of the sugar in the kitchen canister so it needed to be replenished. I was shocked to find only two bags of sugar left from when I stocked up last year. I don't bake nearly as much as I once did but it still gets used faster than one would think.
This was the second time recently that I was either completely out of something or near the end of my supply. The other being old fashioned oats and while I knew I had used a lot of the bulk supply, I didn't realize I was using the last of it.
So how can such a thing happen? It is easy when your pantry shelves are in the garage. I don't restock most items until the very hot months of July and August are behind us and this year they were hotter than usual. So I tend to not keep a close eye on the few things I buy in bulk until September.
It is suppose to be hot again this week but cooler temperatures are just around the corner. I know. The squirrels burying nuts in the flowerpots on my deck tell me so. This week I'm going through my list of essential pantry items again and making a stock up list, which will be put in order of priority.
For instance, old fashioned oats will be at the top of that list... as will honey from the Farmer's Market. I just opened the last jelly jar of last summer's honey purchase. That was good timing but it only lasted a year because I didn't make as much bread as usual. As I wrote previously, changes in our home life certainly affect the pantry.
I like to have everything I need in the pantry for our needs and to show hospitality so I don't have to run to the store. Not to mention should the item be out of the current available budget. For so many items, it is best to buy on sale and shop the pantry when needed (such as having cream cheese in the refrigerator for a third of the non-sale price).
These days I tend to take what I bake to people rather than have them to our place. But the nice thing about a well stocked pantry (and having a few favorite recipes), is that the items we need to make a last minute meal or dessert are in the house (and garage), available now for putting together into something tasty.
Once it is cooler, I will be looking through the Rubbermaid style containers, old Tupperware canisters, glass jars, etc. and writing down what I'm getting low on before I run out completely as with the oatmeal.
I'm still wondering if there is a container somewhere that has extra oats in it... but that is the subject of another blog post. Organization!