Home Forums Living Spaces Kitchen Minimum Condiments List?

This topic contains 51 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of ninakk ninakk 2 years, 4 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #158921
    Avatar of wrennerd
    wrennerd
    Member

    I just discovered that Hoarders (which I read about on this blog but hadn’t yet seen) was available via streaming on Netflix, so while I was baking this week, I watched the whole first season, and felt a pressing need to wipe down my sticky refrigerator shelves. While I was in there, I started disposing of condiments right and left. Ordinarily, I don’t worry much about expiration dates on those, but I decided to start with a fresh collection. In the interest of keeping them to a minimum, I decided not to replace anything I can mix up using other available condiments.

    For example:
    No honey mustard, since I have mustard and I have honey.
    No chili sauce, since I’m pretty sure it’s ketchup plus something else.
    No A1, since I’m guessing it’s ketchup plus Worcestershire sauce.
    No BBQ sauce, since I assume it’s A1 plus honey. (More or less.)

    So my question is:
    What condiments are necessary, and what can you make from what other basic pantry items?

    Here’s what I currently stock in the fridge door:
    Ketchup
    Dijon mustard
    Mayo
    Soy Sauce
    Worcestershire sauce
    Horseradish (grated, not the sauce)
    Dill relish
    I have Teriyaki sauce, but I have a feeling I might be able to make that one too.

    No salad dressings, since I make my own…

  • #174398
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Hmmm, great idea. I currently have waaay too many condiments/salad dressings. Though in my defense, some of the salad dressings have been left by people who bring them along with their salad to potluck/party/etc. :)

    I like your basic list. For myself I’d substitute sweet pickle relish (which I make and can myself), and I’d leave out the horseradish. I have other Asian proeducts – fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, red curry powder – which are more spices/seasonings than actual condiments, but which live on the fridge door shelves as well. I’m interested to see what others come up with. But for now, this is a project to go on my list for after the holidays!

  • #174399

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Teriyaki sauce = soy sauce + sugar (+ optional, ginger, green onion, veg oil) [but the Yoshida brand teriyaki sauce they used to have at COSTCO is the best premade for my taste]

    Tonkatsu sauce = ketchup + worcestershire sauce

    For myself the only thing I need is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (tastes like soy sauce but without the yeast)

  • #174401
    Avatar of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    I think a serious cook might disagree. I need my Sriracha sauce, mirin, rosewater, pomegranate molasses, tamarind paste, etc.

    As my refrigerator is otherwise sparely stocked, I don’t find the number of esoteric condiments burdensome.

  • #174403
    Avatar of ArtGal
    ArtGal
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    My List:
    Dijon mustard, organic ketchup, Hellman’s mayo (light), horseradish (grated,) wheat-free soy sauce, tahini…I’ve found that I like fresh salad dressings and they are easy to make, so I don’t keep it on hand. I combine the mayo with the Dijon, add a little garlic salt, dill, and pepper and use this as a pasta salad dressing or a side dip for fish dishes (just a little bit! :) I also use this to make egg salad.

  • #174404
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    pomegranate molasses is my new favourite thing!

    i go through phases of different things, but my basics list includes:

    beside the oven:
    two types of olive oil (one for cooking and one for salads)
    rice bran oil
    sesame oil
    balsamic vinegar
    cider vinegar
    red wine vinegar
    sea salt
    black pepper
    soy sauce

    in the fridge:
    fish sauce
    tomato sauce
    sri racha sauce
    tabasco sauce
    kecap manis
    red curry paste
    green curry paste

    two types of mustard (dijon and wholegrain)

    we prefer homemade mayonnaise and pickles and relishes. and i make chili sauce when my chilis are producing.

    hmmm, what else is in the fridge?
    a couple of bottles of wine at all times
    two glass absolut bottles filled with water
    milk
    cream
    butter
    cheddar
    homemade yoghurt
    sun dried tomatoes
    olives
    kangaroo meat for the cats
    bacon
    vegetables….whatever we pick and don’t eat that day goes into the fridge. all bought vegetables go straight into the fridge….our climate demands it.

    and that is about it.
    i like to shop almost every day for food…..we could really downsize our fridge a lot.
    and we will when we have to buy a new fridge.
    i had that revelation in france this year….six weeks living out of a bar fridge and we cooked a lot of the time.

  • #174407

    Minimum Condiments List?

    I think a lot of condiments you keep on hand depend on what kind of cooking you do, what you prefer, and how purist you are about your cooking. I have ALOT of bottled condiments. I keep most of the smaller ones in a plastic tub in the fridge:
    Ketchup
    mayo
    Yellow mustard (for DH — it’s all he will eat)
    Whole grain and English mustard (for me)
    Tamari soy sauce
    Bragg’s Amino
    Rice vinegar
    Cider vinegar
    White vinegar
    chipolte sauce (2 kinds)
    Tabasco sauce
    Jarred basil pesto
    Thai chili sauce
    Red and green chili pastes
    Tomato paste in a tube
    Adobo
    Worcestershire sauce
    Barbecue sauce
    Hoisin sauce
    Sesame oil

    And probably some other stuff if I rooted around a bit.

  • #174433
    Avatar of vjb
    vjb
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Over the last few months I’ve been moving more and more to cooking very simple, fresh food, and leaving the twenty-ingredient recipes for the restaurants. My stock of condiments is probably half what it has been:

    Homemade ketchup
    Dijon mustard
    Soy sauce
    Fish sauce
    A couple of vinegars (at the moment, a red balsamic and a white balsamic)
    Anchovies
    Capers

    I also keep chillies and sliced bacon in the freezer, and have half a dozen pots of herbs in the garden. (Bandicoot, I know what you mean about the bar fridge! We have a little 230 litre fridge-freezer and even so, if it wasn’t for my housemate’s Coca-Cola habit, it would be entirely too big.)

  • #174435
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Oh, pomegranate molasses – must look for that! I have pom balsamic vinegar and it’s yummy.

    Needtocleanhouse – totally agree on the Yoshida’s – why make your own when it’s sooo good. :)

    I’m fascinated with what all you consider “essentials” – so interesting.

  • #174452
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    pomegranate molasses reminds me a little of a reduced balsamic glaze….it has that sweet/sour sticky syrupy thing going on….with a tart little flavour all it’s own.
    we had it recently on freshly picked and steamed beetroot, with dried cranberries and scallions.
    it was so good, it was ridiculous.

  • #174454
    Avatar of Pischi
    Pischi
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Here is my salad dressing, handed down from 2 generations of cooks on my mothers side.
    1. Use a wooden salad bowl and have a salad spoon to measure
    2. Pour one spoon full of rice vinegar, any flavour, according to taste.
    3. Pour 2 spoonfuls of best quality olive oil.
    4. Add pinch of coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, pinch of sugar if desired.
    5. Give a few quick stirs.
    Add lettuce and toss. This dresses one head or bag of lettuce
    Variations are crushed garlic, dried cranberries, cherries, walnuts, sunflower seeds.
    I am constantly asked what dressing I use and friends don’t believe me until they try this themselves. You can add a dollop of cream or sour cream for a creamy version.

  • #174461
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    Minimum Condiments List?

    All you really need is a big bottle of Tabasco.

  • #174462
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    “All you really need is a big bottle of Tabasco.”

    Oh look! my DH is online. but…he changed his name…

    When Tabasco is out, then the fiery infused olive oil will also do.

  • #174463

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Gluten Free Soy Sauce
    Ketchup
    Mustard (2 kinds)
    Grape Jelly
    Jam
    Worcestershire Sauce
    Mayonnaise
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Balsamic Vinegar

  • #174469
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    I am the worst for keeping jars of stuff in the fridge which then grow mould, but my dh is even worse, always buying and opening other jars in addition… I think one problem is that we eat very differently in the summer compared with the winter, so we have different jars for different occasions. And we cook different sorts of food all the time, so mango chutney goes with curry but definitely not with salad! And another problem is that our fridge is on top of the freezer so I can’t actually see what’s on the top 2 shelves at the back as I’m not tall enough. I try to keep the basics in the door but they tend to spill over, um, pretty much everywhere. I try to write the date opened on the jar but someone always steals my permanent marker! Maybe I’d be better off just chucking the leftovers from jars immediately rather than putting them in the fridge, especially with stuff like mayonnaise. Any suggestions for controlling jar breeding?

  • #174474

    Minimum Condiments List?

    I have a plastic bin where I store most of the small, lesser-used condiments , in the fridge itself. It keeps them corralled, and I can pull out the bin to see what is in it. Otherwise, they tend to gravitate towards the back and get lost. You could even keep a permanent marker in the bin.

  • #174475
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    @bandicoot – drool! I love beets in any form to begin with….

    @Lottie – on the mayo specifically, smaller size? I have an issue with specialty items that only come in large containers. We have a jar of ploughman’s pickle, which it turns out neither of us like… Hmmm, today’s OTAD item located!

  • #174478
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    i’d keep the pen with the cleaning supplies.
    i am the only one who voluntarily goes there, lol.

  • #174481
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    See, that’s why I love this forum, lots of good ideas :) I think I’ll attach the permanent marker to the fridge with some string so it can’t go walkabout, and I love the separate bin idea for being able to see the jars, thanks susan. I was just pondering, I used to work in a lab where they were very lax about chemical expiry dates (this was a long time ago). There was a crackdown and I spent about 6 months sorting out a system for giving stuff expiry dates, and I was wondering whether you could buy labels for food the same as the expiry labels for the chemicals we used to use and I found this site:
    http://www.datematelabels.co.uk/product.html#
    Problem solved! What a great idea, I will buy some and try to stick them on every jar which comes into the house which might make its way into the fridge half-used. I really hate the whole jar situation in our fridge, every so often I have a big clear out, but right now it’s horrible! And sticking a label on when it comes in is better than when it’s opened as it’s more likely to get done, that’s what we used to do in the lab. Kind of ironic that I used to be pretty good with systems at work and my fridge at home looks like, um, a swamp! With lots of pickled onions…

  • #174486

    Minimum Condiments List?

    I love pickled onions and was going to make some to give away as Christmas presents.

  • #174488
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    it is entirely possible to empty many half opened jars of pickled onions into one HUGE jar.
    gherkins, olives and sun dried tomatoes too. just sayin’.

    on the permanent markers again….i use a whiteboard in my workshop every day and recently, i wrote allllllll over it with a permanent marker (we keep those on hand for marking outgoing freight and one of them just worked it’s way into my small jar of whiteboard markers).
    the stuff will. not. come. off, so dh is off to town to buy me a new whiteboard; with a corkboard component if i am very lucky.

  • #174492
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    It is possible to get this off with toluene, but it’s such a nasty chemical that you wouldn’t want to use it. :) [Better not to ask me - or esp my DH - how I know this] Enjoy the new white board, and devise a scheme to identify the permanent markers!

  • #174499
    Avatar of SunshineR
    SunshineR
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    bandicoot: do you have any 95 percent alcohol or paint thinner?… just saying you could try something on the old one…Enjoy the new whiteboard.

    My dbf makes signs and occasionally customizes whiteboards as calendars or scoreboards for customers. Believe me, he has even supplied wipeoff markers with the orders, and we have had at least one crisis call/remake because of marker confusion.

    Maybe use stick-on velcro dots or strips to hang the wipeoff markers next to the new whiteboard?

  • #174503
    Avatar of trillie
    trillie
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    When I read this thread first, I thought, well there’s a problem I certainly do not have, all the oils and vinegars on the spice shelf are used on a very regular basis… until I looked into my fridge last night to find out what’s for dinner, and lo and behold, the entire door is full of little jars: Ketchup, remoulade, minced ginger, basil pesto, pesto calabrese, pickled hot peppers, salad cream, tomato puree, 3 kinds of mustard (wtf, I hardly use it), dill pickles, olives, lemon juice, and very questionable vindaloo sauce. I propose the idea that in addition to the sock monster (the one that lets single socks magically disappear), there are condiments elves with a liability to mustard that put mysterious half-full jars into my fridge. That MUST be it :o)

  • #174523
    Avatar of djk
    djk
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    apologies to Trillie, those elves are mine and I don’t know how they made it all the way to Berlin. Sorry. My bad.

    DH is obsessed with Weißwürst for breakfast on the weekend and therefore must have the litle mustard jars that come with it. Each one is half full.

  • #174526
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Combine, combine, combine! My DH likes a particular brance of barbeque sauce on many things, and woe is me if I don’t have it, so what happens is I see that a bottle is nearly empty, get out a new one, and he starts using it, leaving the 1/4 – or less – full one sitting in the fridge. My new strategy is to combine them as soon as there is room in the new one. I’ve now gotten us down to one kind of mustard as well. :) I may attack the salad dressings today as some are past the expiration date I’m sure….

  • #174533
    Avatar of Julia
    Julia
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    (Please assume a large smile on the author’s face, but) –

    If you have the time and the ability to review your condiments, list them in full, and contemplate whether, in fact, they need de-cluttering — perhaps you have decluttered enough.

    When you are at that point, after all, what can be left?!?

  • #174535
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    send your 3 types of mustard in my direction trillie, they’re the only jars which actually get used up in our house, I love mustard! Though the poncy French stuff is obviously best :)
    The problem in our house is either dh or I peer into the jar-cluttered fridge, see a bunch of half-empty jars of pickled onions or olives or whatever, think ‘hmmm, not too sure about how old those are’ and then open a new jar, putting the newly half-empty one into the fridge! Without actually dealing with the jars already in there unless there is literally nowhere to put the newest jar. Every few months I get fed up and chuck everything in there on the basis that it is probably hazardous to health and there’s no way of telling how old anything is. Except for jam, which I make myself so it has a label of sorts on it already with a date on it. And our fridge is pretty small for a family of 4, a real waste of space…I certainly need some of those labels :)
    I’m none too sure about combining stuff, but maybe I’m being too fussy… I know those Peppadew peppers (which I love) seem to grow mould really fast, even though they’re in vinegar, and other things seem to last a lot longer, but pickled onions seem to start looking a bit whiskery after a while to me, or am I imagining it? :)

  • #174539
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Ah Julia, if only that were so…. But condiments, limited to those in the fridge, is such an easy decluttering target. I did it today in about 10 minutes. Helped that DH was not at home. Tossed those things with “use by” dates that have long since passed (one was 2007!) and those that neither of us really like. Wiped down the shelves on the door, moved a few things from the main shelves(like mayo) to the empty door space, and have more room all around!

  • #174541
    Avatar of s
    s
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Whoops. I mis-posted this in the wrong thread, but I hope it still helps:

    The best way to get marker off of a whiteboard (whether it was a permanent marker or just whiteboard marker that dried for too long), is to go over it liberally with a WHITEBOARD marker. Just scribble over it. That should release the permanent marks. Then you should just be able to erase as usual.

    But it’s always fun to get a new whiteboard… =)

  • #174544
    Avatar of trillie
    trillie
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Ok, so I’ll send the elves to carry the mustards to lottielot, and you’ll then make sure they get home to djk, yes? And you, you need keep them on their leashes this time! Constant vigilance! ;o)

  • #174561
    Avatar of Claycat
    Claycat
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Because they have added high fructose corn syrup to so many items, and because so many soy products are from Round-Up ready soy, I have eliminated so many items from my kitchen. I don’t used ketchup, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce any more. I have these things.

    Mustard
    Mayo (which unfortunately has soy) only occasionally used
    Newman’s Family Recipe Italian
    Olive oil
    Sunflower oil
    apple cider vinegar
    sometimes salsa

  • #174566
    Avatar of wrennerd
    wrennerd
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Thanks, everyone! Especially needtocleanhouse for the Teriyaki suggestion — out it goes! Once I try a few mayo recipes, that one might be gone as well.

    I like the one-condiment-for-everything suggestion as well (very multitasking!) — but I enjoy cooking too much… :)

    Julia, you’re right, of course. ;) Alas, I just happened to start in the fridge. Plenty of other areas also need decluttering…

  • #174568
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Claycat – Hellman’s/Best Foods makes an olive oil based mayo that we like.

  • #174569
    Avatar of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    *looks in fridge, blanches, closes door again*

  • #174571

    Minimum Condiments List?

    pkilman: that’s the brand of mayo we use as well. Tasty!

  • #174649
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    lol lucy, why are you sharing our fridge?!
    Impatiently awaiting mustard delivery from those pesky elves, I ran out of the creamy posh French stuff and am reduced to using Waitrose brand :)

  • #174738
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    @lucy… i’ve owned that fridge too.

    this evening we found a load of small sweet peppers in the garden… far more than any normal two salad-lovers could consume fresh… so i turned them into 4 jars of sweet pepper relish, thus neatly solving the pepper problem while adding to the condiment situation and completely rationalising the hoarding of glass preserving jars.

  • #174739
    Avatar of Netleigh
    Netleigh
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    @lottielot, The problem in our house is either dh or I peer into the jar-cluttered fridge, see a bunch of half-empty jars of pickled onions or olives or whatever, think ‘hmmm, not too sure about how old those are’ and then open a new jar, putting the newly half-empty one into the fridge! Without actually dealing with the jars already in there unless there is literally nowhere to put the newest jar.

    I have a solution to this problem that sometimes works. Marker pen by fridge, write the date you opened it on the lid or label. Threaten to write on husband’s forehead if he does not comply!

    Ahhrg, I just found previous post where you said you do this, have you tried writing on the pen thieves!

  • #174833

    Minimum Condiments List?

    @bandicoot, try plain white vinegar for that permanent marker problem. I haven’t tried it on a whiteboard, but it does work on other surfaces (glass/plates). When I throw a party, I often write the name of the item directly on the plate with a fine point sharpee, then use vinegar to erase after the party is over.

  • #174841
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Oh, and I’ve taken it off of plastic serving utensils and even tupperware with rubbing alcohol.

  • #174843
    Avatar of karacooks
    karacooks
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    “I think a serious cook might disagree. I need my Sriracha sauce, mirin, rosewater, pomegranate molasses, tamarind paste, etc.”

    Yup. Also chili sauce isn’t “ketchup plus something else”, nor is A1 “ketchup plus Worcestershire sauce”, nor is BBQ sauce “A1 plus honey”. :)

    If a minimal number of condiments is what you want, then by all means, pare it down to that. But I think asking people for their minimum requirements is going to be ultimately useless … since my list of required condiments is probably going to be significantly longer than that of someone who thinks chili sauce is “ketchup plus something else”. :)

  • #174868
    Avatar of repete
    repete
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    I’m so not a serious cook, but I counted 18 condiments, 8 vinegars/cooking wines, and 42 spice jars. In the course of a month, I use them all at least once. So that is my minimum. I blame Cooking Light Magazine. ;)

    Sigh, at least I’m down to 12 pairs of shoes.

  • #174946
    Avatar of paperdog
    paperdog
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    @bandicoot- the permanent marker on whiteboard happened to me in a brand new classroom with a roomful of 3rd graders! One of the young boys picked up the same permanent marker and colored over the offending marks in small areas, wiping it off immediately. Surprisingly, it all came right off! He claimed he’d learned this the hard way after drawing on his mom’s new wipe-off calendar-out of the mouths of babes… Might give that a try.

  • #174970
    Avatar of stannius
    stannius
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Chili sauce is more or less ketchup plus vinegar. At least that’s what’s in Heinz stuff. Sriracha is totally different, but I would call that a hot sauce. Honey mustard is mostly mayonnaise, with a little mustard and honey for flavor. I have to disagree on the barbecue sauce though :)

  • #176287
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Holy cow, I’ve missed this excellent thread! I *LOVE* you guys!!!

  • #197148
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    To those of you who clearly cook more than I have up until now, what does one use fish sauce for?

    Do you make your own mustard or do you buy it? My mom has a killer recipe that I will have to attempt before Christmas, because it’s needed for the ham. It’s a really nice mustard at other times, too, and I actually found a decent range of mustard recipes at Sunset (myrecipes.com), which I’m eager to try.

  • #197155
    Avatar of Astreja
    Astreja
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    My essential condiments and sauces: Jamaican jerk seasoning; mayonnaise; ketchup; barbecue sauce, because my daughter likes the stuff; mustard; low-salt soy sauce; maple syrup; black olives; 1 jar of jam; sometimes 1 jar of Seville orange marmalade; and 1 bottle of salad dressing (Currently I’m alternating between Caesar and Catalina). Occasionally there will be sweet mixed pickles and pickled onions in the fridge, too, but generally only in midwinter when I’m entertaining.

  • #197167
    Avatar of Netleigh
    Netleigh
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Nina,
    I use fish sauce(nam pla) for thai recipes, it adds a sort of a strong savory salty taste. I’m not sure if Thai fish sauce is what other people have been meaning, if not can they please enlighten me.
    I have too many essential condiments because I love to cook in a lot of different styles, Oriental, Indian, Moroccan plus all the ‘normal’ ones in European cookery.

  • #197169
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Ah ha, makes sense, Netleigh!

  • #197182
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    thai fish sauce gets a lot of use in my kitchen.
    think of it as the salt in asian dishes where you don’t wish to use soy.
    i tend to splash it into the soup/ fried rice/thai curry just before serving.

    also, it is an essential component in a very simple but amazingly complex flavoured and moreish thai sauce that we eat on salads/slaws and as a dipping sauce:
    2 tblsp sweet chilli sauce
    2 tblsp fish sauce
    2 tblsp fresh lime juice
    chopped garlic and ginger to taste
    chopped fresh mint or coriander or basil to taste.

  • #197183
    Avatar of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    Minimum Condiments List?

    Thanks, bandicoot, I am so glad I dared ask :)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.