Monday, November 19, 2012

Short List for Prep Goods

      In a worst case scenario, there will be limited or no electricity.  Food must be prepared without microwaves, electric ovens or stoves.  Propane or Coleman fuel stoves, and open fires will be the heat source.  MREs can be heated in the bag with the enclosed chemical packs.  MREs are prepared food ready to heat and eat. 

      First, you will be eating what you have in the fridge, just to keep from wasting it.  You will cook all the meat and look for ice to keep the cooked meat stored as long as possible.  You will toss the mayo and look at everything in there with suspicion.  Toss the mayo, but don’t toss everything.  Ketchup, mustard, syrup, honey, peanut butter, jams and jellies, steak sauces, and soy sauce can be brought to room temperature and used over the next few days to two weeks.  Remove the lids from the condiments and wipe them out with a clean paper towel or napkin.  Use a cap full of bleach in a gallon of water to dampen the threads and wipe until all drips are gone.  Wipe the screw threads completely clean.  Recap the containers and store the items in the coolest darkest place you can find. 

     Eggs can be stored at room temperature if handled properly.  Think back to farm days when eggs were taken from the hen, wiped clean and kept in a basket on the side board until needed.  Eggs last longer if wiped with mineral oil to seal their porous surface.  Before refrigeration, food was made fresh and fed to the pigs when it turned.  If you have doubts about food storage, research now while you have internet access and get a good book for your library to refer to later.

     If you are prepared to cook over an open flame, you must have food on hand to prepare.  This does not have to be scratch cooking.  This first grocery shopping list is the easiest food to prep and store for later use.  It is mostly heat and serve or just-add-water then heat and serve.

     Eggs       Pancake mix          Biscuit mix        Dehydrated soup      dehydrated chili and stew mixes with all vegetables and seasoned sauces included          dehydrated noodle mixes        Dehydrated potatoes (mashed or the scalloped or Au Gratin styles)       Macaroni and cheese       canned vegetables         canned meats          canned meals (such as chicken chow mien)      Rice     Beans     Bouillon cubes     Coffee      Tea      Sugar     Salt    spices and flavorings you like.        
     These ingredients can make many meal combinations.  The basics of preparing these meals are printed on the packages and are simple to follow.   They are either heat and eat or add water, heat and eat.  A simple daily menu could be- breakfast-eggs and pancakes   lunch-Hearty soup   dinner-Mac and cheese with spam slices and biscuits     snack- honey and a biscuit.  With the exception of the eggs, you could purchase enough for three days for around $20. 

      Remember as you build your prep pantry, to include cleaning supplies.  If you have water, you will not only need dish detergent but bleach for sanitizing.  Cleanliness will save you in a disaster as surely as the ability to continue to eat.  Eating with dirty hands on dirty dishes with dirty implements is an invitation to illness and even death.

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