Obviously, we need ingredients to cook with and keeping a store cupboard and the fridge and freezer stocked with some staples will all help when its time to start.
Below are a few ideas of goods to keep handy – over the weeks we can add some more adventurous/unusual stuff (and tips to keep them fresh if not used often).
Packets, jars and tins: pasta – spaghetti, macaroni and any other shapes you fancy! / rice (I prefer basmati) / medium egg noodles / lentils / flour – plain, self raising and cornflour / cooking oils – vegetable or sunflower plus olive and sesame / soya sauce / vinegar – wine and malt / mustard – English and Dijon / stock cubes – beef, chicken, vegetable and fish / tomato puree (buy it in a tube for less waste) / tomato sauce (Heinz do a lovely fiery one which is great for zapping up the bland!)
Tinned: tomatoes / beans red kidney, cannellini, butter / tuna
Herbs – dried – thyme, basil, oregano, coriander and mixed.
If you buy herbs in season in a packet and you think they are beginning to look a little sad , you can pop them in the freezer as are and just crumble them over your recipes when you want them. Alternatively, Waitrose do a wonderful range of frozen herbs including chopped garlic, ginger, jalapeno chillies, shallots, coriander – and some mixes such as Italian or Thai – keep them in the freezer and you will always be able to add flavour to whatever you are making – they’ve even got frozen lemon peel!
Spices: ground ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, cumin, coriander, chilli powder nutmeg.
Fridge: Butter / eggs / cheese – cheddar and parmesan / milk / yogurt
Freezer: peas / beans / spinach / beans