So you say you’re ready to start cooking?
No, you’re not!! This kitchen is practically empty. I opened a cabinet and a moth came out. You can’t cook until you buy some food. What were you even thinking?
Grab your mask and your wallet. We’re going out for staples.
Back in the dawn of time when I got married, new couples were set up by friends and family at the “bridal shower”. This was a fun old tradition in which every woman the bride had ever met gathered to eat tiny tasteless sandwiches while watching the young lady open a thousand presents. But it was practical, too! Every guest was asked to bring a recipe and all the non-perishable ingredients to make it. It was brilliant.
Nowadays new cooks have to go out to the grocery store and actually buy the key items needed to feed themselves. But don’t be alarmed! It’s actually a pretty simple list for you. I mean, we plan to start our cooking adventures pretty slowly. This won’t take long.
So here are the items that you need to keep around in the house. You don’t have to know what you plan to do with them when you buy them, you just want to have them around in case you suddenly get an overwhelming desire to eat. You want to be ready when inspiration or cravings hit.
But before we start to actually put things in the cart, here are a few key ground rules for this step on your path to culinary greatness.
#1. Don’t think for more than 30 seconds about any purchase. Seriously. If you start making yourself think about macronutrients or cost per ounce, you’ll be so overwhelmed that you’ll end up buying a gallon of ice cream and heading home. Just get something. If you hate it, you just won’t buy it again.
#2. Don’t plan any meals or recipes yet. Just stock your kitchen. Pretend you’re an artist and you need to stock your art studio. You’re just buying the canvases and paints today. Tomorrow you’ll work on your masterpiece.
For your kitchen staples you will need:
- Oil. It can be olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, peanut oil. Whatever you like. I keep all of these around the house, but you might want to start out with one or two and go from there.
- Flour. All purpose is the best to start. Just a bag of white flour.
- Salt and pepper. Sometimes the best meals have only these two for spices.
- A sweetener. Sugar, honey, corn syrup. Whatevs.
- A few small onions
- A bulb of garlic
- A few cans of beans (any kind) and a couple of small cans of tomatoes
- Some pasta. Grab whatever looks interesting!
- Some rice. White, brown, basmati, jasmine, who cares? Just don’t get partially cooked (we’re better than that…..)
- A few potatoes. Maybe a yam. They keep!
- Vegetables and fruit. Get some. BUT: only buy what you like and know you will eat. I know that kale is a wonderful superfood. But personally, I’d rather eat dirt. So I don’t buy kale. I keep a week’s worth of fresh vegetables in my fridge, and I always have frozen veggies as well. What I buy changes with the seasons, because I don’t eat salad in the winter (not for any lofty reason; I just don’t like it when I’m cold!). I tend to buy what is in season. But there are NO RULES. Buy what you like.
And that’s it. You’re ready to roll.
Aren’t you so proud of yourself!?