Sunday, October 23, 2011
My motto is: Its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
I've been thinking about preparedness lately. What prompted that was a friend of mine, who seriously keeps up on all things political, told me a while back that food prices were going to rise drastically. Gas and corn prices are going up and those two things are interconnected with everything we eat. Well, I started noticing it coming true!! I'm sure you have too. So, I bought a small freezer and started gradually filling it up. My thoughts on this were solely to save money on groceries in the event of a depression or food lines like they had in Russia during the cold war. (That may sound crazy and paranoid, but it COULD happen....because at one time in history it DID happen. Refer back to the first sentence in this post.)
Last night, I was reading another blog, Homestead Revival and she issued a challenge that really made me think and take my preparedness a step further. The challenge is basically to have a 3 day "stash" of ready to prepare meals in case of emergency. It really has nothing to do with anything political but more in the event of a natural or even a man made disaster. Its not unreasonable to think that a tornado (where I live), a hurricane, an earthquake, blizzard, or flood could knock out the power and water for a few days (or more!). The reason for having 3 days of food set aside from the rest of the pantry is because its been shown that when a disaster occurs it takes about 3 days to overcome the emotional shock of it all. In those 3 days, a family still needs to eat and drink. So, the meals should be in their own containers, labeled, easy to find, and not touched until ready for use. They should be shelf stable and last at least 6 months. In fact, just to insure the food stays fresh, you should eat the food every 6 months and immediately re-stock. You wouldn't want to find out in the middle of a crisis that your food expired 2 years ago!!
In Amy's original post, the link I just shared with you, she challenges everyone to post just one meal they would put in their box. You really should go check it out. Its really interesting to read the other entries. They are full of great ideas!
So, here are my ideas.
First of all, in the event that I had no electricity, I would feel the need to quickly use up things from the freezer and the fridge. Also, I have chickens and a garden. So, depending on the time of the year, I would have eggs, veggies, and herbs available, maybe fruit too. We have some fruit and pecan trees on our place. I also use a propane stove so I can't imagine not having that available to use just because we may not have power or water.
All that being said, just to be fair and in the spirit of the exercise, I will assume none of those would be available. Not only that, if in fact, I was "shell shocked", I may need the comfort and simplicity of a meal at my fingertips that required no thought. Assuming for whatever reason, my propane was unavailable or just being conserved I would build a fire outside. We have an abundance of wood that needs to be burned anyway. And it would probably add a fun, campy element that might help alleviate the stress.
So, here goes:
Breakfast is easy. I would have in my boxes instant oatmeal, cereal, almond milk, Nature's Path toaster pastries, canned or dried fruit, bottled water, tea bags and instant coffee. I would also add some shelf stable bacon for protein (Im not sure of the brand, but I get it from our health food co-op and its pretty good!) The protein is important. Otherwise, the rest of it is all carby ensuring sugar crashes and crankiness later. Crankiness is not conducive to survival!! :)
Lunch and Dinner are interchangeable. I'll have to think a little more on these. But, I know for a fact that one meal would be bean burritos. I got that idea from reading another post. And my family LOVES burritos. In that box, I would have a can of refried beans, flour tortillas, a can of enchilada sauce, canned cheese, a bag of tortilla chips and salsa.
Another meal will be a dutch oven chicken noodle soup. My husband has been bucking for a dutch oven for years anyway ever since he watched the movie Lonesome Dove the FIRST time. He wanted to be like Robert Duvall and cook biscuits in the ground and be surrounded by pot belly pigs. Number 1, I told him "Honey, maybe you should start off by learning to cook bisuits in the oven!!!" Number 2, he wanted these pigs to live with us in the house!! (His culinary experience currently consists of velveeta/rotel dip in the microwave and "cooking" pop tarts in the toaster.) He pushed hard for the pigs in the house. I told him he was welcome to have whatever animal his heart desires but none of them will be allowed to live in the house. He continued on to tell me that pot belly pigs are delicate and NEED to be in the house. All this until one day at the feed store buying horse feed, he saw a pen of baby pigs. He made a bee line over to the feed store worker and said "I see here that you have pot belly pigs. Now, they need to live in the house don't they?" as he glanced over at me smugly. The man replied "NO man! They're PIGS!" as I walked away snickering. After that, there was no more talk of biscuits and pigs. Now he just wants me to let him call me Lori Darling. I won't do that either........
Back to the soup. I found a good recipe for Dutch Oven Chicken Noodle Soup here The Survival Mom. It was kind of hard to find dutch oven recipes using only canned or dried foods. She has it all figured out already.
And one other thing I KNOW I will have in a box for a dessert is s'mores. We'll have the fire going and a stressful situation calls for a little fun and comfort food. S'mores are easy keepers, just a box of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars.
Have you given thought to "disaster meal kits"? What would yours be?