Sticky Spiders, Dust Bunnies, & My Psychic Blogger Friend


Since we decided to avoid buying meat and veg from the shop, I was led to my pantry today hopeful to find something that might creatively blend with the goat loin strip planned for tonight’s dinner.

After finding dust bunnies partying with spiders in rings of dripped honey and spilled dog food, my exploration was redirected to cleaning the pantry from top to bottom.

Above are some contents I removed–highly ignored and in need of use before expiring.  Some I bought with an idea in mind but never pulled it off.  Others were gifted to me.  One or two are leftover from recipes that weren’t as great as I’d hoped. Much are foreign to my cooking, but I’ve eaten before and liked.

I thought it might be a bit of fun to blog a list of them, wondering if anyone had suggested uses to offer.  But I decided not to.

That is until I took a break from my cleaning to relax in this here chair and saw a link sent to me from a psychic blogger friend.  She said, ‘just in case you ever have some hazelnuts that need using up, here’s a homemade Nutella recipe.’

She didn’t really say that.

But I do have some hazelnuts to use up and she did send me that recipe and it was sent random and unexpected.  It felt like some kind of a sign, so, heck, why not!?

I also have in need of good recipes:  barley  •  polenta  •  dried wild mushrooms  •  white sesame seeds  • yellow lentils  •  red lentils  •  panko bread crumbs  •  applesauce  •  quinoa  •  bulghar  •  big ol’ toasted couscous  •  goji berries  •  gram flour   •  wild rice  •  molasses  •  tapioca  •  rice flour  •  pasta flour (I may use this flour for pizza dough.  The box says I can!)

We have about eight vegetables available to cook for our meals.  This includes garlic and onions, which we use much like herbs in everything for flavor, but they aren’t particularly filling–and potatoes, which we interchange with rice and pasta.

So that leaves a choice of five others–carrots, kale, swiss chard, beetroot, and turnip.  Not a bad selection really.

Dinner?  Among other things, I made the wild rice with the wild mushrooms.  Using some of the apple sauce, I made a chutney (for the first time) which I then stuffed and rolled into the goat loin and baked. Everyone raved wildly about everything (influenced by the rice and mushrooms perhaps? 😛 ).

A nice clean pantry and shelves 

     DSCF3027              DSCF3032


  1. stephpep56 says:

    Indeed a Sign Melissa because yesterday evening when I got home after a days planting a natural hedgerow (hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, dog roses, wayfarer bush, plum cherry, and blackthorn mixed) at my daughters house I hadn’t the energy to go to the shops so I looked in my larder where I found lentils and Mhung dhal, and chillies , garlic ,onions, carrots and celery so I made some filling and tasty dhal . And then this morning I read your Pantry piece. By the way Your larder looks so appealing , I hope you leave the doors open for visitors to view (i think too many lovely such sights are hidden away behind cupboard doors). Your pantry is as good visually as any painting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That sounds like a meal I will make. I didn’t mention the celery because we use it for kids lunches or the chilies because I forgot, but we actually have all those ingredients on hand. I think I have to soak the lentils? I will google a recipe and give it a go for tomorrow’s meal. Thanks darling 🙂
      Oh, and the large pantry has closing slatted doors on it but the other is wide open, one of my favorite bits of the kitchen.


  2. kim says:

    Hi Melissa, Your sticky dusty cupboards sound like mine – darn it, now I have to go clean them! I love your pantry though – especially the teapot shelf 🙂

    I also have a habit of buying unusual ingredients with a recipe in mind – ingredients like coconut flour and bulghar wheat and goji berries and then forgetting what on earth I bought them for. Then they languish in the cupboard until their best before date has expired.

    I agree with the first comment that a fair number of the ingredients could go to make up dahl which you could serve with quinoa/rice or bulghar. If you can grind the tapioca it makes a good thickener for soups or puddings a bit like cornstarch. Here is a recipe for rice flour banana bread and you could try substituting the banana for apple sauce or other fruit .

    Have a good weekend. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya Kim, I checked out that link and it sounds great. I especially like that it uses buttermilk because I can substitute my kefir instead. It is a perfect choice for using the flour as I bake weekly; I committed a few years ago to not sending the children to school with anything but home made cake, cookies, granola bars, etc. (sorry to brag, but couldn’t resist mentioning this big step 😉 ) And very little sugar in the recipe also, which the apple sauce could even replace all of it, then I could add in some of our frozen apple chunks or maybe cranberries, mmm. I have no idea why I initially purchased this flour.
      I usually make a recipe as called for before I tweak it but there’s always room for exceptions. I appreciate your suggestion and will let you know how it turns out. Thanks! Melissa

      Liked by 1 person

      • I made my first gluten and sugar free cake, thank you for super suggestion! I changed recipe, out of desire to use up my ingredients. I used apple sauce instead of sugar, kefir instead of buttermilk, oil instead of butter, no banana, added some rice and coconut flour, lemon and poppy seeds (I forgot to mention them poppy seeds in need to use list). Just delighted. Those flours are dense so I had to add more liquid, up the eggs, but it was delicious and used up the items well. You’re a doll for taking the time to help me out and it really opened up a way of cooking I have wanted to get better at. Thanks!


    • While I’m confessing, I’ll admit that it has only been cleaned once before in the three years since we moved into our house. Much like the children’s bathroom sinks, one day I look down and wonder ‘when did it ever get this filthy?’ Now they have the lovely job of cleaning it themselves and it gets done much more frequently. Hmm, maybe I should add the pantry to their chore list…


    • What, no recipe ideas Mimi 😉 ? Just joking, I am still due to make your beetroot hummus recipe from last week. I make chickpea hummus weekly and was going to give yours a go. That flowered container on the bottom shelf, second from the right–cannellini beans. So I’m set to go. Xx


      • chef mimi says:

        yay! Where I live Canellini beans cost twice as much as great northerns, because they’re “Italian.” Same with black beans. Those called frijole negros cost more. So I just stick with regular old white beans! Might be different where you live, though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well I just have to create a pantry , so much nicer than cupboards , that sometimes I fail to find what I am looking for in , far too deep and your pantry is the second lovely one I have had the pleasure to view this month . We had a pantry way back when I was young ,my mom stocked it very well , it was great and one could just walk in , now where and how I am going to do this ; , it must be a cool area away from the range and cooker. I will let you know, must have a coffee and think before I tell my darling another wonderful idea I have. hugs Kathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ours is in the hallway leading from a side door through to the kitchen. There are three in a row actually, one houses a small freezer and cleaning products on a top shelf behind closed doors, the next is the big one pictured above and then the open shelves are just at the kitchens entrance. I never thought about them being away from the heat, but phew, they are. It was going to be a walk-in space, but that ended up being a coat room and the coat closets are instead where the pantry & freezer are. Funny how ideas can change once a space is actually being utilized; the current layout is a much more sensible use of the spaces than our original plan. Johnny always thanks God we never spent money on blue prints! My pantry came to be after seeing others and admiring the organization it offered. I highly recommend! Best of luck selling the idea to the Mr. 🙂 Melissa Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    I seriously need to do some pantry cleaning and sorting out too! As I avoid gluten I use rice flour all the time in my baking. Though I find I have to freeze in anything we don’t eat the same day as it doesn’t keep as well as wheat flour, and the texture is drier so you often need to add more liquid. A mixture of gram and rice flour makes a nice pancake too or try chapatis. Lentils always work well added to soups or stews and I’ve even added cooked lentils to stretch a meat loaf and that worked well too. Not sure if these are any help – the only one I have on my recipe blog is an crumble –


    • I am so excited with your suggestion to add lentils to meatloaf!! I often would buy ground beef to stretch the goat mince in meatloaf. I didn’t really like doing it but feeding seven, we’d go through the goat mince too quickly. Your idea is just brilliant and I can’t wait to try it. Lovely to get ideas not just to use up unused items, but that will really make a difference in the big picture. I do love crumble. We have it for desert and again the next morning for breakfast! Thanks for your response. I will let you know how it all turns out. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder how much lentils do you recommend for 1 lb/500 g of mince. I am making it tonight. Should I soak the lentils all day before mixing them in? Tx. If you don’t get this message I will just wing it I suppose…


      • Murtagh's Meadow says:

        Hi – I cooked the lentils beforehand – and let cool before adding to meat. Not sure how much I added but I am sure you could get away with 150-200grm. If mixture looks a bit wet add a bit of flour – I’d actually use rice flour but any flour will do. Let me know how it goes!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah great. I just took them off the coal stove and they are done. I cooked them all, 325 g, but will add them slowly until I reach a satisfying balance. I usually add bread crumbs and egg to bind, and chopped carrot, celery, onion, herbs, you know the way. Thanks for getting back to me. I’ll stay in touch.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Meatloaf was really good. Maybe I’ll use 250 g lentils next time (was actually 730 g mince), I’ll use 1 to 3 ratio anyway. It nearly tripled the loaf which was great, leftover always good thing. Thank you again for super suggestion.


  5. I have ideas! For the red/yellow lentils, I would go with this spicy lentil, tomato and kale soup: For the sesame seeds, if you have enough, make tahini try the dressing here: I love it over her Rainbow salad ( into which you could throw your goji berrries…which I also have sitting in my cupboard, come to think of it…) or over roasted cauliflower and broccoli. Alternatively, use up your barley and/or quinoa with a variation of the protein power bowl (which btw tastes a lot better than it looks)… Applesauce calls for baking! Sadly I rarely have applesauce on hand so I don’t have a tested recipe, but it is used in a lot of vegan baking as a substitute for eggs or as a sweetener.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh ya, that soup would amaze all in my house. We loooove that kind of full flavor. Yes, we make our own dressings and hummus so tahini it is, cool and groovy girl!! Someone gave me a great quick bread recipe above to use the applesauce in, (should have made today for school snacks, oops!). I think that salad looks very tempting actually and that soup as well. I bookmarked ohsheglows in my cooking folder. 450k followers–astounding! I will look there for more recipes. You are a doll, as all who contributed here. So helpful and I am highly inspired. We are not missing that chicken I put back one bit! Funny, me and hubs have been cutting back on meat and wanting to do so more but with no plan and now it is happening, but more by accidental choice, not by plan. Life is funny like that; one of those things that make it so fantastic!
      I will let you know how the recipes turn out. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Meredith says:

    Barley and mushrooms cooked in beef broth. I don’t have an exact recipe, and I don’t know if goat would sub for beef, but I can’t imagine it wouldn’t. I haven’t had goat for years.

    ratio = 1 cup barley cooked in 3 cups water 20 to 25 minutes.

    •In a Dutch oven or stockpot, cook meat in oil over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove meat with a slotted spoon; keep warm and set aside.
    • Sauté onions, carrots and celery in drippings over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme; cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in broth or water, barley, salt if desired and pepper.
    • Return meat to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until barley and meat are tender. A
    The site below is where I got directions, the measurements are there as well.

    Read more:

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds excellent Meredith. I have all those ingredients from the garden so real bonus. Goat meat most compares to beef in my opinion. And I took some out of the freezer for tomorrow nights dinner. I am beyond happy that I went ahead with this post because I have made quick bread/cake and meatloaf with lentils from suggestions and they have been well received. It is exciting to try new things. I will let you know how this goes over. Thank you! Melissa

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ben Naga says:


    Ingredients (1 serving)
    2 oz brown rice
    2 oz red lentils
    12 fl oz boiling water
    Some chopped onion
    I tablespoon oil
    I tspn curry powder

    Method Put onion, lentils, rice and salt in a small pan that has a lid. Pour on the boiling water and bring back to the boil, stirring. Then turn down the heat and put on the lid. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes. (This is absorption cooking, so make sure it doesn’t boil dry; if required add a little more water.) In the last 5 minutes, lightly fry the curry powder in the oil in another pan and when the rice and lentils has finished cooking add the heated curry and stir it in.

    It is good to also stir in some green peas or fresh mung bean sprouts.

    Easy to increase the amounts if making for more than one.

    Goes well with all kinds of vegetables. I vary them depending how I’m feeling, what’s in the cupboard or in season. The has been a weekly (or thereabout) staple for many weeks and remains a firm favourite. Quick and easy, economical, nourishing and tasty. What’s not to like? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ben. I have heard of kedgeree but never tried it or even knew what it was exactly. I grow mung bean sprouts so extra points for that! Though the green peas sound like a tempting addition too. Sounds very simple and definitely a dish everyone would go for in my house. I’ll try it tomorrow and let you know how it goes. Really appreciate this suggestion. Melissa Xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • As I read that wiki link my thought was, ‘I probably never had it growing up as it is a European dish and I am North American’. Then I read the bottom bit ‘rice dishes’, all sounding interesting and somewhat healthy (but what do I know) and then I had a good laugh as N.A. dishes are listed–rice-a-roni, rice krispies, rice krispies treats and whatever the heck glorified rice and dirty rice are. Embarrassing packaged crap.
      Anyhoo, I may wait and have kedgeree with the smoked mackeral we have in freezer, sounds like a treat and I am all for tradition, at least for my first go at it, then I can get experimental. Goat is on tonights menu.

      Liked by 1 person


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