Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Review – “It’s in the bag” by Michelle and Trent Snow

"It's In The Bag" by Michelle and Trent Snow is a great book that presents very well another concept of food storage. The premise of this book is that you gather everything you need for either a dinner meal or a breakfast meal and put it in a bag. When she says everything is in the bag she means it; even the cooking water. Some recipes require “pantry items” which she always has on hand such as peanut butter, vinegar or vegetable oil. The bag she uses is a square bottomed plastic gift bag with ¾” handles for carrying. On the outside of the bag, the recipe is slipped inside a plastic CD sleeve or one with a clear window. Next to the sleeve is a ¾” removable color-coded label which is written the expiration date or the date to use the meal in the bag before. She says the reusable bags cost about 18¢ each, and the CD sleeves range from 1¢ to 18¢ each. She also uses snack size and regular size baggies for the ingredients in the bag meals.

She makes several claims in her book, including:
1) You’ll always have meals at your fingertips and each bag meal serves 6-8 people
2) The bag meals save time and money
3) There is shorter prep time for meals – all meals 20 minutes or less and all ingredients are pre-measured
4) Bag meals save space
5) You have security because you know you have meals on hand
6) In times of disaster if you must leave your home, each family member can grab several bags or meals, and you have more substantial food than just a granola bar or crackers.

One of the statements that she makes in her book is this, “Let’s say I have 365 dinner and 365 breakfast bag meals. In hard economic times or during a disaster, I know my family will have at least 2 complete meals a day”. What an awesome thing.

She prefers this way of food storage to just buying lots of food in bulk; this way she already has meals prepared that she knows her family likes. She has storage shelves that measure 16’x4’ and store 422 bag meals.

The only downside I can see with this method is that because you use many canned vegetables and beans as well as fruit in your bags, it might preclude you from using your beans and other food storage items instead of convenience foods but maybe after using the system awhile you can learn to incorporate both. I think it is awesome to know that your meals are ready and all the ingredients for a particular meal are already assembled. No more wondering if you have everything you need to make a specific meal.

Her book contains many of her recipes for both dinner and breakfast. The back section of the book is dedicated to basic canning recipes and instructions, including vegetables, pickles and relishes, fruits, meat, poultry and fish as well as a section on dressings. It also has a sprouting section. It even has instructions on building a chicken coop and raising your own chickens and eggs.

If you think making some dinners in the bag might be something you’d like to try, check out this book either online or at Deseret Book.

I bet that you would find you have some favorite recipes of your own that you could use to make your own dinners.
Here is a recipe from her book:

Coconut Pancakes
Michelle Snow

1 c. water
Resealable bag:
2 c. flour
½ c. granulated sugar
½ t. salt
4 t. baking powder

Resealable bag:
1 c. sweetened coconut flakes

Pantry Items:
1 t. vanilla
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk

In a large bowl stir all ingredients, especially coconut flakes, until batter is smooth. Add coconut. Ladle pancake batter onto a hot oiled griddle. Turn pancakes when bubbles appear and edges are golden.

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