My Under-Pantry

Peering into someone else’s pantry is like seeing their food underpants.

By Judith Bledsoe – This painting hangs in my mom’s messy kitchen

This is a list of my most commonly used and bottomless ingredients, which enables me to cook all of my favorite things.  …But of course, like you change your panties, my under-pantry changes from season to season and I am always running to the shop to buy random ingredients.

Oils and condiments

  • Vegetable oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Honey
  • Dijon mustard
  • soy sauce – strictly Kikkomans
  • Mrs. Ball’s Chutney “Original”
  • Humus
  • Chicken stock cubes
  • Low-fat unsweetened coconut milk
  • Fish sauce

Protein – Ty, being South African, believes that meat is a vegetable and thus no meal is complete without it.  And although meat is good for your soul, it is not good for your health, so we are trying to cut down…

  • Chicken – boneless, skinless and bonefull, skinfull breasts
  • Minced beef
  • Eggs – as large as possible grass-fed free-range
  • Fish –  fresh
  • Nuts/seeds


  • Margarine
  • 2% low-fat milk
  • Cheese –  Gouda and feta
  • Gero plain yoghurt


  • Pasta – Sphaghetti for Ty, Penne for me
  • Rice – I prefer brown but Ty prefers white
  • Quinoa – the best gluten-free alternative with high protein content
  • Rissotto
  • Maizena (corn flour) –  The funniest thickener out there
  • potatoes
  • bread – I prefer whole-grain and seeded but Ty prefers white, again.
  • ProNutro- definitely chocolate
  • Muesli loaded with dried fruit and nuts
  • pick n pay buttermilk rusks


  • Salt & pepper
  • Paprika
  • Portuguese chicken spice – Ty’s staple spice which he puts on everything
  • Garlic (fresh, flaked, and powder) – we love garlic
  • Basil
  • Chilli flakes
  • Jeera (cumin)
  • Sugar
  • Curry powder
  • Fresh ginger


  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet peppers
  • Broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Salad greens
  • carrots
  • An abundance of cans of chopped tomatoes


  • Bananas – freckled brown
  • Nectarines
  • Lemons
  • Raisins

Packet cooking –  I shy away from packet cooking as much as possible; however, I have made an exception to my rule for the following packets full of goodness:

  • Kraft Mac and Cheese
  • Annie’s Mac and Cheese
  • Royco Traditional Bobotie
  • Old El Paso Taco Seasoning

5 thoughts on “My Under-Pantry

  1. this is a true SOUTH AFRICAN RECIPE—- for the AMERICANS to try

    4 servings

    Bredie is the South African equivalent of a lamb stew. We have tomato bredie, pumpkin bredie, green bean bredie, cabbage bredie and the true South African specialty – waterblommetjie bredie. It is flavoured with sorrel or fresh lemon juice and just a touch of masala.800 g lamb, cubed

    30 ml (2 tablespoons) sunflower oil
    1 onion, sliced
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2,5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) masala
    1 x 410g-tin tomatoes, chopped
    125 ml (1/2 cup) white wine or lamb stock
    8 baby potatoes, peeled
    salt and pepper to taste
    60 ml (4 tablespoons) fresh sorrel or fresh lemon juice to taste
    1. Brown the lamb in the oil in a heavy saucepan. Transfer the meat to a dish. Cook the onions in the saucepan for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and masala and cook for 2 minutes.
    2. Return the meat and collected juices to the saucepan with the tomatoes and white wine or lamb stock. Stir in ½ of the waterblommetjies and simmer for 1½ hours until the meat is tender. Add a bit of water to the bredie if it seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Meanwhile, boil the baby potatoes until tender. Add the potatoes, the remaining waterblommetjies and the sorrel or lemon juice to the bredie. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve with basmati rice.

    let me know how yours turned out 🙂

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