The Essential Pantry Items For All Southern Ontario Cottagers
We love cottages because they’re an escape from the hustle. But, the hustle has its advantages like 24-hour shops and convenience stores! Cottages are often far from town, sometimes even separated by water, and they’re often close to rural communities with shorter opening hours. On top of that, you’re sure to have a guest (or several!) to entertain. Of course you’ll stop on the way up to hit the Farmer’s market, the LCBO, and the store, but a keeping a well-stocked pantry means you’ll be ready to whip up classic cottage recipes without a trip to town!
- Coffee. For those sunrise-watching mornings on the dock, be sure to stock plenty of coffee. Make sure to grab the grind that’s right for your coffee maker, plus pick up some extra herbal tea and hot chocolate mix for non-coffee drinkers and little ones. If you’re an after-dinner coffee drinker, make sure to pick up some espresso and biscotti for a little flair.
- Shelf-stable milk. To go with your coffee (and a lot more!), shelf-stable milk saves precious fridge space and won’t expire during the week when you’re back in the city. If you do find yourself with fresh milk on a Sunday, freeze it in ice cube trays so you can use it when you’re back up.
- Wine, Beer + Liquor. Stock up when you’re expecting guests, as LCBO hours are notoriously rigid and stores aren’t as ubiquitous as we might like. Plus, the pantry stash also saves fridge space until you’re ready to pop them in a cooler outside. If you’re a cocktail fan, don’t forget to stock your favourite bitters and garnishes like celery salt, Tabasco, and Worcestershire Sauce for Caesars.
- Cookout supplies. Prepare for inevitable cottage BBQs with ketchup, mustard, mayo, and relish. While the shelf-life of buns is variable, you can always toss a bag in your freezer so you’re ready to grill at any time.
- Pasta. Versatile, filling, easy to dress up or down, pasta is a pantry must-have. Keep it in glass jars to keep out critters, but don’t forget to cut out the cooking instructions and pop them in the jar too! Grab a couple cans of tinned tomatoes and some fresh garlic and basil, and you’re just a nice glass of Red away from a simple-yet-refined dinner.
- Canned beans. A quick way to add depth and nutrition to soups, salads, or Taco Tuesday, beans keep forever and are chock full of fibre and protein while being cholesterol-, fat-, and sodium-free. Just make sure to rinse them well before using!
- Grains in glass jars. Easy and quick to prepare, grains like quinoa and couscous are perfectly adaptable. They’re a perfect side, rice substitute, or salad base: just add some fresh produce, your favourite dressing, and a can of beans and you’re ready to go!
- Breakfast supplies. You’ll want to be able to put out a quick, simple spread when you’re entertaining or on days where no one feels like doing much cooking. Stash pancake mix and steel-cut oats in glass jars, and get breakfast-friendly condiments like natural peanut butter, honey, and your favourite jams.
- A well-stocked spice rack. You’ll be able to create everything from dry rubs to jerk chicken marinades whenever you’d like, plus keeping your spice rack full means you won’t have to take a trip to town for ¼ tsp. f turmeric. Don’t forget the Kosher salt and black peppercorns!
- Oils + Vinegar. Having a good-quality olive oil, an aged balsamic vinegar, and a white wine or rice wine vinegar on hand means you can marinade, mix, and whip up a delicious homemade salad dressing in no time.
- Gourmet condiments. Think a spicy red pepper jelly, marinated olives, a rich tomato butter, and a nice grainy Dijon. Then, all you have to do is grab a baguette and a cheese selection to serve a truly unforgettable cheese plate!
- Graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows. It’s the cottage! You want to be able to make S’mores at the drop of a hat, don’t you?