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"If I have _______ in my kitchen, I can eat."

What is the one or two items that, if you have it in your kitchen, you can make SOMETHING to eat?

For me, it's pasta. If I have some form of pasta, especially if I have some kind of protein to go with it, I will NOT go hungry. I can always make some kind of meal to eat.

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  1. Rice ... I can do a lot of different type of cuisine with it.


    1. I believe it is true for everyone that if they have pasta in their kitchen, they can make something to eat. For example, pasta. I'm curious to find out what other kinds of food work like this.

      1. olive oil and almost any vegetable or eggs with? too long a list

        1. Pasta for me too, I keep a "pasta pantry". And parmesan cheese. With those 2, I can dig through the frig/pantry and always come up with something good, even for company.

          3 Replies
          1. re: BubblyOne

            +1- I like the term "pasta pantry", too.

            1. re: BubblyOne

              +2 on Pasta Pantry with olive oil and excellent Parmesan and maybe a a couple of anchovy filets. Significant protein and the components can satisfy even the the pickiest in the family.

              1. re: marthasway

                How I'd love to be a "pasta pantry" entry, but Mr Pine doesn't like pasta (shouldn't that be some kind of a crime?). For us, ingredients would be eggs and cheese, and can I add 1 more--tomatoes. Can always forage something outta that.

            2. Black beans. Even when made with fairly sad ingredients (garlic powder if I'm out of real garlic, a can of V-8 instead of broth, etc.) a black bean soup is never that bad.

              1. chicken....so many types of dishes can be made with chicken from plain to fancy.

                  1. eggs; any protein. with any liquid or spice on hand, it's possible to make a decent, hearty meal that doesn't feel "cheap."

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: jamieeats

                        That does it for me, too. I always have an assortment of proteins, fresh herbs, eggs, greens.

                      2. Ice cream and Cap N Crunch cereal.

                        16 Replies
                            1. re: Jen76

                              I've mixed Captain Crunch and ice cream, and it is wonderful. If you start with softened ice cream, its meltiness can take away some of the crunch, and the CC won't slice the roof of your mouth up the way it usually does. You leave mixed and melty together for a few minutes and then re-freeze it.

                              1. re: Jen76

                                Do you mix them together?



                                Well, not exactly "mixing" ... more like Cap N Crunch topping on fresh, homemade ice cream, esp. something savory like Meyer lemon black pepper ice cream.

                                One time I made a Cap N Crunch "waffle dish" to use as an edible ice cream dish.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I cannot seem to muster up an image in my brain of a Cap'n Crunch waffle dish, and about the closest I've gotten to savory ice cream is the black sesame gelato I sampled at a local shop. Sounds...interesting!

                                  1. re: Jen76

                                    Re: savory ice cream.

                                    I've made the following with much success

                                    - Sichuan peppercorn chocolate
                                    - Salted caramel
                                    - Star anise and ginger
                                    - Lemon and black pepper

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Oh my gosh, those sound soooo good. Which was your favorite?

                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                        Probably Sichuan peppercorn and dark chocolate (at least 85% cocao).

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Mmmmm, sounds so exotic. The lemon and black pepper sounds amazing, too. All of it, really.

                                          1. re: jlhinwa

                                            And I just stumbled upon and made this ... sour plum juice ice cream.

                                            Which is just ... amazing.

                                            Read about it here: http://www.chow.com/topics/805421

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing. Sour plum juice?! Okay, you are officially killing me. I am making my first ever solo batch of potato lefse right now and let's just say I am less than enthused. It is a labor of love for my parents and I would soooo rather be making exotic ice cream!

                                              1. re: jlhinwa

                                                Y'know what the best part about experimenting with uncanny (or, as you say, "exotic") ice cream flavors is?

                                                Even when you mess up, you're still left with ice cream that's still pretty darn good, cuz, it's still ice cream!

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  That is an excellent point!

                                                  Next summer is going to be my summer of ice cream. I haven't made it in years and have no idea where my ice cream maker is but I'm going to invest in some equipment and try new and interesting flavor combinations.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    What's your favorite base recipe? I have my ice cream maker bowl in the freezer ready and waiting!

                                                    1. re: Jen76

                                                      It's a pretty basic, standard custard base. Depending on what flavors I'm creating, I may or may not add the vanilla.


                                                      1 cup whole milk
                                                      2 cups heavy cream
                                                      3/4 cup of sugar
                                                      1 whole Madagascar vanilla bean (optional)
                                                      5 egg yolks
                                                      A pinch of salt

                                                      Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, and add the vanilla bean seeds if using. Then let it sit covered for about 1-2 hours.

                                                      Next combine the 5 egg yolks, and rewarm the milk, and slowly incorporate the milk into the yolks to make your custard. After everything is combined, pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan. Reheat the custard until it starts to thicken. Use very low heat in the process. Set aside.

                                                      Now put the heavy cream in a bowl, and set it over an ice bath. Then slowly strain the custard into the heavy cream. Keep stirring the custard and heavy cream over the ice bath until it is cool to the touch.

                                                      At this point, what you do will depend on your ice cream maker. Some will say chill it in the freezer overnight; others don't require this step and you can just dump it into your machine.

                                                      But that's my basic ice cream base.

                                      2. re: Jen76

                                        Blue Moon in Fells Point Baltimore is famous for their Cap'n Crunch french toast. A unique treat that can't be beat!

                                  1. eggs and tortillas.
                                    closely followed by arktos' post, upthread, "potatoes and eggs."
                                    with the three, i could live forever!

                                    1. Eggs and some kind of cheese. Always.

                                      1. Sausage. I always keep an interesting assortment in the freezer, from weisswurst to hot links. They can go with just about any vegetable and / or just about any starch. Last night it was bratwurst with baked beans and a salad.

                                        1. Starches: pasta, rice (white and brown), couscous, potatoes

                                          Protein: chicken breasts, lardons (chopped bacon), eggs, tuna

                                          If I have one from each category, there's food on the table. Might not be up to usual gourmet standards, but it'll be edible.

                                          1. Flour Tortillas,Eggs,Spam.Libby's corned beef.Bacon drippings....and a wicked hunger.

                                            1. I seem to fall in with everyone else. Eggs, pasta, potatoes, rice.

                                              1. eggs & milk.

                                                (but in anticipation of a poss. multi-day power loss that would take out the fridge & stove, I stocked up last week on bread, canned beans & tuna, hard cheese, dry sausage, lemons, & tomatoes. All handy staples even when the power came back.)

                                                1. Eggs


                                                  Between the two of them I can happily cook and eat a great many dishes.

                                                  1. Bell pepper. My favorite vegetable hands-down.

                                                    Angel hair pasta. Quick to cook, and works with a limitless number of sauces.

                                                    1. If I have a pantry in my kitchen, I can eat (does that count?)
                                                      just kidding! I'll have to go with the pasta (first choice) or rice (second choice)

                                                      we got back from vacation on a Monday night and I haven't been grocery shopping at all
                                                      this week, we had Jamaican red beans and rice, pastina (semi melone) with peas and chick peas and bacon fried rice from stuff I had in the house.
                                                      (and my daughter says 'we don't have ANYTHING to eat! Ha! )

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: cgarner

                                                        I'm with you -- my pantry is usually full and them some, much to Mr. Sunshine's chagrin -- but he also knows that it means I can pull dinner for 8 out of thin air, even if nothing's open when everybody shows up at our house.

                                                      2. Chicken would be a good bet for me. I almost always have a chicken or chicken parts in my freezer. But pared down to the basics, I'd have to say flour and baking powder would be basic. You can make biscuits or pancakes if you are truly desperate. Add to that cornmeal and beans, and you could feed yourself for several days. However this would not be my ideal diet. And it is a diet that would lead to malnutrition and obesity, as a similar diet did for previous generations. (Nowadays a subsistence diet would include fast food, rather than biscuits and gravy I think.)

                                                        If I had only $20 to feed myself and Mr. Sueatmo, I'd buy a chicken, onion, celery and carrots and garlic. Assuming I had flour in my pantry, I could also add some fruit to the bill, and perhaps some cheap cheese, and possibly some oatmeal. I think we could go maybe 5 days on this, but it wouldn't be much fun.

                                                        1. bread and mayo
                                                          as long as I have those, I can eat...from there its just a spice or two away from a meal..then if you have anything-vegetable, meat egg etc..those are bonuses.
                                                          (pasta is too easy)..

                                                          1. Pasta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter or EVOO

                                                            1. cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese cheese

                                                              Phew. I gotta quit this brie de chevre, it's crack. And seriously ripe, with that first welcome waft of ammonia. "Hi, my name is Veggo, and..." Oh, and the rotten stilton I bought... cheese mouse heaven! I'm just lucky.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                Veggo, next time you're on this side of the pond...we had dinner with friends the other night, and she served what she said was labeled as a Beurre Brie -- it was a brie de chevre, but only a little one -- the disc was maybe 4-5" across. Runny? Holy cow (holy goat?)- as soon as we touched it with a knife, it headed for the edge of the plate -- but oh, so good. Creamy, yes buttery, and just a hint of goatiness. Excellent with some fresh grapes and a Cheverny rouge we'd brought.

                                                                I'm going to look for it at the marche this weekend - but wow. Worth finding! (sadly, way too young and raw to ever be sold in the US of A)

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    (..way too young and raw to ever be sold in the US of A) ...we're talking European cheese here, can't we leave Amsterdam out of it?...:)

                                                                    My next cheese fest will commence at exactly 23:00 Greenwich mean time today.

                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                      no wonder you can't find good Brie -- it's not made in Amsterdam! :P

                                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                                      yeah sunshine, thanks for rubbing that in!

                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                        sorry, it wasn't intended to be salt in the wound...only "hey, I know Veggo likes this kind of stuff and occasionally makes it to Europe, so I'll pass this along so he (she?) can put it on the list of things to look for next time a European vacation comes to pass"

                                                                        (my troublemaker side, however, keeps riffing on themes of "the Father, Son, and Holy Goat. I'm gonna be struck by lightning one of these days....)

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                          I can take a little teasing. I think I just did, with the gender thing!!!!

                                                                          I know many of the best euorpean cheeses are unpasteurized and not imported, so if we want them, we have to go get them.

                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                            no teasing intended...I honestly don't recall seeing if you're a she or a he...just didn't want to offend.

                                                                  2. Potatoes, butter, beans and onions. Hopefully salt.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                      Wow, you just shocked me with your new photo.
                                                                      Your selection sounds like mine, but in place of potatoes and onions I have greens and bacon.

                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                        Excellent choices, Tripeler. I could work with those too. I'll be Betty for a day or so, and then I'll go back to being me.

                                                                    2. Pasta and cheese, hands down!

                                                                      1. Couscous, garlic, onions, plus any other vegetables.

                                                                        1. a can opener........................................................(just kidding, I'm not quite that desperate!)

                                                                            1. my mother-in-law. She could make a 5 course gourmet diningexperience out of ANYTHING.

                                                                              1. Beans and greens.

                                                                                ETA I just noticed that folks got greedy and added another ingrediant! :-) So I will too, and add a bit of ham to season my greens and beans.

                                                                                1. I can manage to make something out of most things. But I'll only really be happy if fresh chillies, fresh ginger and fresh coriander are available. And please tell me there's a lemon/lime or two?