As autumn approaches, and the sweaters come out… I want to pull out every pot in my kitchen and create warm and inviting food, fresh from the fall harvest.
Recipes line my counters — some old and crinkled, some brand new. Some dog-eared and passed down through generations, some from friends with cute little ribbons on top… and others, jotted notes on torn notebook paper — brand new ideas melded with timeless herbs and spices, experimenting with textures and flavors.
Sometimes those recipes are easy, memorized from years of combining the same ingredients during the same months, year after year. Sometimes the techniques are challenging, the combinations different. Sometimes the recipes take mere minutes — and sometimes — all day long.
It’s part of the beauty of autumn. An ever-changing amalgamation — kind of like a worn hand-knit sweater sporting new wood buttons.
It’s the nature of the season. Warm, familiar with comfortable surprises. Burning the home fires, nurturing the soul.
And so I stock my autumn pantry; with the familiar mostly, yet always experimenting.
So… when the creative juices flow and the urge to create overcomes — a quick trip to the market is the last thing on your mind.
The solution, of course, is a pantry brimming with seasonal offerings.
While I maintain stock on year-around items (tomatoes, tomato sauce, cereals, peanut butter, and so on) these are the items I’m particular about stocking (or re-stocking) in my autumn pantry.
Cinnamon (stick and ground)
Vanilla (extract and beans)
Olive Oil (Sur la Table)
Dried Beans (Assorted — especially cannellini and great northern)
Lentils (French Green and red)
Elbow (you have to have homemade Mac & Cheese in the fall)
Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Baking Soda and Powder
Sugar (white, brown, confectioner, and sanding)
Dulce de Leche
Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened
Dried fruit (raisins, dates, cherries, apricots, currants, plums)
Shelved and Canned Goods
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Quality Chocolate (chips, unsweetened, dark, syrup)
Nuts (almonds, walnut, and pecans)
Broths (chicken, beef, and vegetable)
Beans (kidney, chickpea, black, white, chili, and refried)
Chutney (Plum Chutney and Plum Sauce)
Canned Meats (turkey, salmon, chicken)
Hot Chocolate (Starbucks)
Cider (Bottled, and even dry packets)