You could say lots of things about food writers — that we get inordinately excited when the first green tops of garlicky ramps emerge in spring; that we spend a little too much time arguing about whether you should brine your turkeys (and still don’t know for sure); that we take too long to get to the recipe already; or that we seem to have a banana bread breakthrough once a week. What you can’t say about us is that we’re psychics. But you don’t need to be a psychic to know how to optimize a pantry, or do more with less.

So although no one in my profession could have predicted we’d be in the middle of a pandemic, living under quarantine, we all find ourselves having to cook a lot with limited supplies, and food writers can show you how to do that. We have been doing it for years, many of us in cookbooks — without realizing just how handy our work would come in.

Four years ago, I started writing a cookbook that would take sets of three ingredients and make three very different dishes that featured them. I relied mostly on pantry items and generally accessible produce. In early April, “Kitchen Remix” was published. It’s eerily on time. Similarly, in February, The Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan released his paean to legumes, “Cool Beans,” which he began years before our period of heightened bean cookery saw chickpeas flying off the shelves. Around the same time, Emily Stephenson was putting the finishing touches on the manuscript for “Pantry to Plate,” slated for publication in October.

These are three of the cookbooks, some new, some old, that are relevant to this terrifying and challenging moment. It’s a wonderfully mixed bag stitched with a common thread: resourcefulness. Their authors tend to limit themselves to standard pantry fare or widely accessible products, and practice economy, but there’s no trace of deprivation or monotony in the recipes.

“I’m not a culinary genius — I’m just organized,” Amy Pennington wrote in her 2011 cookbook, “Urban Pantry.” It was one of the first to make me aware that with some practical thinking, a well-stocked inventory can cover most of our needs.

Pennington provides a lesson in larder stocking and in maximizing minimal space and the stuff you store in your cupboards. She’ll get you full of beans, among other legumes, in addition to grains, nuts and eggs, and she’s full of clever, uncomplicated ideas for how you can incorporate them into breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Alana Chernila is of the same hyper-organized persuasion. Recently, on a FaceTime chat, my friend Nicole A. Taylor, since laid off from her job as executive food editor at the website Thrillist, wisely recommended Chernila’s “The Homemade Pantry.” It’s maybe more a how-to for pantry building than a cookbook, per se, but cooking plays an integral part; Chernila is big on DIY. Why buy things like cereals, pancake mix, crackers, pudding cups, frozen foods (fish sticks, pizza, veggie burgers) or buttermilk, mayo or vanilla extract when you can make them? She offers recipes for meals that utilize all your self-made staples.

Homesteading’s not for anyone, even under the best of circumstances. The newest from Lukas Volger, food writer and editorial director of Jarry magazine, “Start Simple” also deals with the art of building on one good thing, but it’s more about using your stash than accumulating it. He chose 11 (vegetarian) ingredients and devotes a chapter to each, giving you simple (as billed) base recipes for handling them, and then shows you how you can build on those. I flagged every single dish in the sweet potato section, but I’d be remiss not to direct you to the marinated greens: He puts them into a spicy peanut butter sandwich (it’s genius, I tell you), a meatless carbonara with capers, baked potatoes, and then some.

A tweet from the San Francisco Chronicle’s restaurant critic, Soleil Ho, led me to an update on Namiko Hirasawa Chen’s blog, “Just One Cookbook.” It isn’t a cookbook proper; it’s an ongoing digital analog dedicated to traditional and popular Japanese dishes. This “pantry meal guide,” as Chen describes her recent post, “26 Stay-At-Home Japanese Recipes Everyone Can Make,” is organized by staple — rice, udon and soba noodles, tofu, flour and so on. (Wondering about “flour”? You, too, can learn to make gyoza wrappers from scratch.)

Now, let’s say you’re a stockpiler and you’ve got a penchant for things in jars, cans or tins, or you’ve been presciently wise about filling your kitchen with items that have long shelf lives. Nancy Silverton’s got your number. In fact, she’s had it since 2007, when the visionary behind Los Angeles’s Mozza and Chi Spacca restaurants gave us her ballad of store-bought goods, “A Twist of the Wrist.” It puts ease first, but because it comes from the mind of a chef, it’s a touch more clever about making chicken salad (don’t worry, the bird is roasted, and you don’t have to be the one to do it) or butternut squash soup (a brilliantly doctored-up version of the stuff that comes in a box).

Amsterdam-based Bart van Olphen is in the same boat, but he’s focused on aquacultural material. This month, “The Tinned Fish Cookbook” arrives (again with the uncanny timing) to show us all the things we can do with mackerel, mussels, salmon, tuna and the rest of the conserved, sustainable bunch. As someone who made a beeline for the sardines when talk of quarantining began, I’d personally like to thank van Olphen for showing me what they can do when paired with hummus or baked into a tart with leeks and tarragon.

The undisputed master of canned-good cookery is British food personality Jack Monroe. Her Twitter handle is @BootstrapCook, and she’s currently hosting a daily live chat on that platform, answering people’s questions about what to cook with what they’ve got in their larder. “Tin Can Cook” debuted last year and is the definitive cookbook in this genre. It’s also a must-have for anyone on a tight budget. A note to those of you who peruse the recipes, see something like the Chocolate Pear Cake and wonder where to find the “tinned” fruit: Many of the foodstuffs that are packaged in tins in the U.K. show up in cans over here.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a culinary bootstrapper quite like Monroe in the States (although Leanne Brown, the writer behind the 2015 cookbook “Good and Cheap,” would be an ideal candidate for the job should she want it). But we do have Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton of Canal House fame. They may be a little more concerned with fresh produce, but they’re not snobs. In their slender edition “Canal House Cooking Volume No. 6: The Grocery Store” they show love to the local corner shop and its fare. My favorite chapter is the one on frozen peas, just because I can’t live without them. It’s neck-and-neck with Crax & Butter for Dinner, which is basically a bunch of equations for heaping tasty vittles onto saltines and their ilk (combos include cheddar with mango chutney, canned sardines with lemon, pimento cheese).

Some cookbook authors haven’t explicitly centered their projects on the grocery store, but are more mindful than others about ensuring their recipes don’t require anything you can’t find in one. Carla Hall did that with her latest, “Carla Hall’s Soul Food,” which I’m finding a trusty companion right now. I imagine anyone with kids or a lack of time, ambition or pep will have her Speedy Bacon and Three Bean Skillet Stew on repeat.

Andrea Nguyen considered the selection at generic supermarkets when developing recipes for last year’s “Vietnamese Food Any Day,” and instead of requiring a cartful of “necessary” items for any single recipe, or, more impressive, the cookbook as a whole, she relies on a short list of readily available flavor builders that you probably already have or else can easily acquire, and recombines them in myriad ways to deliver fresh, ovation-worthy dishes such as Shrimp in Coconut Caramel Sauce that you can bang out on weeknights.

Finally, some cookbooks present you with a streamlined system you can apply to your pantry to expedite cooking and make it less labor-intensive. A few years ago, Celia Sack of Omnivore Books in San Francisco introduced me to food writer Ruta Kahate’s “5 Spices, 50 Dishes,” in which the author promises (and delivers) “simple recipes, but not simplistic dishes” for Indian food. With coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ground cayenne and ground turmeric on hand, she’s able to devise an array of meals. “Although you’ll be using combinations of the same spices,” she writes, “every dish will have a unique flavor.” Conveniently, those five spices can be picked up at any grocery store these days.

I’m finding Indian cooking to be particularly lockdown-friendly; it’s rooted in and gets its complexity from spices, which don’t take up much room and last a long time. But that’s me, in my own kitchen. I don’t want to make any grand projections about it or anything, because what do I know? I’m a food writer.

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