contents of a kitchen’s cupboards

it was a lovely sunny weekend in london but i spent most of it inside – i had an essay deadline that i needed to meet. so, what better reason than that to go through my kitchen cupboards, cleaning them, throwing away out of date things and spotting others which i really should use.

these are the top 5 things to get into my cooking over the coming month:


goji berries – these were massively hyped as a super-berry at the end of last year so i picked up a packet to include in my blogging by mail parcel, plus an extra one for myself. having opened them to take the photo, and therefore only just having tried them, unless david is a fan of the flavour, or i can find a way to disguise it, i think these super-berries might end up in the bin! they have an odd taste, almost like that of green tea. accompanied by seeds that get stuck in your teeth. i’m really not keen.

edit: the goji berries ended up in the bin.


white urid dal – these are the only lentils in my cupboard that i’ve not tried and i really must – i think they’ve been there for several months now. apparently they are particularly good in creamy soups and dumplings.


valsamica - aged balsamic vinegar, port and vanilla extract, i’ve not tried this yet and really should!


spaghettata indivolata – i bought this in italy last year and it’s a mix of dried herbs, chilli capers and garlic slices which you cook in oil and toss with spaghetti. it smells potent!


napa valley belgian chocolate sauce with cabernet sauvignon – this was a gift from my friend kirsty and really shouldn’t be too difficult to use up! i’m thinking strawberries and vanilla ice-cream

i also thought it might be quite interesting to list what i have in my cupboards – I find this sort of thing fascinating and remember reading a similar post by sam from becks & posh. and if you have any thoughts on ways i can make use of any of the things on the list, especially those top 5, let me know!

store cupboard staples

arborio risotto rice

basmati rice

brown rice – long grain and short grain

red camargue rice

paella rice

pudding rice

white rice – long grain

aduki beans

barley couscous

bulgur wheat

pearl barley

wholegrain brown barley



lentils – red, yellow, green, puy and white

coarse polenta

egg noodles

rice noodles

conchigliano rigatti

lasagne sheets

linguine – x2

mezzi tubetti


penroni gigantic



tins, jars etc:

butterbeans - tinned

chickpeas – tinned x2 - i much prefer tinned chickpeas to dried ones

white crab meat – tinned x3 – this is surprisingly good and a great standby for a quick linguine supper

kidney beans – tinned x2

pilchards in tomato sauce

vegetable suet – x2

chopped tomatoes – tinned x8

vongole in brine


00 flour – for making fresh pasta

corn flour

gram flour – made from chickpeas

plain flour

rice flour

self-raising flour

stoneground wholemeal flour

white bread flour

herbs and spices

black peppercorns

ground white pepper

green peppercorns in brine

pink peppercorns in brine

coarse sea salt – x2

maldon sea salt crystals

table salt

vegetable bouillon powder

porcini stock powder


bay leaves

bouquet garni

curry leaves - frozen fresh ones

herbes de provence

kaffir lime leaves - dried plus frozen fresh ones


mixed herbs


parsley - dried plus fresh frozen





caraway seeds

cardamom pods

cayenne pepper

chilli powder

chilli flakes

chinese 5 spice

cinnamon – powder and sticks

cloves – powder and whole

coriander – powder and whole

cumin – powder and seeds

fennel seeds


dried galangal slices

garam masala

ground ginger

kalonji (aka nigella or black onion seeds)

mustard seeds – black and white

nutmeg – ground and whole


hungarian paprika –x2, each a gift from friends who visited hungary

hot smoked spanish paprika

poppy seeds

saffron strands

sesame seeds

star anise

thai 7 spice

turmeric – powder and dried slices

cajun seasoning

moroccan seasoning

napa valley poultry rub

spaghettata indivolata

sauces and flavourings


extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings etc

extra virgin olive oil with chilli

olive oil for cooking

pumpkin seed oil

toasted sesame oil

sunflower oil

sunflower oil for deep-frying (it’s been used once but will be fine a second time)

walnut oil


balsamic vinegar

cider vinegar

raspberry vinegar

red wine vinegar

rice vinegar

sherry vinegar

white wine vinegar


savoury flavourings:


artichoke and almond pesto

aubergine pickle

branston pickle

chairman’s hot and brown nutty sauce

capers – in brine and salt

caper and mushroom pesto

chianti jelly

chilli – normal and roasted chillies

round chillies in oil

citron and coriander tagine sauce

spicy pear chutney and cherry tomato and apple chutney – both made by my friend dom

thyme infused blackcurrant chutney - from dora at the purple fig

coconut – milk, cream and creamed block

colman’s english mustard powder


dijon mustard

fennel and pistachio pesto


rose harissa

hp sauce

jalapeno chillies

lea & perrins

pickled lemons


brown rice miso paste

nam pla – thai fish sauce

black olives – in oil and in brine

oyster sauce

hot peppadew peppers – x3 - i fell in love with these a few years ago and always feel nervous when they start to run out so I don’t let them!

pine nuts

pomegranate molasses

dried porcini mushrooms

smoked paprika, mint and pine nut pesto

dark soy sauce

light soy sauce

light tahini

tamari sauce – x2 – this is a wheat-free version of soy sauce

tamarind paste

thai curry paste – red (x2) and green

tabasco sauce

tomato ketchup – heinz of course!

tomato puree

sundried tomato paste

wholegrain mustard

dried yeast

sweet flavourings:

napa valley belgian chocolate sauce with cabernet sauvignon

preserved ginger

honey – x2

dried lavender



crunchy peanut butter

plum and bay jam

rhubarb and ginger jam - made by my friend dom

golden syrup – x2

maple syrup



caster sugar

golden caster sugar


icing sugar

dark muscovado

light muscovado

white sugar

baking powder

bicarbonate of soda – x2

chocolat de patisserie

cocoa powder

condensed milk – x3 (why?!?)

cupcake/muffin cases

food colourings - various

gelatine – powder and leaf sheets


orange flower water


silver balls for decorating cakes

vanilla – essence and paste

almonds – whole, blanched and sliced

dried apples

spicy toasted broad beans


goji berries


dried peaches


jumbo raisins and sultanas mix


walnut halves


earl grey tea

sainsbury’s red label tea

green tea – bags and loose

green jasmine tea

hot chocolate – green & blacks and montezuma’s

lemon tea

rosehip and hibiscus tea (unopened and bought, i think, to make a flavoured syrup for a fruit salad)

peppermint tea