Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Food Storage Challenge: Day 4

We are just starting day 3 of our 6 day fake earthquake voluntary food storage challenge. So far, things are going pretty well. The biggest success has been passing off a half powdered milk, half real milk mixture to the kids. And it's possible the powdered milk was a tiny bit expired. They had no idea they were drinking part powdered milk!

Days 1 and 2 were leftovers and a freezer dinner, as well as other things we already had in the shelf and on the pantry. Tonight, however, I'm going to be preparing a little dish called "Basic Bulgur Poultry Casserole" using some turkey I had in the freezer and this handy book. I still have plenty of dinners in the freezer, but thought it would be fun to see how we do with a more--shall we say--desperate recipe. Who knows? It might actually be good.

In my "Fake Earthquake, Real Consequences" post, Heather asked how to know what foods to store. Well Heather, this is for you! Storing food can seem like a daunting task. One day, a friend shared this idea that got me started with food storage:

Make a list of the 10 - 12 meals you eat over and over. Things like spaghetti, tacos, casseroles, etc. List out the ingredients for each of those meals then multiply ingredient amounts by the number of times you eat the meal in a year (probably once or twice a month). Some of the ingredients will be things you can store long term. Things that are canned or dry goods can be stored on a shelf, while other things might keep in the freezer for a few months at a time. Once you have that list, start storing those items. Watch for sales, or pick up a few extra items each week at the grocery store. Eventually, you will have a year's supply of items that you know you use all the time.

The Food Storage Mantra is: Store what you eat. Eat what you store. Use it or lose it!

One of the most important things to store in your food storage is water. You can live without food for weeks or longer, but you can only live without water for a day or two before your body starts to suffer drastically. Here are a few guidelines for storing water.

These have been the biggest challenges living off our food storage so far:

Milk - We've rationed our milk for breakfast cereal only, although I did serve milk at dinner last night to see if the kids would notice the powdered milk combo. I have about a quart left, but I expect that amount to magically increase later this afternoon.

Snacks - We are out of pretzels, fruit leather, and other convenient snack food. At first I didn't know what to do when the kids came home from school wanting a snack. Then I made pumpkin banana muffins out of the 2 nasty looking bananas left in the fruit bowl and a can of pumpkin in my food storage. Today I made cookies, but quickly realized that any more baking is going to have to be put on hold until this challenge is over because...

Eggs - ...I have 6 more eggs to last the rest of the week. Normally this would not be a problem, but I'm participating in a fun diet game with some friends and rely on an egg at breakfast every day.

Here are a few of the perks from taking the food storage challenge:

No Wasting - I explained to the kids last night when they claimed they were done with their dinner (plates still 3/4 full of food) that a real emergency might not last 6 days. It could last a month or longer. We would have no idea how long we'd have to make our food last and so it would be very important not to waste any food so we'd have enough to make it through the whole emergency. I suggested they take the challenge this week of not wasting food on their plates and that next week they could go back to being picky eaters. And they fell for it!

Seeing the Holes - Even after three days, it's easy for me to see where my holes are in my food storage. When the fake earthquake hit, I was low on several food storage items that I would have stocked up on had I known the earthquake was coming. But when do we ever get advance notice that the "earthquake" is coming? Today is the day to prepare!

This challenge hasn't been too hard so far, but I can tell that after 6 days, it could become a bit more uncomfortable.

I mentioned a few days ago that Robert was thrilled with the idea of me not grocery shopping for a whole week. What he may not yet realize is that after this is over, I'm going to have to buy double groceries to stock back up on what we've used!


Anna said...

Since only half of my family can drink milk anyway, I stopped buying milk and i only use powdered. I've found I drink a whole lot less milk... but i'm getting used to it and I don't think it is bad at all, just different.

I love food storage! I think it is so fun. I'm not the most intense in my area by far, but I am a food storage nerd. I think my city is doing a mock emergency in June. They gave us a few months warning, so it wont be as realistic as your "emergency" but it will be interesting to participate in.

Shannah said...

What a great idea,.... and boy that would be very hard to do here, granted I shop weekly, but with 6 people in the house there's little left over and storage? what's that? LOL We have tornado's here, and I always tell myself I need to stock some things in our laundry room (AKA hide from tornado room) like water and foods we can eat while we wait out storms and such. I appreciate the how to store water link!