Life in Maison Gezellig

All about staples. The food kind, not the office supply.

A couple weeks ago, I had a conversation with my friend Christian after he Googled “standard groceries” and “well-stocked kitchen” and came up empty-handed. I suggested “pantry staples” and did some searching on my own as to what a well-supplied pantry should have.

And when I saw Rachel of Food Maven had posted what she keeps her kitchen stocked with, I decided to do the same — because, again, I just love lists.

Not counting standard condiments and spices, we always have:

  • coffee pods
  • evaporated milk
  • juice
  • sugar (white and dark brown)
  • unbleached white flour
  • honey
  • teas
  • milk
  • sandwich bread
  • peanut butter
  • Marshmallow Fluff
  • carrots
  • salted and unsalted butter
  • garlic
  • onions
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 or 3 other cheeses
  • seasonal fruits/vegetables (apples, potatoes, and winter squash, currently)
  • cat food
  • cereal and/or oatmeal
  • medium-grain rice
  • baking powder and baking soda
  • olive and canola oils
  • vinegars (usually balsamic, red wine, cider, and rice)
  • canned beans
  • canned tomatoes
  • eggs
  • peanuts and/or almonds
  • some sort of meat
  • tomato paste
  • red wine

We usually have:

  • Stella D’Oro breakfast treats
  • cocoa powder and/or chocolate chips
  • shallots
  • sour cream
  • brown rice
  • guava paste
  • Jarritos soda
  • canned chiles
  • jam/preserves
  • dried pasta
  • canned tuna
  • lemons/limes
  • kid-sized yogurts
  • fritessaus
  • bottled water
  • lunch meat
  • crackers
  • bananas
  • popsicles
  • olives, pickles, cornichons, and/or capers
  • candy

We sometimes have:

  • tortilla chips, Kettle chips, or Pirate’s Booty
  • frozen bagels
  • whipped cream in a can
  • ice cream

We rarely, if ever, have:

  • fresh fruit/vegetables out of season (except bananas)
  • frozen food/vegetables
  • canned food/soup/vegetables
  • pasta sauce in a jar
  • salad dressing
  • whole wheat flour
  • soy “meats”
  • anything with hydrogenated fat
  • anything with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetener

We definitely never have:

  • anything with red dye in it
  • a reduced-fat or fat-free version of a regular food
  • turnips

I really hope more people post this on their own blogs — it’s like an authorized snoop into your friends’ cabinets.


  • Kristen

    Sure! It’s evidently more common than you’d initially think — it also totally sucks. It renders almost all American candy off-limits, except green, and really, what kid picks green?

  • Nicola

    I have always bought canned tomatoes (sometimes by the case, if they were on sale, Ethan would relate)…then only a couple of months ago I saw a can that said in big letters, no salt added…which got me frowning…so I picked up a regular can right next to it, looked at the label and nearly dropped it on the floor – the can was holding 40% of my daily recommended allowance of sodium…wow…so now I check them all carefully…it’s the only thing in a can I think (other than tomato paste) that’s in my cupboard, and is my emergency dinner supply – instant pasta sauce…

    I’ll have a go at list building, I’m not very good at it…I’m a wing-er…as in wing it…I know, I know…I don’t know how I’ve made it this far.