While I will always do my best to bring all of my recipes on this blog to five dollars, there are some things that you use in recipes that are used in such small amounts they are hard or impossible to put a mathematical price on. For example, when I use paprika, I could always try to figure in how much 1/30th of a three dollar jar is, but those amounts would neither be accurate, nor worth counting. Therefore, below is a list of items, I consider to be “Kitchen Basics.”
Kitchen Basics are simply ingredients that most kitchens would have in their spice racks and pantries that you would not gather specifically for a recipe.
Don’t worry, though, I don’t intend to cheat. I can’t stand it when a budget cooking show claims a dinner is 10 dollars, because they only used a 1/8th of an eight dollar block of fancy cheese. What in the world are you going to do with the other 7/8ths before it goes bad? No, I will always endeavor to include into my prices anything that I do not have a reasonable expectation for being re-used. For example, my garlic aioli recipe calls for the juice of ½ of a lemon. I will always include a full lemon in my price, because while you might use the remainder of the lemon, you likely will not. It is always going to be a bit of a judgment call on my part. I do hope you feel I am always being as true to the five-dollar format as possible.
The same is true of Kitchen Basics. When used normally, I will not include them in the price, but if the recipe calls for an over-abundance of a Kitchen Basic, I will include it in the price. For example, I include garlic in my Tri-Tip meal plan, because more than half a head of garlic was used. If I only used 1 or 2 cloves, it would have remained a kitchen basic.
Because we all have our own style of cooking, all of our kitchens will have slightly different “Basics.” I use a lot of curry powder, but very little star anise.
Here is a list of Kitchen Basics I feel should be stocked in most kitchens. (This list may not be comprehensive, and will be updated the first few months of my blog, as I remember more things that I feel should be kept in a normal home-kitchen.) You may do more baking than me and stock yeast and more specific flours.
Canola or Vegetable Oil