Awhile back I was visiting a site entitled Cooking with Alicia. I'm not quite sure what led me there, but while looking around I noticed her section on "the pantry." Intrigued, I read her thoughts on what she felt made up "the complete pantry." Here is what she writes:
If you cook regularly, there are certain ingredients and tools that you should always have on hand. I call these "essentials".
Beyond essentials, there are the "good-to-haves". Good-to-haves will make your life easier. The essentials plus the good-to-haves will give you what I call "the complete pantry".
With "the complete pantry", you will always have something on hand to whip up a meal on the spur of the moment. The complete pantry will also make your regular shopping easier, since you'll already have a lot of items on-hand.
And having the right tools is always a big help. As my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Vining, used to tell us: "A worker's work is only as good as his tools." It was the only class where we were allowed to sharpen our pencils whenever we needed to!
You don't need to buy all of the tools or ingredients at once, of course. Buy them as you need them for a particular recipe, and if you keep cooking different things, you will build up to your complete pantry in a gradual and affordable way.
Since reading this wonderful explanation of a complete pantry, my thoughts have been...I want one of those. But I don't mean a pantry in the traditional sense. A traditional pantry is thought of as a cupboard or closet in which one stores their provisions to be ready when meal preparations are at hand. Of course this is made easier when both the essentials and good-to-haves are in abundant supply and when variety is available.
The kind of pantry I am referring to is the pantry of my soul. The place in which I store all of the essentials and good-to-haves that the Lord has bestowed upon me. A place with enough room to hold all that I need and yet not too cluttered to the extent items are hidden and spoil before they are used. Where there are staple items, such as faith and love, obedience and perseverence, as well as something for a special guest, perhaps a specific word of encouragement or outpouring of empathy. I want to "be mature, and complete, not lacking anything," as in James 1:4 (NIV). I desire for my pantry to be full and complete.
Every few days, I will be expanding on what I believe the essentials and good-to-haves are that could make up my complete pantry. Of course, as I have stated, the Lord is the one handing out the provisions, so I will cheerfully accept what is given, even if it isn't on my list! Please, won't you join me? I am looking forward to the Lord "[making me] complete in every good work to do His will, working in [me] what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:21 (NKJV)