For everyone it’s different. Everyone has their particular mix of what they keep within arm’s reach of the hob/oven in order to lift their dishes. At the front it’s often the ingredients you use the most – salt, pepper, some oils, spices maybe?
Meanwhile at the back it’s like the seedy back alley located three streets behind the high road. It’s a shadowy, peculiar cross-section-of unused cans which will survive the apocalypse, sauce jars growing their own brand of bacterial warfare and products lurking around so long the company has ceased their production. Don’t lie, we all have them. And we continuously convince ourselves they will be used one day.
“Oh that would be really handy to hold on to in case we have people over for dinner. You know, just for nibbles and stuff”.
“Curry paste just cuts down on cost and time, plus adds flavour” – as you try to comfortably house ten different brands/sizes/flavours of paste.
What’s worse is when you think you have something you need in the cupboard, only to find you have a million jars and bottles of what you don’t need, or have the jar you need but it’s three years out of date, or cannot find anything you need behind a sea of crap.
Don’t try comforting yourself and argue that you don’t have a similar kitchen station situation…
In honour of the ‘new year, new you mentality’ and in order to restore order to the kitchen, here are our fifteen must haves in the kitchen cupboard.
- Dried chillies
- Soya sauce (and know the difference between the uses for light and dark)
- Maldon sea salt (or some other good quality, coarse sea salt)
- A pepper grinder with whole peppercorns inside to be ground freshly
- Honey (or something like agave or maple syrup if you prefer)
- Some form of brown sugar (soft, dark, muscovado…)
- A really good mustard of your choice (whether you prefer dijon, strong English, wholegrain..)
- A bottled lemon, or a lime, juice (sometimes we all deserve a shortcut for sheer ease)
- Plain flour and baking powder (or self-raising if you must)
- Peanut, or some other form of nut, butter
- At least one flavoured vinegar (sherry, red wine, cider, white wine, balsamic…)
- At least one really good olive oil (we usually go for cold-pressed rapeseed oil)
- Corn flour
- Worcestershire sauce
- Good ketchup (we adore Jamie Oliver’s own brand)