Friday Links: Provisions

Squirreling away some nuts.

I don’t know if it is the season change or the fact that our ‘fridge and cupboards look like we are two months past an apocalyptic event, but I just dropped $300 at Costco.

Yes, I now have lunchbox snacks until February.

Yes, I bought dog food, which always jacks up the total.

However.

We are only two people in this house. How much food could we possibly need?

$300 worth, apparently, not including the other $80 that I dropped at Giant directly after, and the $40-50 I will spend at the farmer’s market on Saturday.

So this week’s post is all about provisions: what you need for a well-stocked pantry, a few tips for the bar, and how to do it all without taking on a second mortgage.

Essential Spices For Indian Food: Against all odds, I love Indian food. I have zero experience cooking it, though. My first attempt at tandoori chicken was really an overcooked piece of meat with cumin paste. My pantry is well-stocked, though, and I plan on trying again.

Bon Appetit’s Guide to What Every Kitchen Should Have: I love this list because it is simple and doesn’t focus on pre-packaged food. These staples mean dinner is always 15 minutes away. It does mean you have to cook (rather than simply heat up), which bothers The Teenager quite a bit, but that’s how things go.

Stocking The Broke Kitchen: Okay, so this one is a little controversial for me. ¬†People have different ideas of what saving money means, and when I say “affordable,” I don’t mean $100. When I first moved to Seattle in 1996, I had $200 in my pocket. I managed to find a landlord who would take my deposit and last month’s rent on a payment plan so I could move away from a bad situation. So when I say “affordable,” I really mean like foodstamps-level broke. My budget for food was $25 a week, which I stretched by not eating breakfast and drinking lots of coffee with cream and sugar at my temp job. So I know from broke, as my Jewish grandmother would say.

Still, stocking a whole pantry with staples for $100 is pretty good.

Stocking A Bar On A Budget: Let’s face it: it gets dark early during the fall, and you are not always going to want to drag yourself out for a decent cocktail. But booze adds up fast, and if you are picky about your booze and want to drink the good stuff, your daily tipple can get spendy fast. Rein it in with this guide.

BONUS: Homemade Fireball Whiskey: Because life’s too short to drink something with anti-freeze in it.¬†

DOUBLE PLUS GOOD BONUS: Easy Dressing: Why not provision your closet with a capsule wardrobe while you’re at it?

So have fun stocking up, and tell me: what’s the one ingredient your pantry or bar can’t do without?