Stock Your Kitchen Before You Travel

How to avoid coming home to empty cupboards

Coming home to an empty kitchen can be very depressing. After all, the last thing anyone wants to do after a flight is to run to the grocery in search of a quick-fix. Fast-food can be a tempting option, but home-cooked food is usually what the soul craves after being away.
 
If you are going anywhere for longer than three days then keeping food in the fridge is not an option. So what is the solution? Stock up on goods... certain goods.  Not only is it possible to have a home-cooked meal after being away but you can also delay your supermarket visit a little bit longer (in this case, procrastination is a good thing). Here are our tips on how to stock your kitchen and avoid a post-vacation food conundrum.

 

Frozen
 
Putting your freezer to good use is an underutilised tip when going away. Frozen meats and vegetables can easily be made into meals. Stewed and curried chicken require pantry ingredients that almost never go off like sugar, curry powder and green seasoning. Even better? You can freeze actual meals—zero cooking involved! Sunday lunch staples like callaloo, stewed beans, dhal and soups freeze beautifully. Literally, all you need to do is reheat them—absolute lifesaver. Just remember to make extra when you are cooking up a storm.
 
Do not forget that simple everyday ingredients also freeze well and can make those first few days back a lot easier. Cheese, bread and milk do not succumb their flavour to the freezer.
 
Basics
 
Basic ingredients like garlic, onions and potatoes keep well on counter-tops for a few weeks or even longer in the fridge. The magical duo adds tremendous flavour to anything. Frozen vegetables taste unbelievably delicious once sautéed with the magical duo.
Potatoes are excellent to cook in a pinch of time. Microwaved, boiled or baked, the fluffy king of carbs can be made into a potato salad, jacket potato, mashed potato or roasted potatoes. There is no excuse for going hungry here.
 
Staples
 
Rice, oatmeal, dried beans and pasta are goods that have a very long shlef-life so they are perfect to stock up on before you go on vacation. Rice and pasta are versatile and can pair with almost any pantry item that you have on hand. Stewed meats, beans or even stir-frys with frozen vegetables would go well with either. Most breakfast items do not last that long however, oatmeals and cereals can stay on the shelf for quite some time. A delicious, hot bowl of oatmeal can simply be made with water, honey or any jam that you have in the fridge. You can even jazz it up with frozen fruit—grocery trip not required.

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