The Fine Art of Cooking with Whatever’s Already in the House

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A woman in Oregon teaches one very unconventional cooking class.

The class, taught by Katherine Deumling (check out her website and blog), is based on the “pantry principle,” according to Leslie Cole’s story in the Oregonian. What’s that all about?

It’s learning how to cook with what you have.

Stocking up on good ingredients and riffing at mealtime is what’s it’s all about.

Instead of following the typical meal preparation scenario—decide what to cook and then gather all the necessary ingredients—Deumling advises students (and anyone who’ll listen) to stock up the pantry, fridge, and freezer with certain key ingredients, which will form the basis for all sorts of great meals. Per the Oregonian:

Deumling’s philosophy boils down to a few simple points: Surround yourself with good ingredients and fresh produce. Taste a dish as you go, and season your food liberally. Eat what you love, but be open to trying new things. And set yourself up so you aren’t forced into unnecessary trips to the store.

When you don’t have a specific recipe to follow, what kinds of things can you make? Things like frittatas, quesadillas, and pasta dishes work well. Yum.

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