Hi everyone and please click on the title of this post to read more. First off, I wanted to tell you that I attended a very interesting moderated discussion of how to deal with managing our children’s screen time. There were various perspectives given by various panel speakers (all of whom were very accomplished psych people and media people). After an hour and a half of a very interesting discussion, I realized that the bottom line is that I am guilty of allowing my kids to watch too much t.v. Sorry, but my kids either stay safe and alive or have a mushy brain. I need to choose my battles….
That being said, let’s talk about a battle we really do need to fight so that not only our brain but our entire body can be healthy-stocking a pantry. How many times have we all heard from cooking shows and magazines that cooking would be made so much simpler if we had a stocked pantry? Well, for many of us, the concept of creating a stocked pantry is completely alien, overwhelming, irritating and may make us want to run in the other direction, arms flailing. It is a reminder of what we should already know how to do but don’t. It may be embarrassing that at present we have only condiments, chips and a boatload of other carb snacks in there and maybe even some winter sweaters that we are storing in there because we ran out of space in our closet.
One client of mine said she wants to stick a fork in her eye every time some well intentioned friend or family member explains how easy it can all be if we just had a “stocked pantry”. “Enough with the freakin’ stocked pantry! What does that mean, anyway? How do I do it? Can’t some pantry fairy dressed like Martha Stewart just make my pantry magically stocked for me and then the cooking will just naturally flow from there? Is it really even that easy once we have a stocked pantry?”
Well, I hate to tell you but the answer is yes, it will make cooking easier which is why everyone keeps trying to convince us to do it. If you’re still listening and not running off to McDonalds , let’s talk about our incentive to even think about listening to all these people telling us to keep a stocked pantry. Although it seems like a big pain in the butt to invest any time or energy in this activity when there are myriad projects we would rather be engaged in (like reconnecting with our middle school boyfriend on facebook or researching the cheapest place to get a facial in our neighborhood-O.K., so now you know how I spend my day), there are many gratifying reasons to stock a pantry. Get ready because this part is very exciting:
Imagine pulling a few items out of a cupboard and fridge and creating a delicious, quick and healthy meal.
Imagine a world in which it is dinnertime, you are exhausted, and you realize you do not need to feed your family Cheerios for dinner because that was all you had in the house.
Imagine not feeling guilt and fear wash over you because your kids have not had to eat delivery pizza three times this week when every news show talks about the childhood obesity epidemic.
Does it seem like a fantasy? Well this can be our reality if we follow just a few simple steps. However! Before we go to the practical steps of creating a pantry, let’s think about why we haven’t stocked a pantry before. This is an important step because we are all busy and tired of wasting time and want to try to avoid any obstacles that may try to rear their ugly heads, sabotaging our valiant efforts to take back our panties-I mean our pantries. Some things to consider:
Did we have old, nasty expired food in our cupboards growing up and we are concerned we will also have rancid, bitter peanut butter as well?
Are we concerned we may buy stuff that we will never use, thus wasting money and time shopping for these items?
Was there mouse poop in the pantry which grossed us out?
We may have our own reasons keeping us from pursuing our stocked pantry dreams but it is time to move on.
Now is the time to convince ourselves to do it for our own good, like eating steamed broccoli or paying our taxes so we don’t get arrested. Let’s break it down: Instead of being overwhelmed by this stocking project that seems daunting, boring and/or overwhelming, let’s think about it in terms we can more easily understand. For example, just like your bathroom has your toothbrush and toothpaste in the medicine cabinet and your make up, soaps, creams, tweezers, eye lash curlers, etc. in a pretty little basket for easy access, your pantry can be organized in a similar fashion with food and tools to help you get where you need to go-to make that meal-as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Much like transforming our face into something presentable in as little time as possible during our rushed mornings, having a pantry that is organized with ingredients we like and often use can help us whip up a meal in as little time as possible. Capiche?
More on this later but for now, a recipe that I whipped up from my pantry and fridge for my husband’s poker game-delicious Cornflake clusters. No, they are not healthy but this is sort of a shout out to the people who made rude raw food comments about me-remember, everything in moderation! All the ingredients, which I always have, were just sitting in my pantry, waiting for the right time. See how Matt Queler in the video below cannot get enough!
Butterscotch-Cornflake-peanut butter Treats:
5-6 cups corn flakes-the Kellogg ones do work better for this over the all natural corn flakes
1/2 cups peanut butter-smooth is what I prefer
2 pkgs. butterscotch chips or one pkg. butterscotch, one pkg. chocolate chips, whatever combo you prefer
Melt peanut butter and chips in a microwaveable bowl. Stir and let cool. Add corn flakes and stir lightly so the cornflakes stay as whole as possible. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and refrigerate. Thanks, Joela, from College for teaching me how to make these over 20 years ago.