After posting my excellent chicken stock recipe last night, I got to thinking about the other recipes from that post, and how they all start with "put some olive oil in a pan, then add some minced garlic..." It wasn't intentional, but come to think of it, I use those a lot, which made me wonder about the other things that I need to have on hand at all times. How about you—what ingredients are essential in your kitchens? Here are some of mine:

—Olive oil (both regular and extra virgin)

—Good parmesan (which I can and will use just about every day)

—Garlic

—Butter

—Eggs

—Some form of bread

—Tomatoes

—Some kind of pasta (I really like penne)

—Chicken stock

—White wine

Obviously I like to have more than just those things, but if I've got them on hand, I can make do for a surprisingly long time, and if I don't have one or more of them, I'm pretty sure the world comes to an end.