One of the things I’m really looking forward to in my new flat is having space to store more food. At the moment I have a single cupboard, which I generally do keep pretty well stocked but which simply can’t hold all the things I’d like to have on hand. I also do less cooking than I’d wish, because the kitchen is generally crowded, dirty, noisy and/or cold. When no one else is around, I turn the overhead extractor fan off to get rid of the thunderous noise, but I don’t feel it’s fair to do that if other people will be using the kitchen later – they don’t want to smell what I was cooking.
I have a big long shopping list of things that I want to have in my food store. It’s nothing too extravagent: rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, tins of fruit and veg, the sorts of things that are used frequently in small quantities but are far cheaper bought in bulk. At the moment I’m trying to use up what I have, so each time I run out of something, that’s it. No replacements. As a result I now have no flour, no sugar, no baked beans, no tinned tomatoes… I have three packets of pasta, which is a little ridiculous, but fortunately I also have lots of portions of frozen pasta sauce in various guises. I’ve got two months to use up all the food I have, and then another month where I won’t need to cook. In August I’ll be merrily stocking my kitchen cupboards (I love that plural!).
Having ingredients on hand is just something that makes sense to me. My mum and stepdad have a real pantry, a room you can walk into and peruse the shelves. My dad and his partner don’t have a specific place but they have cupboards with tins and packets, and meals are simply rustled up out of what is in the fridge – no panicked rush to the shop because there’s no food in the house. I think I’ve written about this before: the way that a well-stocked, permanent kitchen is the epitome of a home to me. And in just a few weeks, just a couple of months, that’s what I’ll have.
I’m setting myself a challenge for the new flat. The first part is to keep on top of the washing up at all times. Yesterday I spent an hour and a half washing all the dirty dishes which were stacked on top of my fridge. That’s ridiculous. I need to get into the habit of washing as I go (it’ll be far easier to do when the kitchen sink is in the same room as the dirty dishes!). And since I’ll finish uni most days at 3pm, I have no excuse for not cooking from scratch every night. Time to discover some new recipes!