These are very personal lists, of course–very much tied to what I tend to cook. But the main point, I think, is that when you’re stocked up with ingredients, you’ve got a lot of material to work with whenever you want to try a new recipe or throw something together. Will you end up with a few “oops”es here and there? Sure. But, more often than not, it’s fun and rewarding to play around in the kitchen.
Maybe you’re already a condiment king or queen (like me!)–maybe you’re trying to build up to a stocked pantry–or maybe all you currently have in your refrigerator are a dozen eggs and a old jar of salsa. Whichever fits, I’ve tried to tailor a list to meet your needs. Start with staples, then work your way up to more unusual ingredients–most of the things I’ve listed will last a long time in the pantry, fridge, or freezer–so think about these items as “investments” in a sound culinary future!
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