Friday, May 13, 2011

Food Storage Friendly Friday - Meal Ideas and Tip of the Week

Many years ago, when I first started working on preparedness, I had a friend who shared some shopping tips with me that I have never forgotten. She said, “If you want to have more money to spend on food storage, go shopping less often.” What she meant by this was that if you can shop for 2 weeks or even a month at a time, you’ll spend less on groceries than if you go every week or even more often.

My first question to her was, “What about milk? I have to go buy milk every week.” She then asked if I had a freezer and told me to buy as much milk as I needed for a month and freeze the extra until I needed it. She told me that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the frozen milk and the unfrozen milk.

I was skeptical at first but I bought a gallon and tried it. She was right. I found that I could buy most of my milk for the month at one time and avoid returning to the store for milk and picking up other things. You still may have to pick up produce or an occasional item you forgot, but for the most part you’ll save money by avoiding the store as much as possible.

This is a great tip if you have room in your freezer. If you don’t buy gallons of milk, or if you have milk go bad because you don’t use it fast enough, this will also work for you, enabling you to have milk on hand at all times without spoilage.

For anyone who hasn’t tried this, here is the way she explained how to do it to me. Buy as much milk as you need for a month or 2 weeks, whichever you feel is better for you. You’ll need to take a little milk out of the gallon jugs so that they don’t freeze and break in the freezer; just enough so there is room for expansion. Then you date the lid with the date you put it in the freezer – the date on the milk will be invalid after you have frozen it. When you are out of milk in your fridge, take a jug out of the freezer and set it in your kitchen sink to thaw. As it starts to thaw, shake it occasionally when you walk by the sink. Let it stay in your sink until the majority of the milk is unfrozen. Shaking the milk helps to return it to the consistency it was when you bought it. After it is mostly unthawed and liquid, put it in the fridge and use as normal.

I’m hoping that some of you have found new food storage recipes that you would like to share with us. Send them in if you have. I’d love some more quinoa recipes as well as some salad recipes that can be made from shelf stable items. Once spring comes I’m always looking for new salad recipes. Any recipe that you have that uses food storage would be fun for the rest of us to try. Email it to me at and I’ll print it here.

This week’s recipe was sent to me by Gayle P. from Utah who said she was looking for a recipe for a chocolate cake that she could make with whole wheat flour from her new wheat grinder. She wanted to see if her family would notice the whole wheat as well as find a good recipe that she would want to make again. She searched the internet and found a recipe that she loves and has made several times now. She included her favorite buttercream icing recipe also. Thanks for sharing Gayle. (The comments are Gayle's)

Whole Wheat Chocolate Cake
1 ¼ c. finely ground soft white wheat, sifted
1 t. soda
¼ t. kosher salt
1 T. shortening
8 T. cocoa powder
¼ c. butter, softened at room temp
1 ¼ c. brown sugar, lightly packed
2 eggs (I use powdered eggs, reconstituted)
1 ½ t. vanilla
½ cup sour cream (One day I substituted mayonnaise when I had no sour cream)
½ c. boiling water
Sift flour, soda, and salt together in a bowl. Melt the shortening in a small saucepan over low heat, stir in the cocoa powder and mix well. Allow to cool slightly. In another bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and cooled cocoa mixture. Add about a third of the flour mixture to the bowl, along with ¼ c. sour cream, and stir. Add another third of the flour mixture along with the remaining ¼ c. sour cream, and stir again. Finish up by adding the rest of the flour mixture, and stirring until well combined. Stir in the boiling water. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8×8 pan. Bake at 375ยบ about 35 min., or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Yummy Buttercream Frosting
I’ve used this recipe for years; I could eat it with a spoon.
1/3 c. butter, very soft
4 ½ c. sifted powdered sugar
¼ c. milk; more if needed
1 ½ t. vanilla
Beat the butter till fluffy. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in 1/4 c. milk and vanilla. Beat in the rest of the sugar, a little at a time. Add more milk a tablespoon at a time, if needed, to desired consistency.

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