My Pantry Essentials: Now vs. the 90's

March 14, 2016 Baltimore, MD, USA

It cracks me up to think about how I ate growing up. My poor mom was dealing with 3 picky kids and wound up making spaghetti more than anything, knowing it was one of two or three options that would appease the whole family. As far as "staples," I thought we were pretty simple. In my parents' kitchen, you could always find:

  • dry spaghetti
  • pasta sauce
  • lemon juice—the bottled kind
  • ketchup/mustard/mayo
  • milk
  • American cheese slices
  • white bread
  • eggs
  • white sugar
  • white flour
  • salt/pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • canned tuna
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • ground beef

Wow, how food has evolved since my childhood! Everything on that list seemed so normal, and I gag at the idea of having some of those items in my house now. I admit the pasta and sauce are still a convenient, last-minute go-to, but oh, how the others have changed:
  • lemons
  • organic ketchup/mustard/olive-oil based mayo
  • almond milk
  • cheese of every kind except "American," since apparently that translates to "not really cheese"
  • whole grain tortillas
  • eggs
  • organic, fair-trade sugar
  • 3 types of flour—all purpose, whole wheat (I do half and half whenever possible), and self-rising
  • pink Himalayan and/or sea salt
  • olive oil
  • organic peanut butter- mostly for Anise
  • quinoa
  • black beans
  • tea
I do believe we've learned a lot more about what is and isn't healthy, but at the same time, I realize food can be just as trendy as clothing. I wonder what items on my list will appall the next generation and what their pantry essentials may be.

How do your essentials compare? What is always in your kitchen?

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  1. Ha yes! me too and our pantry staples are fairly similar too!

  2. We are like 80-90% the same, haha! Right now I also have to have saltines (for when Baby Dos decides to empty my tummy out), organic fruit pops, and grass fed/organic beef!

  3. Our 'staples' are probably chicken breasts (we get from the butcher at market, then Angel chops them and freezes them), rice (brown and white, I usually mix them), blocks of cheese (whatever the store has...can't really be picky here, as long as it's a block of some kind of semi-normal cheese, I'm happy), eggs, tortillas, black beans, pink himalayan salt, coarse ground pepper, and a bunch of other spices. Probably most of our meals are either 1) some variation of Mexican food involving chicken, beans, veggies, spices, and tortillas, or 2) some variation of Malaysian food involving rice, chicken, veggies, and spices.

  4. My list of "staples" is incredibly long, but here are a few. Organic flour, organic cane sugar, coconut milk, grass fed beef, grass fed butter, cage free organic eggs, quinoa, quinoa pasta, millet, organic brown rice, home canned tomato sauce, various home canned goods, frozen garden/CSA veggies, free range pork. My mom's house consisted of fast food and TV dinners. I don't really remember eating many home cooked meals, even things out of a can or box. The two things I can think of are tuna noodle casserole and canned spaghetti with ground beef. I'm so so glad we are doing differently with our children!


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