What is in your pantry?-A A +A
Pots and Pans
Thursday, October 24, 2013
PANTRY is defined as a small closed space, usually in the kitchen or connected to the kitchen, with a door or curtain, where food and utensils for food preparation are stored or kept.
Before the advent of “modern” houses, we have different cabinets where we put our kitchen wares, canned goods, dinner wares and other items.
Pantry was unheard of because how much stuff and pieces do we really need then?
I had a very good “provincial” experience when it comes to keeping food, food items and other stuffs.
For one, we have very few pots and pans. We don’t cook much since we do it daily.
Being in an island where sea foods are fresh every day, who need to cook a lot?
However, canned goods are only used sparingly.
“Imported” items are kept in a separate cabinet and opened & eaten only during very special occasions.
Why? Because it was hard to acquire them during those periods.
One should be considered lucky if they have a can of “imported” fruit cocktail, “imported” corned beef and the like. Not only is it hard to find, they were very expensive, too.
Since we have a dirty kitchen where we used firewood in cooking, that is where all of the smoked-covered bottom cookwares were kept.
The “cleaner” ones were kept separately and only used in heating foods in the gas stove. Well, aside from simple frying and cooking.
Most of the daily-used plates, cups and saucers, glasses, fork and spoons are stored in the ‘banggera’ or a “hanging” window in the dining room which is near the sink for easy access.
Basically it is air-dried, and wiped before use.
But later on, they were kept in a screened cabinet for sanitary purposes.
I remember in my early childhood, we don’t have electricity until the mid-70s.
And when we finally have it, we only have six hours of electricity, so we didn’t own a refrigerator until that time.
Cooked foods were stocked in a screened cabinet, as well as the other condiments like soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, etc. And maybe a few canned goods like ‘sardinas and salmon,’ plus the ever popular ‘ginamos.’
It was then, but somehow, we still practice that in some ways.
Things started to change in the last 10-20 years or so.
Houses are made more friendly and functional with the addition of storage rooms.
For those who have a bigger space, a pantry would be a good idea because it really saves time and energy in storing and finding necessary food and other utensils in a short time.
So, what can be found in your pantry or maybe cupboards if checked at this time?
Basic stuffs like rice, assorted noodles, canned products like tuna and sardines, pork and beans, evaporated and condensed milk, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, hot sauce, corn starch, powdered milk and juices, dried fish, coffee, tea, catsup, mayonnaise, canned pineapple, assorted spices, spaghetti, macaroni and a few more.
For the bakers, I should say there would be different types of flours and sugars, assorted flavorings like vanilla and lemon, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, bread crumbs, raisins, nuts, cocoa powder, shortening, margarine, assorted cake pans, aluminum foils, wax papers, etc.
But for the more upscale, maybe we will be including a variety of coffees and teas, chocolate mixes, different sweeteners, fruit cocktails, corned beef, Vienna sausage and frankfurters, selection of different cake mixes, brownie mixes, ready-to-cook pasta, a range of pasta like lasagna, fettuccine, cannelloni, etc., several bottles of wines and champagnes (unless they have a wine cellar, of course!), canned and huge bottles of sodas, ready-to-eat nuts and ‘chichiria’ (both local and imported) to name a few.
What about the freezer/refrigerator? Am sure there would be an assortment of goodies like ice cream, chocolates, fruits, eggs and veggies, cakes and pastries, too.
I believe we should have some of the mentioned items just in case an unannounced guest comes to visit or spur of the moment ideas pops up. Just the basics, which one considers to be important. It doesn’t have to be expensive or imported.
On the other side, we really don’t need to have as much since our “friendly” neighborhood or convenient store is just around the corner. We can easily run and buy them as needed.
We can buy sodas and maybe some breads or pastries, even take-out meals if we have to.
We can even buy just a piece or two of this and that. How convenient can it be?
But for those who live in subdivisions or far-flung areas, I am sure it is advantageous to them because it is not easy to travel every day just to buy these needed items.
Besides, it is also practical to have them when the need arises.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 24, 2013.