Store What You Eat and Eat What You Store…..EVERY DAY!
The July 26, 2012 edition of the Homestead Honey Hour was all about learning how to use the food storage we have and incorporating it into our every day lives. Creating recipes that our families love and making our own version of fast food. Understanding that the quality of the food we choose is just as important as the quantity. Noreen was the host for this information packed hour and she was joined by Deb of the Perbain channel on YouTube. Deb has done several videos about her “meals in a jar” that she constructs from dehydrated, freeze dried and shelf stable ingredients. All you need to do is add water and stir! This was a wonderful show and the information shared was invaluable.
Food storage is often one on the first things a person entering the prepper mindset will attempt to achieve. Sometimes it can be quite daunting when you try as hard as you can to amass the recommended amounts of food that will be needed to sustain your family in the event of a disaster, whether it be a hurricane, tornado, flood or some man made situation. We just never know what can happen so we have set out to make sure that we have what we need when we need it.
Some of the basic lessons of food storage are ascertaining the different levels that should be achieved, like long term, short term and immediate. Once we understand how all that works, we can make better decisions about what we need. The other thing we need to consider is what our family enjoys eating. After all, the last thing we want to do is to collect a lot of food just for the sake of storing it, only to find out that our family will not eat it. This is not smart planning and in a stressful situation we will most likely suffer as a result.
Buying lots of long term food storage and learning how to grow and preserve your own food to fill up your pantry is all well and good. If you simply buy food and put it in a closet or under the bed or in the garage or where ever you put it and then close the door and think to yourself, “Now I’m ready for anything” you are sorely mistaken. When something should happen, even if it is losing your job or having to have an extended leave due to a medical issue, the last thing you want to do is try to figure out how to eat out of your food storage. The time to learn how to use food storage is NOT in the event of an emergency. The time to learn how to use your food storage is now.
Feeding your family from your food storage is easy with the right knowledge and preparation. You can fix delicious meals every night of the week from long term and short term items. Some of the recipes that Noreen uses include: Cheeseburger macaroni skillet that puts Hamburger Helper to shame, Au Gratin potato and ham casserole, chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes, barbecued chicken, beef or pork sandwiches, chicken salad, chili, spaghetti, tamale pie, fruit cocktail cobbler, dump cake, and even chocolate mousse. It is possible to make wonderful meals for pennies on the dollar from your food storage with a little planning, a little ingenuity and a lot of love. Your family will already enjoy these dishes when you have to make them because they already enjoy them and in a crisis situation, the last thing you want to do is to cause your loved ones even more stress because you have to feed them food they will not enjoy.
Our guest for the evening, Deb, of the Perbain channel, helped us understand how she was inspired to create “meals in a jar” from ideas that she got from websites like “Dehydrate 2 Store”, and Honeyville Grain. Meals in a jar are complete entrées built in quart jars and “dry canned”. You can add an oxygen absorber to the top of the jar or you can choose to vacuum seal them with a food saver. This will ensure they are shelf stable for at least 10 years. So far, Deb has a variety of 15 different meals that she has made for her family. When she is ready to prepare one she simply places the contents of the jar in her cooking vessel of choice and adds anywhere from 6 to 8 cups of water and cooks it in the oven, on the stovetop, in the sun oven or over a campfire. Dinner is ready in anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on how you choose to prepare it. She explained that each quart jar will yield enough to feed 4 hungry people with generous portions. Add a loaf of home baked bread and a garden salad and you have a meal fit for a king or your picky family. This is the type of pre-planning you can do now to ensure that you have what you need and what your family will enjoy now or later.
Deb went on to tell the audience that she and her husband eat out of their food stores, almost exclusively. Saying that she had completely changed the way she shops for food, now only buying items that are on sale. Noreen agreed that she does not shop with a weekly list for groceries, anymore either, opting rather to peruse the store advertisements and add to her food storage based on what is on sale and in season. This is the best way to achieve total security when it comes to your pantry!
A small cook booklet was offered as a free download in conjunction with this edition of the Homestead Honey Hour. The booklet can be accessed free of charge and includes 12 recipes that can be made with food storage items. Of the twelve recipes, four of them are “meals in a jar” recipes contributed by Deb. Other recipes include pancake mix from Bev, cheeseburger macaroni skillet, au gratin potato and ham casserole, chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes and dump cake from Noreen and last but not least, Katzcradul’s famous granola, granola bars and because you cannot expect to fend off a zombie apocalypse without something sweet, she has also offered up her delicious peanut butter fudge recipe. All of these dishes are made entirely from food storage and will be welcomed additions to your idea bank when the time comes to ask “what’s for dinner?”
Approach your food storage every day; even if you are just using a jar of home canned butter, mixing up a pitcher of powdered milk or throwing a handful of freeze dried mushrooms into your spaghetti sauce. The more often you do this, the easier it will become for you to translate food storage into every day cooking and also make an emergency or bad situation a bit more peaceful by being able to sit down with your family to a hearty delicious meal.
You can access the FREE Homestead Honey Hour, Food Storage Favorites Cook Booklet here:
Visit Noreen’s YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/atticus9799?feature=mhee
Listen to this episode of the Homestead Honey Hour and all our other great broadcasting hosts for more Prepper related information. Go to American Preppers Radio!