Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What's in the Pantry?

I've been hard at work on my latest book all about desserts. As I was writing down 157 recipes- some of which have been saved for later publications- I came to a fun realization. Having your pantry stocked with the following items allows you to whip up that birthday cake for a friend, cupcakes for your child's class, biscuits for supper or that special goodie tray for the bake sale- without going out to the market for anything. This list can be accumulated over time. Many of the ingredients have an extended shelf life. The perishables listed at the end are those that you probably have on hand in the fridge anyway. This list is helpful when you're getting started as a baker. Lots of the items can be found in the bulk section of your local health food store. Rising Tide is my favorite local shop in Damariscotta. They carry many different types of flour and sugar to suit whatever recipes I can think up.

In the Pantry
Baking uses many of the same items to create a myriad of different recipes. Here are some things to keep on hand in your pantry to make baking a snap. You can gather them over time to have the staples necessary to whip something up when you need it.
Flour- white, wheat, soy...
Pastry or cake flour
Wheat germ
White sugar
Brown sugar- light and dark
Baking powder
Baking soda
Bakewell Cream- cream of tartar
Sea Salt
Cocoa powder
Confectioners sugar
Corn starch
Buttermilk powder
Egg white powder
Espresso powder
Dry milk
Corn syrup
Crisco or other vegetable shortening
Peanut butter
Various pure extracts- lemon, anise…
Nutmeg- whole and ground
Black pepper
Chocolate- bits, bars and unsweetened squares- white and dark
Dried fruit
Seeds and nuts- flax, sesame, poppy, caraway, etc...
Unflavored gelatine
Vanilla bean
Coffee beans
Jams and jellies of assorted flavors
Food coloring

In the icebox:
Sour cream
Cream cheese
Fresh citrus fruit
Pastor Chuck's applesauce and apple butter
Savor,Linger, Enjoy! -Cynthia

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