Cleaning Out the Pantry

by kitchenarian on July 8, 2010

I am in the middle of a week long process of “cleaning out the pantry.” I do this several times a year. I know you probably think that cleaning out the pantry involves throwing away expired food and organizing shelves. Yes, but there is more to it than that. When I clean out the pantry, I don’t buy groceries for one week with the exception of dairy products, fresh fruit and limited fresh vegetables. I cook only what is in the house, including the pantry, the refrigerator, and the freezer.

I make cakes, I make pasta, I use the canned vegetables on the shelf. When we run out of bread, I make it. Tonight I am preparing angel hair pasta and serving it with salmon in a butter, dill sauce. I will toss the salmon together with the pasta and drizzle the dill sauce on top because I only have one can of salmon! I have one can of french cut green beans so I am planning on serving them at room temperature with slivers of vidalia onions and tomato wedges with a splattering of Italian dressing. It is an exercise in culinary creativity that I love. My family is always a bit trepidatious about cleaning out the pantry week, but they are willing participants. It makes for some interesting meals and fun conversation at the dinner table!

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