Thursday, June 3, 2010

Short Term Food Storage

I love this concept! When I began working on food storage, it wasn’t that exciting. Wheat, beans, rice, honey, powdered milk, salt etc….you get the picture. It really doesn’t sound very appetizing. These things are extremely important but there is more. If you aren’t familiar with the Short Term Food Storage concept, this is it: You choose 10-15 meals that require minimal preparation and simple storable ingredients and then list the ingredients in each and store enough of each to have these meals 2, 3 or more times each month for a 3 month period. You can do this for breakfast lunch and dinner and in no time at all you have a 3 month plan. Then you can increase your amounts for a 6 month supply. Of course, you will rotate them and replace the ingredients as you use them. This makes the concept of just making wheat bread and cooking beans seems a little easier to swallow…literally!

For example if Spaghetti were one of my meals, I’d decide how many times a month I wanted to have it and then store the ingredients for that number of meals. Then I’d gradually add the ingredients for a 3 month supply and eventually up to a 6 month supply. These aren’t going to be gourmet meals but easy simple meals to fill you up.

As you begin to work on this plan, you can watch out for easy to plan and prepare meals that you can add into your rotation. From time to time I’ll post some of my favorite short term food storage meals to give you some ideas. Eventually you will be able to figure how to store enough for lunches and breakfasts also.

It’s important to continue working on long term food storage items also, but as you begin to accumulate a few meals you’ll become excited by the progress you are making and be anxious and encouraged to do more. It will also cut down on “random” grocery shopping and you’ll spend less as you follow a carefully developed plan.

You will want to also, especially if you have kids or if you like snacks like I do, begin to plan some ideas for simple snacks in your short term storage. Consider homemade flour tortillas (recipe will be posted soon) and the salsa from yesterday’s post or your favorite cookies or a simple snack.

Today I’m posting one of my favorite short term meals. It is simple, requires few ingredients and is quick to prepare. If you have meat in your food storage (canned chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, ham, spam etc.) your meals can be more versatile. This recipe is good with or without meat. Can be adapted to feed more and will stir together quickly. It is a very inexpensive storage meal.

Short term food storage meal #1 - Creamy Spaghetti Casserole
1 can chili
1 can creamed corn
1 can spaghetti or spaghettios
1 can beef chunks or ground beef (optional)
Combine all ingredients and heat till bubbly. Can be topped with grated cheese till melted. *Note: if you buy chili that has meat in it, you really don’t need the canned meat. When I make this I usually only use a little meat, often left over crumbled meatloaf, diced leftover roast beef or leftover Sloppy Joe meat. This combo without the meat is a little more juicy. You could even serve it over pasta or rice to extend it further. Experiment and see what you like and how much your family will eat.

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