Cleaning out my pantry

When I moved into the house I am in now, I was worried about the size of the kitchen, or the lack of storage space to be precise. At least I thought this was going to be a challenge, but it turns out one 200x40x60 cabinet is all I need to store my dry goods (except for spices which are kept in a box on top of the cabinet). This is a brilliantly designed pull-out cabinet, where access is as easy to the items in the back as the ones in the front of the shelves. Positive news for the future: I can make do and be completely happy with a tiny kitchen!

As for the contents of the cabinet, that's an interesting story. I love cooking, especially experimental cooking and trying out foreign recipes and new dishes. In order to do this I have occasionally purchased unusal ingredients, and when it has turned out that I don't like the recipe tried, or that it was too complicated to make on a regular basis, I am stuck with ingredients that I have no other use for. Several of these are creeping towards their expiry dates and some have already passed it. I mentioned that I really dislike throwing things away, well this is especially true for food. Food should be eaten not discarded. Time to use up some of the ones that have been bothering me the most!

Picky eater as I am, I can't just boil my brown basmati rice from the Himalayas and gobble it up, or spread my white almond paste on crisp bread and take a bite. No, I need to find something interesting to make from these ingredients, so that eating my way through them will be at least somewhat pleasant, even though I'm pretty sure that no matter how delicious these findings may be, I will stick to white basmati rice and avoid chickpea flour in my future grocery shopping.

So the coming weeks I will be cooking with
  • The already mentioned organic brown basmati rice from the Himalayas (Expiry date 19.05.2011)
  • Sushi rice (Expiry date 30.01.2012)
  • Organic white almond paste (Expiry date 22.11.2012)
  • Organic chickpea flour (Expiry date 06.11.2009 - ouch! Still smells fine though)
  • "Naturally tasty" tahini without salt (Expiry date 28.10.2011) 
  • Agar flakes (Expiry date 01.01.2009)
I also have half a bottle of agave syrup, from a cake frosting experiment for my brother's wedding. The syrup turned out to be too sweet, and didn't really add anything else, except an beige color that wasn't very suitable for wedding cake, so I used white cane syrup instead. This bottle doesn't expire anytime soon, but its presence annoys me, I bought three bottles of imported Mexican sweetener that I didn't use, when I could've just chosen locally produced cane syrup in the first place. It won't be very difficult to use up, though. I just drizzle it over my breakfast yoghurt instead of honey.