It is important to have emergency food storage on hand if you have a family to feed. This is a good practice in the event of storms or other emergencies. If you have not made this a habit, it is time to start doing so.
In this bad economy we need to look at all facets of our lives. The first and most important is how we feed our families if we cannot get groceries for one reason or the other.
The generations before us would never have been caught without extra food stored in their homes. We can learn a lot by studying the depression era and depression cooking. The main theme coming out of this time period is always being prepared and NEVER wasting anything. I learned a lot from the stories my family told about surviving the depression.
Many things can be done now to prepare for the future and make life much easier. If you are going to store food make sure it is food that you and your family usually use. Emergency food storage “plans” often includes food that your family would not eat. Quite often you can save a lot of money by putting together your own plan.
Don’t buy only because it is on sale; buy what you will eat. Don’t buy what you have a coupon for only because you have a coupon. Quite often these coupon items are far too expensive anyway. If you are not use to planning ahead, it may take some thought and organization. Get your whole family to help with their input and ideas. If emergencies do arise, you and your family will be happy you took the time so you will be able to eat.
Emergency food storage should be a variety of foods; you may need to get by for weeks (or months). Eating the same old food day after day will get old. Make a list of what you normally buy and multiply it for six months. Don’t forget the products to cook with like the oil, butter, shortening, baking powder etc. You understand what I mean? Start buying extras of the longest shelf life items first. Don’t buy items that you have never used. A lot of people have allergies and this would certainly be bad timing for allergic reactions.
Whole grains such as wheat will last indefinitely when stored properly, but will need to be milled before making products like bread. Grains like rice can be cooked in the whole state. Store a variety beans; they have a long shelf life and are a good source of protein. Stock up a variety of pastas and having a large bag of flour on hand (saving the whole grains for extended emergencies) will help if it becomes necessary to make a loaf of bread or biscuits.
This brings me to another important note. When storing these item; the beans, lentils, pastas, grains and flour, I always put them in the freezer for two weeks then take them out and put into food storage containers. This practice prevents an infestation of weevil bugs. If you ever have this happen, you will see what I mean! It is not nice and much of your emergency food storage will be ruined.
This recipe makes two pots of the minestrone soup recipe; the mix will keep in your emergency food storage for several seasons. A hot bowl of this soup is great in the cold winter. Note: Remove bay leaves before serving.
Combine all ingredients and store in a tightly sealed container. To use combine half of the mixture with two quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 ½ hours or until all ingredients are tender. NOTE: Can add ½ cup dried pasta and simmer ½ hour longer.
Your emergency food storage should be preserved and stored in a variety of different methods. The most common ways are to place in your freezer, buy can goods or can them yourself. The freezer method is good if your electric never goes out. One bad storm with electric outage for several days (which we saw during the hurricanes) and all the food is destroyed. The canned food is a good back up. Dried fruits and vegetables are another backup source. Emergency food which has been freeze dried and commercially canned is another great source. Some of this will stay good for fifteen years. Items such as beans, grains, eggs, milk, meat, fruits, vegetables and much more are available packed by this method.
Make sure you have enough dried spices and herbs on hand that you like to cook with. If you run out of the family’s favorite spice and can’t buy it, their favorite recipes won’t taste the same. Spices and herbs are also good to spice up the freeze dried foods if you choose to keep those on hand. Keep in mind that it is important to get all the vitamins to your family that they need. This might mean purchasing multiple vitamins to add to their diet.
Some quick and easy (comfort foods) are good to have in your emergency food storage. There may be a time when you cannot cook and these will add to your emotional state of mind. Have in your storage items like chocolate chips, cocoa and items for favorite cakes and cookies. Don’t forget a few candy bars and snacks!
Mix this recipe together for your emergency food storage. I keep this on hand all the time. I use it for seasoning many foods, not just poultry. Anytime I brown steak, chicken or pork, I mix it in the flour. It turns bland foods into very flavorful foods.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl; stir to blend.
Place a little at a time in blender and blend a few seconds until all has been blended.
Store in a tightly sealed glass jar and store in cool place on shelf.
Sprinkle any kind of meat to season or add 2 tablespoons of mix to 1 cup of flour for breading.
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