Dee’s Essential Pantry, Vol. 2

Fresh foods to always have on hand:

  • eggs
  • garlic
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • olives
  • potatoes
  • ginger
  • lemons
  • lettuce
  • butter – unsalted
  • parmigiano-reggiano
  • sour cream
  • bay leaves – buy fresh, wash and freeze in a zip bag


  • unbleached white flour (as of 2014 I only use Italian OO flour)
  • wheat flour
  • pasta (a variety)
  • instant couscous
  • converted rice
  • brown rice
  • Arborio rice for risotto
  • instant Polenta
  • cornstarch

Here’s a good one. Pitted Kalamata olives, I get them from the olive bar at our local grocery (fresher and less expensive than bottled olives). Limit the brine and fill a container of your choice.

Take them home and drain the brine. Place them in a bowl with whatever you want, crushed red pepper, fresh rosemary or thyme, sliced or crushed garlic, pepper (no salt because of the brine) then place back in the container and fill with extra virgin olive oil, you may have to switch to a mason jar with lid. Cover completely and let sit on your kitchen counter for at least a couple of days. After that it should go into the frig making sure it’s always covered. Thaw for a party with toothpicks, pissaladiere with caramelized onions and anchovies, or even sliced in a salad. PLEASE keep the flavored oil for your vinaigrettes. Dee


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