Laying in a Year’s Worth of Supplies Part II: The Well-Stocked Kitchen

Penzeys spices have earned a prominent place in our well-stocked kitchen. We recently received an order of items we wanted to make sure we have on hand when we return to Point Hope at the end of the summer. From left to right in the foreground: arbol peppers, star anise and chipotle peppers. 

As I write this, I’m surrounded by several stacks of Rubbermaid totes. Each stack has four to seven nested totes duck taped together, ready to be mailed to Anchorage where they’ll be filled with dry goods and mailed back up here for the next school year. We’re down to the tail end of most of our groceries, which is the way it should be with only 10 days remaining before we fly down to south-central Alaska for the summer.

Planning out a well-stocked kitchen, experimenting with new dishes and baked goods, and writing this blog make the extra effort and expense of laying in everything we need for our kitchen worth it. In addition to mail-ordering spices to supplement what we already have on hand, we’ve prepared a five-page Excel spreadsheet shopping list we’ll take care of in Anchorage. And, of course, there are the ice chests we mailed down earlier, waiting to be filled with some of the world’s best seafood – the salmon, halibut and rockfish we catch and package ourselves. Come late summer when we return to the village, our kitchen will be ready!

Various types of salt, cooking oils and a full compliment of herbs and spices inspire an eclectic approach to cooking and baking, and allow us to create many of our own rubs and grilling sauces.

Although the theme of our summer posts will shift to fishing, hiking, boating and sailing, we’ll continue to write about the cooking we do for ourselves and our guests. And during the summer, we’ll finally be able to enjoy wine and beer with our meals!

Click here to see A Year’s Worth of Food: Provisioning for the Alaska Bush, Part I

15 thoughts on “Laying in a Year’s Worth of Supplies Part II: The Well-Stocked Kitchen

  1. Hey you two – I made your stick blender mayo again last night. I gotta’ tell you – I love it! It is well and truly becoming a staple recipe down here. I huge thanks to the best two planners I know!!! 🙂

  2. Do you all get Full Circle Farm boxes up there? Once we started getting that regularly, our bulk shopping needs went way down. It’s been great.

  3. It sounds like a return to the top of the world is planned for Fall–Congratulations, you hardy survivors!

  4. At our house we also must have tomato’s, tomato sauce and paste. Our other staples include tuna, corn, beans, spaghetti noodles, rice and green beans. Not terribly out of the ordinary except I get nervous when we get down to about 8 cans…or a 1/4 case. The other things we must have in our kitchen are spices. We have two cupboards full and a stand on the counter caddy. There are things we’ve tried and weren’t enamored with, but we must have them. We must have basil, tarragon, thyme, sage, chili powder and garlic salt. When I was living on my own a friend of a friend saw into one of my cupboards and said, “I think you have more food in your cupboard than any single person I have ever met.” And here’s the kicker I don’t really like to cook that much, I just like to have it when I’m ready. I think this comes from growing up in a place where I heard stories of the barge not making it in and the grocery shelves being cleared in short order (usually of milk). I never experienced it myself, but I heard the stories and took note.

  5. I can relate to your post so much. We rent a 1950s townhome, three bedrooms, about 875 square feet. Our kitchen has one drawer and three cabinets. I use one cabinet for dishes, one for food, and one for spices/baking supplies. Whatever won’t fit in the cabinets goes on a couple of sturdy metal shelves that I bought for our kitchen when we first moved in (like the shelves in the photo above). I also have a couple of plastic containers with drawers for silverware and towels. We have over-the-door shoe organizers on some of our doors, too, and over-the-door towel hooks in our one bathroom. We also have stuff stored under all of our beds, and our utility room is tightly packed, too. So we really have no space to stock up on extra food and household supplies. I really miss the freezer that we used to have in our garage when we rented a bigger house, but we have no garage now and no basement. It’s tough sometimes living in such a small place, but I guess the good thing is that it’s less space to clean.

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