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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Post the Eighth (in which our heroine gives you her storecupboard basics)

I have a confession to make.  I had another very lazy night last night and just did pasta with pesto.  What can I say, I was home alone and wasn't bothered doing anything more complicated.  Having said that, pasta with pesto (or pasto, as I like to call it), like carbonara, gives you a taste return far in excess of the effort required, and is preferable to sticking a ready meal in the microwave if you're lazy/in a rush/pushed for time.  I don't have a microwave, by the way.  Or a toaster.  Some people find that ker-azy.

Lest I be accused of getting lazy, here's a picture of the P&P:

Homemade pesto is also dead easy to make, but I'll save that for another day.

Anyway, all this is leading me up to the real point of this entry - that if you have a half-decent store of basics, you'll always be able to throw something half-decent together for dinner.  Simples :-)

So, things I always have to hand are:

Milk (obviously)
Butter - real and the low fat shit (and I always keep half the butter in the fridge and half in a butter dish in the press)
Cheese - mature cheddar and parmesan
Chorizo (the sausage kind, not slices)
Lemons & limes
Natural yoghurt

Bacon lardons (buy the bacon offcuts in Aldi and chop & portion them into freezer bags)
Flour tortillas
Wedges/Chips/Frozen Pizza (cause yeah, we all get totally caught out sometimes)

Rice - long grain & arborio
Beef & chicken stock/bouillon
Olive oil - I keep blended for cooking & extra virgin for dressings, etc.
Sunflower/veg oil for frying
Vinegar - malt, red wine, white wine, balsamic & cider
Tins of tuna in brine
Tinned tomatoes (buy whole and blitz in the blender before using.  They're cheaper and tend to be better quality)
Tomato puree
Tins of kidney beans, chickpeas & cannellini beans
Puy lentils
A can of condensed cream of chicken soup
Squeezy honey
Cheapo red & white wine for cooking

Coarse salt in a mill
Maldon salt
Fine/table salt
Black pepper in a mill
Garlic granules
Ground cumin
Cumin seed
Chili powder/flakes
Garam masala
Curry powder

Veg - I know veg can go off very quickly, but I always have a bag of spuds in the garage (cool & dark).  I like roosters or Kerr's Pink.

I could go on and on and on about things that I genuinely consider essentials, but A) I'd sound like a pretentious arse and B) I don't want to scare off any burgeoning cooks out there.  To give you an idea of the depths of my obsession, though, here's a pic of about half of my basics - I have another full double press in addition to this.


Meanwhile, back in the real world, London is being torn apart by gangs of knackers in hoodies.  I was purposely avoiding Sky News because I can't abide their barely contained glee when something like this happens, but eventually swtiched it on today.  I should have known better.  They just continuously looped the same 15 minutes of footage whilst Kay Burley interviewed an increasingly irrelevant array of "experts" and witnesses.  What's happening over there is genuinely disturbing stuff; Sky News making news porn out of it for people who are too stupid to read the papers is just ambulance-chasing of the worst sort.

And to the parents of the scumbags causing all this - get out there and drag your fucking kids into the house.  Lock them in if you have to.  Unfortunately, the nose-breathing parents of these scumbags are probably staring slack-jawed at Sky News and haven't given a second thought to where their progeny actually are.

I really hate people sometimes.

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