The following foods are essential to have on hand for making Kaukab’s (and her daughter’s tweaked Mediterranean) foods.
Notice, these are very inexpensive and easy to locate. Also, I find that local farmers’ markets and Asian/Mediterranean/Indian independent groceries seem to offer the best quality and value. On to the list. Not to be confused with your ‘bucket’ one. Although….
1. extra virgin olive oil and canola oil
2. sea salt (I like the French kind, but others will do just fine.) Really, I’m not that big of a salt snob.
3. long grain rice, especially the basmati kind
4. whole peppercorns
5. chicken boullion (Knorr brand only, please) and cartons of chicken broth (Kitchen Basics, or the like) Veg. boullion (Knorr), also good to have.
6. garlic salt (for certain things)
7. soy sauce
9. 5-spice mixture (can get in Asian or Mediterranean markets)
10. canned tomato paste or tube paste (which I really have learned to appreciate–a little goes a long way)
11. canned whole and crushed tomatoes
12. dried mint, rosemary, oregano
15. canned cannelini beans
16. canned chickpeas, also known as garbonzo beans
17. #1 (grain size) bulgar wheat (Can’t believe I forgot! Essential for making tabouli–a lovely parsley salad–among other treats)
18. balsamic vinegar (Kaukab doesn’t much use, but I find it indispensible.)
4. parsley, mint, cilantro (buy when need)
5. unsalted butter
With these, you’ll be able to add various fish and meats–or keep strictly veggie–to make a multitude of recipes for your eating pleasure. Also, it’ll keep Kaukab from running to the market, ranting in Arabic, “What da madda weed you? Why you no keep nodeen een da keechun!” I’ll tell you one thing; she’s a pro with the double negatives.