Okay, Rule #1 when it comes to food storage meals: Don’t overlook the obvious!
Just because we are putting together ‘food storage meals’ does not mean they have to include wheat that we’ve been grinding all day by hand in a mortar and pestle and beans that we’ve been soaking for 36 hours to try and get soft. Remember folks… this does not have to be hard! Actually, let me put it this way… when you are scrambling to get your feet under you after experiencing some emergency situation/catastrophy, you are going to want your food preparation to be as simple as possible. So plan accordingly! Hence, tonight we are starting with good ol’ fashioned, right out of the box, Mac & Cheese… souped up a little.
So here are our ingredients:
And although this is probably painfully self-explanatory, here are the steps to make it:
1. Fill a small to medium saucepan half-way with water. (If needing to conserve water, you can definitely get by with a small amount!) Add salt (I just add enough to generally cover the bottom) and bring to a boil.
2. Once it starts to boil, add the macaroni noodles and give it a stir.
4. Cook it up until it’s mostly browned. (You don’t need to worry about cooking SPAM “all the way through” or anything. It’s actually safe to eat raw. Cooking it just helps to bring out the flavor and changes the texture so that it’s not like eating a raw hot dog. )
5. Keep an eye on your noodles and drain them once they are al dente.
6. Return the noodles to the pot and add the vegetable oil (or butter), milk, and powdered cheese packet. Stir until fully combined.
7. Add the drained peas (or frozen peas… which I happen to prefer since the color is a lot more vivid and I prefer the taste as well, but for the sake of keeping this shelf-stable, I used the canned ones ) along with the cooked SPAM.8. Salt & Pepper to taste, and Enjoy!
One of the reasons I love Mac & Cheese for food storage is that it is inexpensive, kids will eat it without complaint, and it’s incredibly versatile. It can be made with or without electricity since you can vary the ingredients to fit your situation (with electricity: make with butter and frozen peas; without electricity: use vegetable oil and canned peas). And you can dress it up or down pretty much any way you want. In fact, here is a LINK to about a gazillion recipes you can try, using mac & cheese as your base (and don’t let the titles fool you… they all sound about the same. But open some up and check out the ingredients. They’re fun to try, especially when you’ve got a whole bunch of macaroni that’s about to expire and don’t want to be eating the same thing over and over. –Yup, I’m there. )
Well, enjoy your dinner!
3 Steps?? That’s it??! Okay, okay… really there are a lot more little steps involved when you break it down (which we will!), but when you look at the whole food storage process from the larger picture, the three steps look like this:
Step 1: Decide and Dedicate
Step 2: Evaluate and Educate
Step 3: Then Go! Go! Go! and Don’t Procrastinate!
Step 1: Decide and Dedicate.
First you have to decide that you really want to do this (which I’m assuming you have, since you’re here) and then you have to dedicate yourself to it. Because let’s be honest… this is going to take time. It’s going to take effort. It’s going to take space. And it’s going to take money. So, yes, you’re going to have to dedicate your time, effort, space, and money. But with some preparation and guidance it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, hard, or expensive (although it may still take quite a bit of space. ) This is totally doable! So just decide you’re going to do it and then dedicate yourself to it!
Step 2: Evaluate and Educate.
How many people are in your family? Are there any babies or people with special needs? What’s your family’s budget? How big is your home/living space?
Before you just jump into buying cans of food and throwing them on your shelves, you’re going to want a game plan. Otherwise you’re going to burn yourself out on wasted efforts. There are a lot of different ways to go about collecting your food storage. We’ll explore several options together, but it’s important to find the one that works for you. It’s YOUR food storage—not mine. So if something I suggest doesn’t gel with your style, adjust adjust adjust! There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” in this game. So get informed of your options, come up with a game plan that fits your family’s needs, learn the basic do’s and don’ts, and then…
Step 3: Go! Go! Go! and Don’t Procrastinate!
Now, we’re not in a race to the finish line, but neither do we want to procrastinate the day of our… preparation. I know that it’s easy to get overwhelmed when it seems like there are so. many. things. to do in order to get prepared. But pace yourself, DON’T GIVE UP (even, or especially, when you want to!), and before you know it… ta-da! Food Storage Success! It’s within your reach! Can you feel it? Well, enough talk! Let’s get to it!
My husband and I are avid Glenn Beck watchers. It’s kind of become our nightly date on the sofa after the kids have gone to bed. (We’re so romantic.) We love not just the straight talk that we get (as well as from Fox News in general vs. the other news stations), but I love how he is trying to help Americans think forward and prepare for the hard times ahead. (There’s my little plug for Glenn Beck. Go watch!)
So, I’d never really thought of ‘food storage’ as a spiritual concept… one relating to my spiritual well-being. It’s always been a physical one—it takes care of a physical need. But recently I’ve had two “Ah Ha!” moments in terms of the spiritual nature of the warning to store food. The first one I’ll share comes from the March 11, 2010 Glenn Beck show (see? There was a reason for mentioning him ).
To quickly summarize his point, Glenn said that when people are scared and hungry they will follow just about anyone who promises to ‘save them’ from their troubles. When we’re afraid and hungry, we don’t see things clearly. Our judgment becomes clouded and we are simply looking for a way out of our misery.
He put up two pictures side-by-side: Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler.
Two people as wildly different as could be, and yet both said, “Come, follow me. I will save you. Follow me and there will be no hunger nor thirst.” And when you’re hungry and afraid, it’s hard to tell the difference between the two men.
Glenn’s plead to us: Get yourself prepared before you are afraid and hungry so that when the times are hard, you can think clearly and you will not follow the wrong man.
Interesting, huh? Have we ever stopped to think that perhaps the Lord has given us this commandment to help save our spiritual souls? I’m not sure any of us knows what it’s like to be truly hungry… to be truly on the brink of starvation and death. What would we do at that point to end the pain and suffering? Who would we follow? And would we, in turn, lose sight of who our real Master and Savior is at that time?
Be prepared. So you won’t be hungry and afraid.
Now that we’ve established the purpose of this blog, here’s what you can expect from it (and me) on a weekly basis. Each day of the week (M-F) will have a separate theme (COD freak, remember?) to help us accomplish all areas of our goals as well as educate ourselves along the way. Granted, I likely won’t be able to get something posted every day (after all, I’m first and foremost a mommy and wife), but the basic layout will go like this:
Monday: Food For Thought
This is where we can discuss important issues, review motivational quotes from religious and other leaders, etc. We’ll also have some nice heart-to-hearts about the whole food storage/self-reliance process and why this is so important.
Tuesday: “Food Storage…”
Delving into the basics (and eventually the not-so-basics) of food storage. This will include things like planning what you need, how much you need, how to get it and what to do with it once you have it, and other great food storage information.
Wednesday: What’s For Dinner?
Sharing great recipes that can be made entirely from your food storage.
Thursday: “…And Beyond”
Learning how to be self-reliant beyond just our food storage. We’ll learn emergency preparedness information, including: first aid, first aid kits, evacuation planning, sheltering in place, knowing what to do in an emergency, 72-hour kits, etc; and other general information that will help you on your way to self-reliance, including: gardening, good equipment to have on hand, etc.
Friday: Feature Friday!
I will be on the hunt for cool ideas, awesome lessons, great products, etc that others have to share and I will feature them on Fridays. This way we can all share and learn from the experiences and knowledge of so many others as well!
Although, occasionally I think I’ll do a Frugal Friday (it’s my blog and I’ll change it if I want to!) that will spotlight a great way to save some money (because I think we can all use a little more of that right now!)
And just for fun, I will occasionally throw in a “Houston, We Have A Problem” Saturday. I will throw an emergency situation at you and you can evaluate how prepared you are to handle it. This will help you get an idea of where you are in your preparedness and determine if there are any changes that need to be made.
So buckle your seatbelts and hold on! We’re heading for some fun!