Now That's a Mouthful

Episode 49: Readying Our Larder

Episode 49: Readying our Larder

A well-stocked larder can inspire you, and improve your ability to cook creatively and efficiently in the kitchen.  We share tips on creating a well-stocked larder to give you confidence and flexibility to create meals on the fly or tackle a new recipe when you land on it. The episode helps you know how to take the ingredients at hand and combine them in a sure, confident and delicious way.

We talk about…

  • What a larder is and why we switch from the term “pantry” to “larder.”
  • We refer to Episode 48 – Balancing Life, Love and What’s For Dinner.
  • Feeling confident when looking at your ingredients on hand and know that you can cook successfully with what you have on hand and combine them in a sure, confident and delicious way.
  • Eat What You Love by Danielle Walker encourages planning for your week.
  • Stocking your larder happens over time to match the recipes you like, the tastes and flavor profiles you naturally gravitate toward.
  • The flexibility that comes with simplicity.
  • Be strategic; don’t add storage space just to have ingredients on hand. Plan to store only what you need.
  • Use your scraps; meal planning can reduce waste.
  • How to store your apples and use them to help other fruits and vegetables ripen quickly; how to store other fruits and vegetables.
  • How to store fresh herbs.
  • Learn about Cherie’s different cooking ‘lanes’ and where she keeps her secret stash of chocolate.
  • Chef Donna’s “location” strategy for stocking her larders.
  • Cherie’s top favorite larder ingredients: lemons, fresh basil, high quality olive oil, a fantastic salt, then peppers, and proteins.
  • Chef Donna’s top favorite larder ingredients: balsamic and soy, canned tomatoes crushed or whole, garlic and onions, red pepper flakes, salt, and olive oil.
  • We talk to Pam Anderson’s How To Cook Without A Book as a springboard to start.
  • Start with basics and then build from that. Salt, kosher. We reference Episode 35 – All Purpose Seasoning and Bonus Episode Ask Chef Donna. An all-purpose oil that you like to cook with. Butter, because fat is what delivers flavor across your palate. Then spices and freeze-dried herbs.
  • Buy smaller quantities; better quality spices. Replace between 3 months to 6 months.
  • Canned tomatoes: miracles happen with canned tomatoes; keep packaged broths and stocks on hand.
  • Donna vinegar order: balsamic, Sherry, unseasoned rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar. Try a French Vinaigrette from Tasting Paris.
  • Stock refrigerator and freezer with staples, eggs and “dairy” around your dietary preference; butter and condiments, such as Dijon mustard (to start); standard cheese such as parmesan cheese.
  • Having a well-stocked larder provides you choices, saves you money and time.
  • If there’s one thing Chef Donna wants you to take away from this episode, it’s that there is freedom and creativity in simplicity: stocking your larder is a marathon! Go into your kitchen and see what you can create with what you have on hand. We think you’ll be surprised by what you’re able to create.

You’ll find recipes and more at on our Recipes page. And go to our Podcasts Page for more episodes to download or subscribe.

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These are cookbooks that contain links to the recipes we talk about in this episode. You can find more cookbooks and our reviews of them on our Cookbooks Page.