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November 22, 2010

Pantry Basics - Baking

Since it's many miles from our home to town, I can't (and won't) just run to the store for something. I keep the basics on hand and buy more when I get near the end of the jar/bag/box. I have a phobia about running out! As I was straightening my baking cupboard recently, I thought I'd write down what's in there.

brown sugar
powdered sugar
minute tapioca
vanilla extract
Mexican vanilla
lemon extract
peppermint extract
red food coloring
baking soda
baking powder
honey (raw, local)
liquid lecithin
canning salt

The small items are in a plastic basket on the cupboard shelf. It keeps the little bottles from falling over and leaking, and nothing gets lost in the shuffle. I also have the little container of muffin liners in this basket.

In gallon jars on the counter underneath the baking cupboard, I keep flour, bread flour, sugar, and cornmeal.

My spices are in a cupboard in another corner of the kitchen, but to me it's easier to put them all together than to try to keep the "baking spices" (cloves, ginger, and so on) in one place and the "cooking spices" (oregano, bay leaves, etc) in another. Too many spices would cross over into both categories. Only cinnamon is kept in both places in my kitchen.

Speaking of spices, since most now come in tall bottles instead of those little tins, I store them in a basket. I used a Sharpie to write the names on the lids so they can be seen at a glance. It's much quicker finding what I need this way. Some brands have black lids though; I need to buy a silver Sharpie for those.

Did you notice that the plastic baskets in the photos match? I'm a big fan of these baskets, and have several styles. For a dollar or two you can get a set of 2 or 3, depending on their size. The dollar store is a great place to shop for these. They have a hundred uses. There is even one in my refrigerator.

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