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What mustn't you run out of?

For me, it's limes. I love Southeast Asian cuisine and caipirinhas.

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  1. chilies. I grow them year round, and I'd go crazy if I ran out. I use them in pretty much every dish I make

    1. Mustard, lettuce and canned tuna. Wasabi's always a plus.

      1. Good crusty bread, a hunk of some flavorful cheese, Spanish or Portuguese dry sausage, cornichons, olives. As long as I have these, I am always good to go.

        1. Olive oil. We're leaving for our primary home in about ten days and I'm trying to make the last bit last so I won't have to buy more. But I doubt I'll make it. And, yes, cheeses.

          1 Reply
          1. Oh good grief... the list is endless.

            I must not run out of:
            Tellecherry peppercorns
            Kosher & sea salt
            Dried and fresh chilies of every description & heat level
            Smoked Spanish Paprika
            Home made Creole seasoning
            Home dried thyme, oregano, basil, sage, tarragon, mint
            Red wine vinegar
            Sherry vinegar
            Rice vinegar
            Toasted sesame oil
            Peanut oil
            Fresh ginger
            Tinned anchovies
            Tinned Albacore tuna
            Tinned Spanish sardines
            Onions: red, white, sweet
            Carrots, bell peppers, celery
            Dried pasta: Linguine, spaghetti, angel hair, fettucine, Big Rigatoni
            Tinned Kitchen Ready Pastene tomatoes.... Ever... thank goodness for carton sales
            Oat meal
            Coarse corn meal
            TJ's organic ketsup
            TJ's Mayo
            Lo Sodium Tamari

            Oh gosh, there's more, but I'm too embarrassed to list it all.....

            9 Replies
            1. re: Gio

              What's so special about TJ's mayo? I am asking honestly (not being snarky). Just curious because I can't live w/o my Hellmann's.

              1. re: lynnlato

                TJ's mayo tastes exactly like Hellman's, which we were slaves to, but it's less expensive. Plus... it's organic!

                Lynnlato: I would never suspect you of being snarky.

                1. re: Gio

                  I'm not being snarky either, but I find that TJ's mayo is absolutely nothing compared to Best Foods (Hellmans') . Just another opinion.

                  I tried it once, because I am a TJ shopper and usually like their products. The mayo was not as terrible as Kraft's, but it did not in any way compare to Best Foods (IMO)

                  1. re: Gio

                    Ha! Well, thanks Gio, I'll have to give TJ's a try. I love a good bargain. :)

                2. re: Gio

                  OK, since almost everyone went to town with a list instead of one ingredient, I have to add some from your list to mine:

                  toasted sesame oil
                  rice vinegar

                  ... but practically speaking, Diet Coke, Lavazza gold espresso and whole goat milk are my real mustn't run out ofs.

                  1. re: Gio

                    Gio, what no Grappa on the list?

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      There's a bottle in the pantry as I type, Passa. It's not something I can't live without, tho.

                    2. re: Gio

                      I absolutely hate to run out of anything. I start to panic when I only have 1 jar of mayo in the pantry. Fortunately, I have a large pantry. I cleaned out my cupboard with baking supplies and found 17 bags of nuts. It really is a sickness.

                    3. Water (I drink A LOT) and butter.

                      I'm a simple gal ;-)

                      1. Coffee!!!!!!!! No food, no problem. Just make sure I get my cup of java.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: catrn

                          I'd say coffee, absolutely, also milk, butter, good bread, red wine and oranges. I could last quite awhile with those.

                            1. re: Gio

                              truthfully, and i never thought i'd say this, but i'm pretty all set with lobster in the amounts i had them in previous years.
                              i'm going to be doing a lot more U/W photography this year. but there will still be room for a few (dozen) mega lobster rolls.

                              1. re: ScubaSteve

                                So... will we see a coffee table book in the near future? Or perhaps an exhibit somewhere.....

                                1. re: Gio

                                  you flatter me.
                                  maybe, in a few years.

                          1. Coffee and fresh milk. I can cope with no food in the house, but no coffee's a disaster! Ideally, also cheese, yeast, bread flour, and butter or oil.

                            1. Garlic. There is always something around to cook which will taste good with garlic. A lot of things need garlic to be at their best.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gfr1111

                                I second garlic, I can't run out of it.

                              2. Diet Coke and/or Crystal Lite drink mix

                                Like others, I can live w/out food in the house but MUST have either Diet Coke or Crystal Lite 24/7. Only exception is that one vital cuppa in the a.m. (and Diet Coke icy cold and slammed hard can substitute)

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: laliz

                                  Yeah, sadly, diet coke for me too. Been an addict for 26 years and counting.

                                  I should add it doesn't have to be diet coke. Diet soda of any kind. I'm actually partial to wild cherry diet pepsi.

                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                    That's where we differ. I don't touch Pepsi products.
                                    I will drink a diet RC or Shasta cola, but NOT Pepsi.
                                    Has a very unpleasant aftertaste for me.

                                    1. re: laliz

                                      Actually, it's the wild cherry alone that I *adore.* I don't like regular diet pepsi at all—but believe me, I'll drink it if it's the only diet soda available!

                                  2. re: laliz

                                    Yes, by all means......Diet Coke, in a can. Even the friends of my children know that one does NOT take the last Diet Coke out of the refrigerator.

                                    1. re: steakman55

                                      I always hide the last one for me.

                                    1. Milk
                                      Cottage Cheese
                                      Kellogg's All-Bran Flakes

                                      I never let the stocks run low on this stuff.

                                      1. Rye Bread
                                        whole wheat bread
                                        Coke Zero
                                        peanut butter
                                        hard cheeses
                                        red wine
                                        Swedish Fish
                                        Did I mention wine?

                                        1. Coffee, half & half to put in it, and at least the bare minimum ingredients to make some kind of cookie.

                                          1. Onions
                                            Kosher Salt
                                            Bottled Water

                                            So I guess I really can just live on breakfast alone. :)

                                            Well...not really. One more critical item: CHOCOLATE!

                                            1. olive oil,
                                              dark mustard
                                              rye bread
                                              chocolate eggs

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Kelli2006

                                                is that:

                                                or is it:
                                                chocolate eggs

                                              2. It changes week to week for me, depending on my mood (and craving). This week, it's eggs, limeade, and Red Vines. Yes, I said Red Vines.

                                                1. gin
                                                  everything else can be worked around.

                                                  1. My husband is horrified if we run out of bananas, apples, or milk. Appalled that such conditions could exist in our home ;-)

                                                    I prefer not to run out of chevre or dark chocolate. Our priorities are a bit different.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: danna

                                                      I hear you Danna-my husband FREAKS out when we get down to the last banana. I don't eat them- they are all his but he will text me when I'm at work and he runs home for lunch: "More Bananas please, baby. Please. Seriously. We are almost out." HA!!

                                                      I feel lost if I ever run out of: garlic, olive oil, coffee, bacon, butter and cookies. It rarely happens, actually.

                                                    2. Wine
                                                      Garlic, several kinds of onions, peppers, celery, jalapenos
                                                      Real french bread
                                                      European butter
                                                      Fresh fruit
                                                      Hellman's mayo
                                                      Muir Glen canned tomatoes

                                                      1. Butter eggs flour sugar chocolate. I just don't feel safe in the world if I can't bake a chocolate cake at the drop of a hat. You know, in case of emergencies.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mordacity

                                                          That's my list, too!

                                                          If I had to pick just one thing, it would be butter. Two pounds is par in my house.

                                                        2. Malidjano. I'll put it on just about anything.

                                                          1. Wine, milk, butter, coffee, garlic and olive oil are staples. Several kinds of flour. Bananas, apples and avocados.

                                                            1. Milk
                                                              peanut butter
                                                              olive oil

                                                              1. I'd say coffee, except that we have a Sheetz down the block and their coffee is good and replenished frequently so I never have a coffee "situation" at my house.

                                                                So my answer is hot sauce, which I will never run out of since I have around 20 different bottles. (Thanks Peppers, of Rehoboth Beach, DE!)

                                                                1. onions
                                                                  tomato paste
                                                                  canned tomatoes
                                                                  a container of chicken stock
                                                                  S & P

                                                                  1. Peanut butter (preferably TJ's salted creamy) and Diet Coke. I eat lots of good food, but those are the only things I consume every day.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                                                      Me, too!! Diet Coke and Better than PButter from TJ's.

                                                                    2. milk
                                                                      cottage cheese
                                                                      red wine
                                                                      glad we live across the street from a grocery store!

                                                                      1. Pasta, rice and olive oil, salt, black pepper,

                                                                        if I have those, I can live happy.

                                                                        and most important, inspiration, if I run out of it, I'm done!

                                                                        1. Rices, chiles, limes, lettuces, masa harina, soy sauce, fish sauce, wine, rum, onions, green onions, ginger, garlic, dried beans, fish, spices.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                            Dang, I forgot to mention rum. (These days, more cachaca.)

                                                                          2. Salt cod, pickled periwinkles, alewives, soft shell clams, Finn Haddie, scallop roe, and smoked mackeral. Oh yes, crab and lobster tomale to spread on bread. Imagine.

                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                              I didn't know people ate alewives. I just remember the smell in the spring on the coast of lake MI. There was even a local comedy troupe called the "Dead Alewives." In high school we would use there dried carcasses along w/ driftwood for mini bonfires.

                                                                              1. re: corneygirl

                                                                                The smell was um,... amazing for lack of a better word. Where did you live?

                                                                                1. re: corneygirl

                                                                                  Smelt are running now too. A gallon per person per night limit.

                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                    Oh Smelts!! My second favorite fish. Pan fried with a squish of lemon.... Yum!

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      In Finland, fried smelt are often served after a hot (I mean over 300 degrees, hot!) sauna w/ a cold beer. Sausages too.

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                        Can't do sauna - drains me of too much energy. I'll take the beer and smelts, tho.

                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                          Smoked alewives are a downeast favorite.

                                                                              2. in order of importance

                                                                                peanut butter (current phase is skippy)
                                                                                skim milk
                                                                                hellman's mayo

                                                                                1. Endless, however
                                                                                  veggies, lettuce
                                                                                  canned tomatoes
                                                                                  chicken breasts
                                                                                  cream and broth. I could make a lot out of those things.

                                                                                  Could live along time on just that.

                                                                                  There would never be just one item. But when I traveled a few years back and was on a boat for 6 weeks, Me and my crew lost wallets, credit cards and cash during a bad storm, and I did report everything missing, and I could of gone to port and waited for a wire transfer. Well call me crazy, but me and my crew decided to live off the land. We traveled way south through Central and South America and stopped at some local ports. Some local produce we picked, some staples on the boat we had, fresh fish almost daily, some canned food and tomatoes and pastas and it was interesting to see how easy it is and how unique it is to live simple. No truffle oil, sesame oil, fancy ingredients, vinegars, special spices, this and that. But just necessity. We caught fish and sold them in exchange for fresh vegetables at some ports. Vinegar, plain cider if any. When it comes down do it, you can really cook great food without all these special fancy ingredients.

                                                                                  A favorite still is grouper in a banana leaf with a mango, avacado and papaya salsa with just a little oil, lime juice and mint. A local pepper and some plantains and dinner. People forget what true cooking and cooking from the land is all about. I learned a lot of 6 weeks and loved every minute. To make a mango sauce with chili shrimp with fresh spinach and plantains and coconut and many other fruits, some long grain rice. Salt and pepper maybe, spices, limited if none but not required. We get way too spoiled and depend on fancy over priced ingredients to make us sound great when the basics can be made with few ingredients.

                                                                                  I am a firm believer and I am sure I will have those that disagree but I believe it. I'm home and I do like my canned tomatoes, cream or milk, broth but it is amazing what you can make with very little. I love shortcuts because life now is not what is was on the water. Two different scenarios. We sold fish to buy chicken at one of the stops and who knows what shape the chicken was in. And others worry about only buying the perfect organic chicken vs a chicken from a regular grocery store. We would of been thrilled to see a grocery store that had chicken period or having the money to buy it. Yes we made this decision but it was like a test. It was fun, adventurous and educational and taught me a lot.

                                                                                  I dare anyone to do that just a week and see how different you may feel without all the comforts of cooking. And appliances. A fire pit and small 1 burner stove. 1 large pan 2 pots and a few tupperware.

                                                                                  It really teaches you the true art of cooking not what cooking has become. But as I said, I'm home and today it is much different, different style and different life. So I cook as life dictates but I still appreciate the experience I had as well as the education I had.

                                                                                  1. Olive oil, eggs, garlic, milk, butter.

                                                                                    Oh, more importantly...wine & dog food!

                                                                                    1. Coffee essential.
                                                                                      Milk almost essential - but I can always drink the coffee black..

                                                                                        1. TJs raw almond butter and fresh fruit (apples, bananas, etc)

                                                                                          1. peanut butter
                                                                                            hellman's mayo
                                                                                            cheese - any kind, as long as it is cheese
                                                                                            seasonings (spices, soy sauce, herbs, salts, peppers)
                                                                                            ice for my water
                                                                                            special crackers (triscuits, wheat thins, nut thins, toasteds, etc.)
                                                                                            fesh garlic
                                                                                            cat food

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: danhole

                                                                                              ice!! I once moved into a duplex and had to get my own fridge. I didn't spring for the ice maker and it was HORRIBLE. Lesson learned!!

                                                                                              1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                I have a fridge with an icemaker and it also crushes ice, so I am spoiled. I used to babysit for my granddaughter and my daughter uses ice trays and isn't too good at keeping them filled. Drove me crazy to go over there and find that there was no ice, so I would take gallon bags of ice with me! I drink water all day and I HAVE to have ice!

                                                                                                1. re: danhole

                                                                                                  We currently have a fantastic ice maker- but it does not crush. When we upgrade, that is a *want* but I do have it at work, where I am more then home so it works out. My gfriend from Ukraine doesn't believe in ice, I guess. I was floored when we visited and she didn't have a single cube in the house! S'ok, I still love her but it just seemed...weird.

                                                                                            2. Fettuccine is first and foremost for me. I always keep pastas (usually fettuccine), pasta sauce, shredded parmesan and some herbs in the fridge so no matter what I can feed an unexpected group a delicious meal with minimal cost. Other must haves are good artisan bread, butter.coffee. Ritz crackers, fruit and Jif honey roasted peanut butter (my big weakness)

                                                                                              1. flour
                                                                                                (so I can always make a dessert)
                                                                                                some form of tomato product
                                                                                                (so there is always dinner)

                                                                                                1. Besides the obvious (coffee, water, EVOO, etc.), I am a FANATIC about always having a container of Cederlane stuffed grape leaves in my fridge. Also cornichons (although I can breathe easy as long as there is some kind of pickle around), hummus (plain or roasted red pepper) and pita chips. I also keep a fully stocked candy cupboard, so I know I can breeze by any time and grab a handful of chocolates. And I try to keep bottles of wine stocked in the house, but they always seem to disapear rather quickly. And lately, I've been obsessed with those little oranges (Cuties), so they are always around. I like things that I can grab in small bites when needed. Oh, and also Cederlane frozen burritos (especially the cous cous and veggie).

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms

                                                                                                    Totally forgot-Greek Vinagrette and yellow Mustard.

                                                                                                  2. Wine
                                                                                                    Dog Food (this includes chicken or beef liver, fish, pasta... we have an OLD dog!)
                                                                                                    Beyond that, we can make do, but most important are:
                                                                                                    Olive Oil
                                                                                                    Some sort of protein (chicken/beef/lamb/fish)
                                                                                                    Some sort of green veg (salad/spinach/collards/asparagus)
                                                                                                    Kosher salt
                                                                                                    A couple of good vinegars

                                                                                                    1. In order of priority:
                                                                                                      Pet food
                                                                                                      Smoked oysters
                                                                                                      Good and Plenty candy

                                                                                                      1. Dry vermouth! My nightmare - I come home from a long day, chill a glass, cut a twist, fill a shaker with gin and ice, and grab an empty vermouth bottle from the fridge.

                                                                                                        1. I can't list them in order of importance because it depends on my mood, but...
                                                                                                          olive oil
                                                                                                          soy sauce
                                                                                                          fresh thyme
                                                                                                          canned tomatoes (except I just looked this morning and we're down to one can - I was horrified!)
                                                                                                          black peppercorns
                                                                                                          crushed red pepper
                                                                                                          chicken stock (homemade)

                                                                                                          This is getting embarrassing!

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: auburnselkie

                                                                                                            celery? you can't possibly run out?!?! I can hardly use it up before it dies!! Come on over, I'll share my stalks!

                                                                                                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                                                                                              I make stock on a weekly basis and there's always peanut-butter stuffed celery for the kids - weird, I know, but I never ever run out. But I've got about 12 gallons of persimmon puree I'd be happy to trade you!

                                                                                                          2. PBR
                                                                                                            Sriracha and various hot sauces

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: MattInNJ

                                                                                                              lol i love this reply. i'm a PBR girl myself.

                                                                                                              1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                                                My favorite country 'n western song: "Red Neck, White Sox & Blue Ribbon Beer", hee haw! My grandpap's favorite and one of the first I used to sneak out of the fridge.

                                                                                                                1. re: CoryKatherine

                                                                                                                  Oh, I forgot...Franzia Sunset Blush in a box. Yes, boxed wine out of a spout :)

                                                                                                              2. fun topic! for me its:

                                                                                                                cottage cheese
                                                                                                                olive oil
                                                                                                                diet coke
                                                                                                                crystal light lemonade

                                                                                                                1. I have to have different kinds of meats to suit the mood for dinner withouth having to stop at the store on the way home from the gym.
                                                                                                                  After that,
                                                                                                                  Canned tomatoes of all kinds

                                                                                                                  1. Sriracha - I put it on everything.

                                                                                                                    1. Coffee & half-n-half
                                                                                                                      Diet cola
                                                                                                                      hot dogs

                                                                                                                        1. Old Bay
                                                                                                                          Franks Hot Sauce
                                                                                                                          Beer (right now it's Sam Adams Summer Ale)

                                                                                                                          1. BEER! (Of course.)
                                                                                                                            Cheese, pasta, skim milk, seltzer, some type of fresh veggie, black peppercorns,wine, decent bread. And beer.

                                                                                                                            1. tomatoes -- preferably sugar plums or grape
                                                                                                                              white balsamic vinegar - etiher tesoro di balsamico brand from WF's or TJ's
                                                                                                                              bragg's amino acids
                                                                                                                              lemon juice