From Cora (Cora Cooks), in Southern Illinois:
When I was growing up, there was really no such thing as a pantry in our house. My mother went to the grocery store every day and kept little food on hand. You see, I had five younger brothers -– no sisters -- and no matter how much food my mother brought in from the grocery store every afternoon, it would all be gone by the next day.
My dad would always say something like, “Why don’t you buy things by the case, so you don’t have to go to the store every day?” She knew that even if she went to the store to stock up for a week, those boys would have just eaten all the food in one day anyway. And she might have gone berserk -– the grocery store was her refuge.
When I got my own home -– along with a husband who frequently left an annoying bite or two of food on his plate, claiming to be too full to finish it -– I was in a quandary. I only knew how to shop and cook for a family of eight! Food began to stack up in my apartment-size cupboards.
Years of living wherever the Air Force sent us also introduced me to many wonderful local and regional food specialties, to which I became quite attached. I began to collect these new ingredients to take with me when a move was imminent. And anywhere I traveled, I would make it a point to go to a grocery store to see what was peculiar to that area.
Now that we have moved back to my hometown and I have the kitchen of my dreams, I have more than enough space for storing pantry items, especially for just the two of us, and we live about five minutes from some really great markets. But, as you can see, I still like to keep my pantry well-stocked.
On Saturdays, we peek into Other People's Pantries.
Come on -- show us your pantry.
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