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  • Writer's pictureSarah Skelton

My kitchen survival kit

One thing I am hot on, is making sure that I always

have the basics to hand for emergency creations

If you have the basics you'll always be able

to whip up something at short notice

“I'm a bit of a Kilner jar queen - you can't beat seeing everything first hand”

Over the years I have found that having the basics in my cupboard have been a lifesaver not only from a hunger point of view but also when money has been a bit tight towards the end of the month and I still need to feed veryone. Each and everyone of us will have slightly different basics for our households, but I thought sharing mine might help if you are considering it!

Choosing your basics wisely will make all the difference

Flour: Sounds obvious but actually the one flour I never go low on is '00" grade, sometimes known as pasta flour. It is brilliant for sauces (no lumps), you can use it for pastry and if you add baking powder (another basic) you can make self-raising flour too. Tomato: This fruit/veg (which ever view you side with) is the most amazing thing ever. I always have canned chopped tomatoes and a couple of jars of my new friend Cirio Passata Rustica ( a slightly thicker passata - its crushed tomatoes). Need a soup wizz tomatoes in a blender, add a tsp mixed herbs(another basic), pinch of salt and black pepper and heat and you have instant soup! Quick pasta sauce - passata, mixed herbs and some softened onion, easy! For a pizza topping empty a can into a saucepan and simmer until it's thickened and a tsp of mixed herbs and you have a pizza topping ready to go.

Pasta: I always have three types of dried pasta to hand - linguine style (long lengths), a curly style and cannelloni (this is great for filling with left overs such as chilli, bolognese or even curry, top with a tomato sauce and whack in the oven for a very cost effective dinner).

Bread: I hate waste, and as there is only myself and my husband at home these days a whole loaf goes off really quickly so I always freeze half, this means we are never without bread. Plus you can pop a slice of frozen bread in the toaster and it cooks just as well as fresh. Bread is a great bulking agent too, whizz into breadcrumbs ( best with slightly stale bread - you can freeze these too, so put into little bags) and use in meatballs, stuffing and make lovely desserts such as queen of puddings.

Greek Yogurt: This is a lifesaver, for a sweet kick add a couple of teaspoons of strawberry jam (another basic) and voila a quick pud! It's a great alternative for cream and combine it with some flour and baking powder and you can make flatbreads from scratch in just few minutes, which will also double up as a pizza base for a super quick meal.

Cheese: Life would not be worth living without cheese, a good block of cheddar is the ultimate lifesaver

Eggs: one of the most versatile things we can have!

Long life milk: This will sit in the back of the cupboard and will always come out in bad weather when getting to the shops is a no no, for whizzing up sauces and so much more.

Herbs and Spices: These are my core ones that allow me to make so many things Dried mixed herbs - great in pasta sauces and for pizzas

Garam masala - anything curry related

Cumin seeds - curry, flatbread, meatballs and more

Ground ginger - great for adding a gentle heat to curries and desserts

Paprika - adds a special twist to wedges, hummus, chicken and much more

Good quality salt ( I hate table salt with a passion, invest in a decent quality, you will use less and appreciate the taste more)

Black and pink peppercorns

Sugar: Caster sugar as you can use it as an alternative to granulated and dark muscoavdo sugar - this just adds the most beautiful indulgent flavour to so many things but I use it in caramelised onions (a great way to use up old onions) and my homemade BBQ sauce! And finally I can't not mention Worcestershire Sauce, Balsamic Vinegar and of course Soy Sauce! With all of my basics to hand we have always got something to eat for dinner! #food #mylarder #basicfoods

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