It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…
Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…Don’t they always though…haha
Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at Canned and bottled store cupboard staples.
I do think aesthetically food stored in jars looks so much more appealing…Don’t you?
Many foods taste better when they are fresh however some canned/bottled goods are as good or better than the fresh variety. These include canned/bottled beans, peas and lentils which simply require rinsing before using. Some canned fish and shellfish such as tuna or crab which are significantly cheaper than the fresh varieties and make excellent additions to baked pasta dishes and salads.
I would just advise moderation or finding a glass jar option…I will say I am seeing more and more goods in glass rather than cans.
Canned tomatoes are sometimes cheaper and more convenient to use than fresh tomatoes…However…
Tomatoes for me are imported to here thus canned tomatoes are much more expensive…there is also the issue of the coating inside the cans…
Bisphenol A (BPA) on the inside of food cans.
The chemical, used since the 1960s to make certain types of plastic, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen and has been linked to low sperm counts and infertility in men, as well as breast and prostate cancer.
That is why my advice is if you can get a similar product in a glass bottle or jar then it is safer.
I used to have a large store of canned goods but now I have very few…they are Tomato puree, sardines, tuna, kidney beans and sweet corn kernels… thats it…
Tomatoes are cheap here and available all year round…Once blitzed they freeze well and they are quick to prepare… when I first started doing them I used to remove the skins and now I just blitz the whole tomato and be done with it. Unless it is a dish where the skins are really obvious but in a chilli or spag bowl you don’t notice the skins they break down and it is a little more fibre in your diet…
Sardines and tuna I buy tinned because there is a lot of publicity about the farming of fish here so I am going to take my chances …I certainly don’t even use a tin a week or even a month it is just handy to have…Also canned fish is generally higher in vitamins and nutrients, the bones are soft so we can eat them…Which especially with small fish like sardines much better than picking out fiddly bones…
The downside there is more sodium but then if I am using them in a recipe I adjust the salt accordingly…
Sweetcorn, I keep 2 cans… A small can and a larger can…Ideal in a rice salad or on a jacket potato or in a pasta salad…
Many of the other vegetables that I keep just as a standby…I can get in glass jars…Or if you are into home canning then thats the way to go you can eat foods out of season which is what my mother always used to do…
Pickles come in glass jars purely as the acid would react to the metal but from the safety point, glass jars are better than cans…
The bonus is glass jars can be sterilised and reused…Less to go into the waste…
Time for a store cupboard recipe…
We love pickled eggs…Do you love pickled eggs??
Jalapeno Pickled Eggs:
- 3/4 a cup of Cider Vinegar.
- 3/4 a cup of water.
- 1/2 cup of sugar plus 1 tbsp sugar.
- 6 cloves.
- 2 Jalapenos cut in half lengthwise and deseeded.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds.
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 onion sliced.
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 9 Hard-boiled eggs, peeled.
Boil eggs for 10-15 mins until hard. Remove from heat and put into cold water.
In a medium pan, put vinegar, water( or beet juice) if using, onion, jalapenos, sugar, and spices. Bring to the boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Pour vinegar over eggs making sure they are completely covered.
If using beet juice also put some beet in the jar with the eggs. You will then have pickled beets as well.
Make sure the lid is tight and refrigerate. The eggs will be ready to eat in a few days and will keep for up to a month if you haven’t already eaten them.
Curried Pickled Eggs:
- 1 cup cider vinegar.
- 3/4 a cup of water.
- 1/4 of an onion.
- 3/4 cup white sugar.
- 3 cardamon pods
- 1 tsp mustard seeds( yellow or brown)
- I tbsp yellow curry paste.
As above bring all the ingredients to the boil until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool a little and then pour the vinegar mix over the eggs making sure they are completely covered.
Allow to pickle for a few days in the fridge they are then ready to eat… Left with lots of pickle juice ????
Don’t want to waste that pickle juice??? Then have a …
What is a pickleback? You are about to find out!
It’s a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice and some even follow that with a beer chaser…
A popular drink in bars around the world and apparently very good….Have you tried a pickleback????
The real beauty about using jars is that they look pretty, can be reused so pluses all round…As I said I keep the odd canned goods but not many I use mainly jars which store equally as well…
Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.
I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.
Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.
The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…
Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!
More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on MeWe
Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:
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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx