I was amused last week when I realized someone found my blog by googling “What to eat when the the pantry is empty.”
I pride myself on keeping a pretty stocked pantry. I have huge buckets that are normally full of beans, rice, wheat berries, sugar, oats, and popcorn. I try to keep butter in my freezer and oil in my cupboards. I use loss leaders to buy and freeze fresh produce for smoothies when things are at their rock-bottom prices (like avocados and pineapples).
But we’ve been eating all of that recently and my stash is actually quite low. I haven’t had any wheat berries for about 3 weeks now, for instance – something that is unheard of at my house. But, there’s still almost ALWAYS something in my pantry. So when I saw that someone found my blog by googling those few words, I started thinking hard about what TO EAT without going to the store.
It’s usually the less favorite choice. For instance:
- Instead of grinding wheat berries for homemade bread, I could grind popcorn for corn bread. While I prefer corn bread with a bit of wheat flour, my mom makes pretty good corn bread with only corn meal.
- Instead of making flour tortillas, I could make corn tortillas. Or, we could eat beans and rice instead of burritos.
- Instead of using oil, I could use butter or apple sauce. Or, I could shred and use any number of veggies, if I remember correctly from the $3,000 pots & pans demonstration I saw last year.
- Instead of pinto beans, we could eat black beans, or split peas.
- Instead of maple syrup, I can make buttermilk syrup, or we could just use powdered sugar or jelly.
- This list at Allrecipe is very chock full of common ingredient substitutions that has come in handy more than once for me!
Or, I could go foraging. Recently, I’ve seen posts around the blogosphere on making:
These all use ingredients that are plentiful and free for the taking in a lot of areas! I have not been brave enough yet to try any of them, but I’m rolling the ideas around in my mind…
It’s also morel season in Eastern Iowa. True, I have never hunted morels on my own, but I would love to try! Here are a few websites that I found helpful:
And, a Youtube video from Country Lifestyle on how to find morels
And of course, if all else fails, the grocery store is not far off! As Anne from Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy remarked on my Facebook page, “Haha! There’s not much hope for them if their freezer and fridge are also empty. It’s called grocery shopping, lol.”
Bottom line for me: keeping a stocked pantry saves me money. And evidenced by our 3 meals out and countless little trips to the store the last couple of weeks, eating the less favorite option isn’t working so well for me right now. But it does sound good, eh?
Do share! What do YOU do when there’s no food in the pantry?