Stock the Pantry

"In spite of food fads, fitness programs and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."                                                           --Julia Child

Has an evening meal made from scratch with fresh ingredients and tantalizing flavors become quixotic?  Amanda Hesser, respected food writer/editor, founder of Food 52 and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook writes, "By 2008, asking a home cook to make dinner every night was out of the question, but asking him to make his own creme fraiche or butter -- anything elemental or artisanal -- was somehow reasonable. "  Oh, Amanda how disheartening.   Is she right?  If we take a honest look at American culture and what sells in grocery stores, it appears so.

Beneath consumer demand for convenient solutions for meals, there is a burgeoning desire to get back to scratch cooking and homemade meals  -- meals that are fresh, simple, healthful and beautifully conceived.  Cooking from a well-stocked pantry is the start of what can make this possible.  I, along with my original two partners I started with on this project, have spent years studying and experimenting with the foods that need to be stocked for simple and healthful everyday cooking.   Since 2003,  alterations to the SimplyCooking® Pantry were made in order to make the recipes healthier and more current with how people want to eat;  bacon was on in 2003 but is now off the SimplyCooking® Pantry despite its current rush of culinary status (Candied Bacon Ice Cream, anyone?).

Today, the SimplyCooking® concept in cooking, stocking the pantry and designing a kitchen is the solution I developed for myself and others who want to avoid processed foods, eat mostly plant based meals and prepare fresh and healthful foods at home daily.  If at the start of this new year you resolved to get cooking, make more foods from scratch, buy less processed foods or  create more family meals, please know your goal is not foolish or impractical, nor are you alone.  I invite you to stock the items in the SimplyCooking® Pantry, follow along and remain true to your own creativity and concept of a beautifully conceived meal.