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Ready or Not #94: Re-assess Food Storage

My daughter gave me a cookbook by Zonya Foco, of “Zonya’s Health Bites” on PBS, for Christmas and I have been reading it, yes reading it, and I have really enjoyed it. (I have to say that I haven’t really read my Better Homes and Garden cookbook – I mostly just leaf through it).

The reason that I like this cookbook so much is that she likes to cook like me – only she does it healthier. She isn’t into slaving over the stove for hours, but she is into presenting well-balanced meals that are appealing, healthy and quick. But the most important thing about how she cooks is that it is food storage friendly, very food storage friendly.

In fact, at the back of the book there is a shopping list of foods that she suggests you have on hand at all times so that you can cook her meals quickly. She has one minute meals, five minute meals, 30 minute meals and slow cooker feasts. Basically, she has done all of your work for you; she gives you a shopping list, point by point on how to cook each meal and she doesn’t make you slave over the stove day and night – I really like her!

This is such a good time of year to evaluate (or re-evaluate) your food storage because there aren’t any major holidays looming ahead. You now have time to analyze what you need to do to bring your food storage up to standard – one year’s supply of food and dry good sundry – including clothes and such.

If you are going to make this work, then you are going to have to make specific plans. There are several ways that you can decide to take this on. One really quick way is to take your top 15 favorite recipes, multiply all of the ingredients by two and then again by 12 – then go buy however much your calculations say to buy. Remember, you don’t have to purchase it all at once. Wait for sales or just pick up a case here and there, whenever you go grocery shopping, and let it add up – it will add up quicker than you expect. Make sure that you have your 15 favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes – unless you only want to eat one meal a day.

Another way to decide on what to store is to get online and download a list of what different agencies have determined to be the items that you need to survive for a year. After you get those items stored, you can spice your storage up by purchasing additional foodstuffs (e.g., mushrooms, olives, spices, and more) to make the meals that you create a little more fun and inviting. Remember, you want to build your food storage in such a way that you and your family will enjoy it when you use it – which should be an ongoing everyday thing.

This is a really good time to talk about rotation. Remember that you should be using what you buy and then replacing it, always making sure that your food storage will be fresh, usable, and palatable. Remember – R&R, rotate and replenish.

We will soon have A Prepared Home food storage calculator that will be extremely useful in managing and maintaining your storage.

Good luck with your re-assessing endeavor!

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