Archive for October 16th, 2009

Friday Food Storage Quickie

Sharon October 16th, 2009

Thanks, btw, to everyone who sent good wishes to me for my lousy mood yesterday - I really appreciate you all letting me use my blog as therapy!  I’m a lot happier this morning, and am actually going to go indulge in a little necessary retail therapy - it is a sale day at Goodwill and I’m off to hunt for a mid-weight jacket for Simon and a couple more sweaters for Eric, who doesn’t actually believe that there’s any reason he can’t teach in ripped jeans and a sweater with holes in the armpits, even if I do ;-) .

On to today’s actual topic.  I’ve done Friday Food Storage Quickies several times intermittently, but I’d really like to get more serious about it.  My goal is for one year to post a shopping guide every week, to help people add a little to their food storage.  I think it is really helpful to give some people a specific task, so I’m going to focus on two foods and one preparedness item/practice, and my goal is to actually keep up with it.  I think this breaks things down and reminds us all (me too!) to make food storage and preparedness a part of our regular day-to-day stuff.

I would also, btw, encourage you while you are out shopping, and if you can, to pick up a few items for your local food pantry - put that in your budget as well.  As we all know, our local food security infrastructure is pretty strained these days, and they can use all the help they get.  I’ll include a suggested item for the food pantry as well.

Ok, for this week, we’re going to add food I’ve suggested in the past, but are still a great starting point - popcorn and potatoes! 

Why these two?  Well, almost everyone will eat both foods - even if your kids or spouse thinks that food storage is crazy, they’ll almost certainly eat popcorn.  Popcorn can be popped or it can be ground into flour.  It makes a good snack, or you can eat it for breakfast like cereal.  It is a whole grain, but also a delicious treat.  Remember, you don’t want the microwaved or butter flavored stuff, you want regular popcorn.  Local from a farmer who grows their own is best, of course, but in bulk from the coop or even a bag from the supermarket still gets you ahead.  How much?  What you can afford - it keeps a long time.

Why potatoes?  Because most people pretty much eat them, because they are simple and delicious.  If you have even a reasonably cool, dark spot to put them in (cooler on the porch, basement stairs, closet in a room that runs cool, under a couple of bales of straw in the garage…) they will last you most of the winter.  They are cheap and plentiful now - the carrot barn near me is selling them 50lbs for $14, and while you may not get that, you should get a good deal.  How much?  As much as you think you’ll eat in a few months.  Roast them, bake them, mash them, scallop them, cover them in greens and make salsa, cheese sauce or chili to go on top and you’ve got dinner. 

For the food pantry, let’s pick up some peanut butter - it is one of the highest demand foods out there, and nutritionally dense - and kids home alone after school can make themselves a sandwich.  And if you’ve got a little extra money, pick up a container of infant formula as well and donate it. Yes, I know it would be better if women could breastfeed, but the reality is that that’s often long-since decided, and what happens otherwise is that poor women give their infants cow’s milk or other inappropriate, but cheaper food rather than pricey formula. 

Finally, a preparedness item - let’s start easily, with *matches*!  You need these to light your candles, gas stove, wood stove or sterno can when the power goes out.  They go in your evacuation kit.  They are great for building a fire outside on these cold, starlit nights.  They keep, as long as you keep them dry.  So pick up a couple of boxes today and add them to your kit.

Ok, more next week!