Dear Friends,

I have a confession! Before I began to actively plan menus I was a disorganized grocery shopper who bought whatever looked good. The result of my bad habit is the pantry you see above. I have duplicates and some stuff I have no idea why I ever bought it. Some of my violations are 3 bags of short grain brown rice, 11 cans of evaporated milk, 2 jars of creamy peanut butter, and 6 boxes of angel hair pasta. For those of you out there who believe my pantry is simply unkempt and I just need to tidy things up. You are not wrong, cleaning is a great idea! However, I used to, several times a year, clean my pantry. I would organize it and make it look pretty. But not only would it always come back to this, but because I was not menu planning the cycle would never stop. I would always be bursting at the seams with excess pantry items.

Overall I am fairly disgusted with the gluttony of it all. I should not be buying what I don’t need or cannot use. Yes, staples are key to an organized home. Having a selection of canned tomatoes, stocks and other necessities for basic cooking is wise for all home cooks. But clearly I have crossed the line!

So now that I am menu planning and no longer perpetuating this situation, how am going to reduce this disaster to a reasonable amount of staple items? Well that is where my Pantry Mission has come in. Starting now I am committing to at least one meal or recipe a week that is solely from my pantry. I can augment with fresh items, but it must contain at least 2 items that are in my current pantry clutter. I am hoping I will be able to produce more than one meal a week from my overflowing pantry. So stay tuned as I reduce my waste, and embark on my Pantry Mission!! It should lead to some interesting culinary adventures.. .

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