Practical Meals from Food Storage

Food-StorageWhere do I start? Does that sound familiar? We’ve either all asked that question ourselves or get asked that question by others. With limited income and resources it can seem an overwhelming task. So to answer that overwhelming question of, where to start, I was going to share some of the things that I did.

I focused on the Food #1 because I knew we would use it and my money wouldn’t be wasted. This made sense to me. But then I had to ask myself well, what do I send my money on? The most sound advice that I chose to follow was to store the basics and necessities of life that would keep us alive in a time of need. What were those things: Wheat, pwdrd milk, sugar, salt, oil, oats, pasta, rice, and beans. This was important for me because if these are foods that “sustain life”, shouldn’t we be eating them on a regular basis anyway????? Then came the dilemma of, how much to store. There are many resources out there to help you calculate the types of foods and their amounts you will need to feed the amount of people in your family. Eventually you will start to notice how often your family goes through items and you may need to adjust the totals based on your records. But remember, right now you are incorporating these foods into your daily diet, whereas in an emergency this may be the only food you will be eating which will exponentially add to the amount your family will be consuming. Usually the amounts given in suggestion are considered to be MINIMUM. Don’t worry though, with these foods having a 20-30 yr shelf life you have plenty of time to use them up before you would have to replace them.

The collection of Recipes was #2 because with all this food in the house I had to be sure I knew how to use it in a way that my family wouldn’t want to starve, and I had to be sure I was using and rotating my supply to keep it fresh. My advice would be to try at least 1 new recipe a week to expand the # of meals your family enjoys. This was my minimum; although sometimes I tried 2,3,maybe 4 new meals in a week. Isn’t it more motivating to store the food that you know tastes yummy? I started looking into preparedness/food blogs that were primarily LDS based because they had a tendency to use the ingredients from your food storage supply. Plus they challenged me to try new things that I wouldn’t have thought of. I then compiled my “tried and true” recipes in a binder made notes on how to “tweak them” with my substitutions and separated the recipes we have not tried yet into a separate folder. Now I have a stock of recipes I want to try that I can choose from each week.

Expanding My pantry became #3 I wanted to master cooking with the basics first. (There is a great resource for recipes that use just the basics at Peace of Preparedness under the heading of 1 month kit recipes.)- I think these are the recipes when people see them they freak out though because they are so different from their current diets.( When you are used to eating “Fruit Loops” in the morning, boiled wheat with honey doesn’t seem to too exciting.) So, It seemed as though there wouldn’t be much life or flavor to the basics without turning them into “regular” meals my family would eat. So I turned the basics into meals my family would eat by adding the ingredients I needed for those meals into my “extended pantry”. Leavening agents, spices, bullions, yeast, fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs in my opinion needed to be added to create an edible meal for my family. So I started looking at my food storage in terms of meals. I simply needed a list of ingredients for the meals my family loves and times these amounts by how often we would want to eat that meal. This becomes your food storage plan.  Eating what you store and storing what you eat. No more arbitrary lists of random stuff your family should store. You now know your list by inventorying your recipe cards. It’s that simple!! This makes it possible for me to use our food storage in our everyday cooking.

Make food storage a priority. Commit to using food storage daily. Commit to spending your extra money on acquiring your food storage instead of other things. Commit to trying new things; make a list of those “self reliant” skills you would like to learn: canning, gardening, dehydrating, DIY cooking skills like homemade yogurt or cheese, homemade breads etc. Learn to cook with non electrical appliances (ex. Dutch oven, solar oven, wonder box etc). Do something every day to learn something new and find the time to try those things out so that you are comfortable and proficient.

Practical meals using your food storage “extended pantry”

Practical food storage application:

If you like to eat pre packaged foods for speed and convenience consider making up your own.

Bisquick

Krusteaze pancake mix or waffle mix

Boxed Jiffy corn bread

Boxed Cake and brownie mixes

Spice mixes like for Sloppy Joes, tacos, or onion soup mix

Bread mixes

Muffin mixes

Using food storage does not require new recipes.

  • Take an existing recipe you already have and create a food storage recipe by substituting as many of the ingredients that you can to make it from scratch.

Make your own:

Cream of chicken soup

Bread crumbs

Pancake syrup

Spice mixes

Use dried beans in place of the commercially canned beans

  • Take a recipe and exchange some of the fresh ingredients for some that you have in your pantry.

Fresh milk -Powdered milk or canned milk

Eggs-Powdered eggs, flax meal, Chia seed gel, cornstarch, unflavored gelatin, banana

Veggies-Canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried veggies

Meat-Canned or freeze-dried meats

Cheese-Powdered cheeses like Parmesan or Romano

Butter- any fruit sauce, pureed beans, powdered or canned butter

  • Know your food storage substitutions to keep you from going to the store if a recipe calls for something and you discover you are out.

Know how to make your own:

Evaporated, sweetened condensed milk, cream, and half and half all from powdered milk

Seasoning blends

Baking powder

BBQ sauce

Self rising flour

Brown sugar or powdered sugar

Marshmallows

Tortillas

Just to name a few

Test it out once to see the results so you know how to do it if need arises.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you always have to. You may think that a recipe is better the original way but having an option is better than not having one. You never know you may even like it better.

Call me crazy or a little weird, but I love it when I cook someone something that they just rave about. I love it even more if I can tell them that I made it from “food storage”. Often times this surprises people. And they usually say something like “wow, I can’t believe that was from food storage and it tasted good!” I want to help people change the way they view food storage and see its yummy possibilities.

In order to use your food storage you do not have to use all shelf stable items in your recipes or completely convert them to using all new food storage items especially when starting out. (You don’t have to exchange all things all the time to every recipe.)

Try 1 new item or idea at a time to see its results and if you and your family like them. Start out small and build from there. Not every converted recipe is going to be liked and that’s ok, but now is the time to try them out, not in an emergency when you don’t have the luxury of preparing something no one wants to eat.

 

Prepare for Wildfires

wildfire

A wildfire is an uncontrolled fire that occurs outdoors in the forest, wilderness or countryside. These fire can spread to populated areas.

Prepare for a wildfire

  • Be prepared by having an emergency kit in your home.
  • Find out if wildfires are common in the area where you live.
  • Make a neighborhood plan of what to do if a wildfire occurs nearby.
  • Make a family plan of what to do if a fire occurs.
  • Get a fire extinguisher for every floor of your house.
  • Get a safety ladder for any second or third story bedrooms.
  • Make sure your address is clearly marked so that fire trucks and police can reach your home.
  • Clear any dry vegetation away from home or other buildings.

If a wildfire occurs

  • Listen to the Emergency Alert System for emergency instructions and information.
  • Shut and seal if possible windows, doors, and vents in your home.
  • Wet plants, shrubs or trees within 15 feet of your home.
  • Shut off the main gas line and propane tanks. Turn off pilot lights.
  • Have your escape plan ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  • If you leave the home make sure someone knows where you are going.
  • Move anything flammable away from your home.

Hurricane Survival

Hurricane Survival

HURRICANE JEANNE  Hurricane Hugo Slams Into Puerto Rico

A hurricane, also known as a cyclone or typhoon is an intense spiral thunderstorm system with rapidly rotating winds and a low-pressure center. It produces heavy rain, extremely strong winds, high waves and tornadoes. Hurricanes typically lose their strength once they are over land. They can cause tremendous damage in coastal areas. Hurricane season is usually between June 1 and November 30 in the United States. They can occur anytime during the year globally.

Each year approximately 10 “storm-strength” weather disturbances are detected in the North Atlantic.  Of these, half may grow to hurricane proportion.  Two hurricanes are likely to strike the U.S.  coast each year.

Nearly 100 million Americans are at risk from hurricanes.  Specifically:

  •  Almost 14 million live in the area where winds greater than 125 mph have been recorded (i.e., the tip of Florida to the North Carolina coast).
  • More than 6 million live in storm surge areas.

Although deaths from hurricanes are decreasing as hurricane warning systems improve, property damage is on the rise.

The following are preparations:

  • Be prepared by having an emergency kit in your home.
  • Install storm shutters or store plywood, nails, and have the tools ready to cover windows.  Studies have shown that if the wind can be kept out of a structure, the structure will withstand high winds relatively well. If wind is allowed inside, however, additional structural and nonstructural damage will occur very quickly. The best way to prevent wind from getting into a structure is to cover all windows and glass doors with plywood or to close hurricane shutters.
  • Get at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable food and water.
  • Remove any tall structures or trees that could fall on your house.
  • Put all your valuables in waterproof containers or plastic bags.
  • Purchase a generator.
  • Create a box of items to take with you. Include all personal records and policies.
  • Create a list of all important items in your house.
  • Know the risk and evacuation routes. Being aware of the risk and how to get out of the area as quickly as possible should an evacuation order be issued is one of the key preparedness steps to take.  Driving the evacuation routes to ensure familiarity before a storm and identifying shelter locations will make an evacuation smoother.
  • Develop an action plan. When will you begin preparing your home for possible high winds and storm surge? How much time will it take you to evacuate, if necessary? Does your evacuation route change based on the direction of the storm?  Will you go to a shelter or a hotel? These are all questions that anyone who lives in a high-risk area should answer as part of hurricane or coastal storm planning.
  • Floodproof property. Floodproofing can range from using a water sealer in areas that have basements to sandbagging to elevating utilities to moving furniture to the second floor.
  • Secure mobile homes and any outdoor items that could be picked up by the wind or washed away.  These are the steps that everyone who is at risk should take before a hurricane strikes:
  •  Check batteries. Often electricity is disrupted by hurricanes (and coastal storms) and, depending on the extent of damage, may not be restored immediately. Check batteries for flashlights and portable radios to ensure that they are fresh. Replace old batteries, and have extra on hand.

During a hurricane:

  • Listen to EAS for updated information. Local officials will use EAS extensively to provide emergency information and instructions. Be sure to tune in often for updates.
  • Stay indoors. If advised to evacuate, do so.  However, do not assume that because an evacuation order is not issued that the situation is safe. Even Category 1 hurricanes are dangerous. Stay indoors and listen to EAS for up-to-date information.
  • Evacuate if you are told to do so.
  • Board up windows if needed.
  • Keep away from all windows, door and outside walls.
  • Move all patio furniture, pots, toys, etc into the garage or house.
  • Bring pets inside.

If advised to shelter in place:

  • Unplug all electrical appliances.
  • Turn off water and electricity at the main valve.
  • Pack your car. Take your “take box”, emergency kit, medicine, food, water, clothing and pets.
  • Have extra cash just in case.
  • Know your evacuation plan!
  • Leave as soon as possible.

If you stay:

  •  Go to an interior “safe” room, if possible. Stay in the safe room and listen to EAS for additional instructions.  Take you emergency kit with you to the safe room.
  •  Stay away from flood waters. If the home begins to flood, go to a higher level, if possible.
  •  Be aware of the “eye.” The “eye” of a hurricane is typically 20 to 30 miles wide in relation to the storm, which may have a diameter of 400 miles.  During the “eye,” there are very few clouds, but it is important to remember that the storm is not over.
  • Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes are frequently associated with hurricanes, and are most common in the right-front quadrant of the storm.

After a hurricane or coastal storm:

  • Do not re-enter the area until it is declared safe. Reentry to the area too soon may cause unnecessary risk—and may keep first responders and utility workers from doing their jobs.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Do not assume that utilities are undamaged following a  hurricane or coastal storm. Checking for damage with a flashlight reduces the risk of injury, especially from a damaged electric supply.
  • Stay away from downed power lines. The only sure way to limit risk from downed power lines is to avoid them completely.
  • Turn off utilities, if necessary. If there is a gas smell or a fire, turn off the gas valve. If there is damage to electric lines or supply, shut off the electricity by turning off small circuit breakers (or unscrewing fuses) first, then turning off the main breaker (or fuse). Note: If you turn off the gas valve, only the gas company can restore the service.
  • Reserve the telephone for emergency use. Telephone lines are invariably overloaded following a disaster or emergency. Reserving telephone use (both landline and cellular) for emergency use helps to ensure that those calls that must go through do so.
  • Listen to EAS for updated information. Local officials will use EAS extensively to provide emergency information and instructions. Be sure to tune in often for updates.

 

 

 

Emergency Pet Information

 pawprint  emergency_info

Contact Information:

Pet’s name:

Pet’s microchip #:

Owner’s name:

Phone #:

Alternative phone #:

Address:

Out of town contact person:

Phone #:

Address:

Vet’s name:

Vet’s phone #:

Emergency Clinic Phone #:

Animal Poison Control Center phone #:

Vaccination Records:

Date                      Vaccination type

 

 

Authorization for treatment of Pet in my absence

Pet’s Name:

Breed/type of animal:

Owners Name:

Owners Phone number:

 

Signature:_____________________________________________

About My Pet

Pet’s Name:

Usual Behavior:

Breed/type:

Age:

Sex:

Distinguishing characteristics:

Feeding Schedule:

Sleeping Schedule:

Playing Schedule:

Medical conditions:

A current picture of your pet:

 

 

Specialty Grains

GrainsAmaranth

Amaranth grain is high in protein. Flour lacks gluten. It can be made into flat breads. It can be popped like popcorn. It can be boiled as a cereal, used in soups, or granola.

 buckwheat

Buckwheat- is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb. It is triangular in shape but similar in size to wheat. It does not contain gluten. It is widely produced in Russia and Poland.
Easiest and most common way to prepare buckwheat is to make buckwheat porridge. Boil it for about 30 -40 minutes mixing it every once in a while. Blini are wonderful buckwheat pancakes

quinoa

Quinoa – Is a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. It is fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa cooks up like rice. It usually takes 15 minutes to prepare. You can serve it as porridge or add it to bread, soups, or stews. The flour can be added to cookies or muffins.  This grain is relatively new to North America but it has been cultivated in South American Andes since at least 3,000 B.C. and has been a staple food of millions of native inhabitants.
The protein in quinoa is considered to be a complete protein due to the presence of all 8 essential amino acids. When quinoa is cooked, the germ of the grain coils into a small “tail” that lends a pleasant crunch. Quinoa is available in many health stores as are pasta and other products made from it.
Millet_hulled_DP342

Millet – is the 6th most important grain in the world. It sustains 1/3 of the world’s population. In the U.S. it is grown in Colorado, North Dakota, and Nebraska. It cooks up like rice. Millet is highly nutritious, non glutinous and like buckwheat and quinoa it is not an acid forming food so it is easy to digest. Great for children. You can use millet as a substitute for rice in any dish. Keep millet flour refrigerated because it becomes rancid and deteriorates very rapidly.

triticale

Triticale – is a cross between durum wheat and rye. Today there are only a few 1,000 acres of triticale grown in the U.S. Poland, Germany, China, and France account for nearly 90% of the world triticale production. In making triticale bread you must use 50% wheat flour and do not knead the dough excessively.
rye

Rye – is a cereal grass widely cultivated for its grain. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. It can be used for flour or it can also be eaten whole, either as boiled rye berries, or by being rolled, similar to rolled oats. Russia is the leading world producer, followed by Poland and Germany. Rye production in the United States is mostly in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Georgia. Rye bread production requires blending of rye flours with wheat flours to provide sufficient dough strength.

kamut

Kamut – Kamut is a close relative to wheat whose kernel is about the same shape as a wheat seed but a Kamut kernel is more than twice as big. Even though Kamut is very closely related to wheat, many people who are wheat intolerant can eat Kamut with no problems. Kamut also has some pretty amazing nutritional strengths. And as an amazingly versatile grain, Kamut can be used in place of all the different wheats; the hard and soft varieties and also durum wheat.

A young Montana airman while stationed in the US Air Force in Portugal, was given 36 kernels of this grain, telling him it came from the pyramids of Egypt. Evidently, the serviceman believed him, and mailed the kernels home to his wheat-farmer dad who planted them. Of the 36 kernels, 32 of them sprouted. After carefully tending these seeds and their offspring for the next 6 years, these 32 kernels had grown to 1,500 bushels. This unusual, large kerneled wheat was shown at the county fair and was called “King tut’s Wheat.” Bob Quinn, just a boy at the time, was a youngster in the crowd. The grain never really caught on at that time and the farmer ended up feeding it to his cattle. In 1977, bob, now a agricultural scientist with a Ph.D., remembered that strange looking wheat and after scouring the country side came up with a pint bottle of it. By 1988, Bob had the strain built back up and had generated enough interest in it that he could start marketing it commercially.

Kamut is a high protein grain, generally containing 30% more protein than wheat. Because of its larger seed size in comparison to wheat, there’s less fiber in Kamut that wheat.

It is best to store grains as whole kernels rather than as flour. Flour will go rancid after a short period of time. It would be advisable to get a grinder hand or electric to grind your flour fresh.