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Just as we found ourselves wondering what’s inside bags of notable ladies around town, we couldn’t help but imagine what Jill Melton, editor of Edible Nashville magazine and master of the kitchen, keeps stocked in her kitchen. Thankfully, she opened her cabinets, pantry and fridge to give us a glimpse into what she always has on hand for the impromptu homemade soup, her morning coffee or a quick snack. Read on and then get your list together to get stocked, yourself!

Jill Melton's kitchen essentials
Jill Melton, editor of “Edible Nashville,” invites us into her kitchen and tells us what she always has on hand.

Jill Melton’s Kitchen Essentials

#1. Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese

Jill grates this European cheese over just about everything — from simple pasta dinners to potatoes to pizza — and tosses the flavorful rind into soups. “The longer it steeps, the better it tastes,” she tells us.

#2. The tri-colored raisin medley from Trader Joe’s

These raisins can be used for snacks of all kinds, but Jill uses them as her go-to dessert and as an addition to her homemade granola.

#3. Hatcher or JD Country Milk

Hatcher Family Dairy has been farming in College Grove, Tennessee, since 1831. They have a dairy store on the farm, where you can shop for all kinds of milk, as well as farm-fresh meat, eggs, cheese and baked goods. You can also shop their pasteurized milk at local spots, including at The Turnip Truck.

Another favorite of Jill’s is JD Country Milk, which comes from a family-owned dairy farm in Logan County, Kentucky. The quality milk is hormone-free, and can be found at Green Door Gourmet and The Produce Place.

#4. Butter (kept in a Butter Bell® crock)

Jill’s Butter Bell® crock is always stocked with butter, which — let’s face it — can be used in just about anything! A few our of favorite butter-centric recipes from “Edible” include peach and brown butter shortcakes with whipped cream and mustard-herb butter.

Butter: one of Jill's kitchen essentials
From Salt & Vine, this recipe for peach and brown butter shortcakes with whipped cream has us eager to get into the kitchen! Image: Edible Nashville

#5. Local beer

With more than a dozen breweries calling Nashville home, local beer is quickly becoming a staple in kitchens around town. Jill always has local beer on hand, and right now, she is loving the Jackalope Rompo Red.

#6. Great Harvest whole wheat or nine-grain bread

Coming from a family-owned farm in Montana, Great Harvest Bread Company has bakeries and bakery cafes all across the nation. Locally, you can find a Great Harvest franchise in Hillsboro Village. Why does Jill love this bread? “It is super earthy, and you get three grams of fiber per serving,” she tells us.

#7. Good jam

Recently, Jill’s option for good jam has been her homemade strawberry jam recipe from Rebekah Turshen at City House. She also loves The Loveless Cafe’s fig jam preserves.

Find out how to make a jar of strawberry preserves and all the ideas for enjoy it!

We could dive right into a jar of this homemade jam. Image: “Edible Nashville

#8. Almond butter

Almond butter serves many purposes for Jill. She spreads it on toast and puts in her famous Almond Butter White Chocolate Cookies (aka Karma Cookies).

#9. French press coffee pot

There is no better way to start the morning than with some good ol’ caffeine and it tastes best from a French press, which Jill prefers some mornings.

#10. Breville espresso machine

Other mornings, she heads straight for the espresso machine!

#11. Pasta

Alfresco Pasta is a pasta company that has been providing the Southeast with fresh pasta since 2000. Lately, this is Jill’s pasta of choice. Their ravioli, gnocchi, tortellini, cappelletti-style pasta, canelloni and seasonal specials can be found at The Produce Place, Porter Road Butcher, CoCo’s Italian Market and the Franklin Farmers Market.

#12. Soda stream

Jill claims to live on fizzy water — hence the need for a soda stream. She combines the fizzy soda with all kinds of juice and her kids love it as much as she does.

Thank you, Jill! Take a note from Jill’s playbook and fill your pantry and fridge with these kitchen essentials. Once you have all of the necessities, try tackling a few of our favorite recipes, or check some out over on “Edible.”


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About the Author
Alex Hendrickson

Alex is a Southern writer known for hunting down delicious stories and traveling the world with hunger. Her passions and interests lie in food, travel, interior design and inspiring people, and her dream is to eat a dozen oysters a day.