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What are the 4 or 5 items you cannot be without in your home pantry? Mine are: kosher salt, butter, good olive oil, lemons.

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  1. Speaking for my Shanghainese wife, I'd say Canola oil, "lao" soy sauce (she seems to favor Kimlan label), Shaoxing rice wine, Zhenjiang vinegar and sugar. With these and fresh green onions, she can cook just about anything.

    1. Great question!

      Whole nutmeg
      Whole black pepper
      Olive Oil
      Rice Vinegar

      1. sea salt
        olive oil
        good balsalmic
        frank's red hot (hides in shame)
        butter and lots of it (ok, not really in the pantry, but close by in the fridge and freezer...after cooking 3 major meals last week for multiple guests i think i went through about 11 lbs of butter alone last week. a meal at my house comes with a free angioplasty)

        1. Given an unlimited supply of fresh meat and produce, I think I could get by with just kosher salt, brown or white sugar, and neutral oil.

          In the real world, I need an arsenal of spices and seasonings from around the world, but those three are the only things I use every single day.

          1. fresh garlic
            fresh basil
            good olive oil
            kosher salt and peppercorns
            baguettes to warm
            garam marsala

            1. Fish sauce, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, chilis, garlic, ginger, whole black pepper, cilantro, limes.

              1. Coffee
                Heavy cream
                Good sourdough bread
                Dried fruit
                Exotic lettuces

                1. Kosher salt
                  Good Olive Oil
                  Butter butter butter butter! Butter!
                  Jasmine Rice
                  Chicken stock

                  1. Fresh garlic
                    Fresh shallots
                    Balsamic vinegar
                    Extra virgin olive oil
                    Sea salt
                    Seasoning salt

                    1. Wow it does concern me that my chow-buds keep some of these items in the pantry, but c'est la vie.

                      My 4-5 pantry items:

                      1 - salt/pepper
                      2 - coffee/tea
                      3 - EVOO
                      4 - Frosted Flakes - every night at 1030 for me
                      5 - pastas

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jfood

                        Ha ha, honey crunch corn flakes for me.....btw, when did they stop being "honey nut" and start being "honey crunch"?

                        1. re: formerlyfingers

                          Dunno, but they've changed a lot of cereal names since I was a kid - I guess to avoid the word sugar! "Sugar Pops" have become "Corn Pops", "Sugar Smacks" are now "Honey Smacks", etc. Please. All us big kids know it's sugar.

                      2. Let's assume the obvious: salt, peppercorns, olive oil, butter, garlic.

                        Now, after that here are the things that I must have:
                        1. Onions
                        2. Honey
                        3. Vinegar--white wine, malt, and cider (call me a heretic but I don't really like balsamic vinegar, although I do have a bottle for when it's unavoidable)
                        4. Achiote verde paste--mix with lime for a wonderful marinade
                        Jalapeno peppers--fresh out of my garden & frozen for winter
                        5. Prime Rib Rub--a seasoning blend my husband picked up for me at a local meat market; aside from the obvious use I put it in meat loaf, on just about any roast, even seasoning meat for stew
                        6. (sorry) some good beer

                        1. Another great post!

                          Kosher salt
                          Rice Wine
                          Soy Sauce

                          1. onions
                            black pepper
                            garlic pepper
                            hot sauce

                            1. Black Pepper
                              Olive Oil

                              1. Kosher salt and whole black pepper
                                Fresh shallots
                                Light and extra virgin olive oil
                                Dijon mustard

                                1. 1. soy sauce
                                  2. garlic salt
                                  3. lemon pepper
                                  4. olive oil
                                  5. red pepper flakes

                                  1. hmm lets see, i have soo many spices i use!if i had lots of fresh meat and fresh veggies...

                                    olive oil
                                    sea salt
                                    black pepper
                                    garam masala
                                    only 5? ok, these might be alternates then...

                                    curry paste (or powder)
                                    tomato paste

                                    1. Butter
                                      Olive Oil
                                      pasta/potatoes (some kind of carby thing in the pantry)

                                      1. good olive oil
                                        good canned tomatoes