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.

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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.