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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Food and misc.

Looking at the pantry got me to thinking why not do a post on the food I have and why I choose what I did. Some folks like to store buckets of wheat. Me? Not so much. I don’t think that I’ve ever bought a bucket of wheat in my life and I hope that I never have to either.

My stores mostly are based on canned foods. Granted by having a large portion of your food preps based on canned goods that you are giving up the ability to pack it and move fast if need be. Face it canned food weighs a lot. Do you have a bunch of GOOD can openers? Did you see my excellent and the best entry ever ever ever on can openers?

My plan though is to stay in my house. Only if my town became unsafe because of environmental or security reasons would I decide to bug out. Other than that though my house holds all my stuff so I’d rather stay put if possible. It would have to get really, really bad for me to blow off the jobs and hightail it out. The other downside is that prepared canned foods have a ton of salt in them.

I’ve been buying extra food for about 18 months now. You obviously want to eat your oldest stuff first and you need a system to ensure that that happens. I have a Sharpie pen. You should buy one too. Anytime I get back from the market I write the month and the year on the can, box, package or bag. That way you can be sure to be on a FIFO system. You also need have the discipline so when you use something you write it down so you remember to replace it.

One of something is none of something. Now you got two of somethings and you can start to talk.

Now just checking out my food let’s try to tell you what I generally have so you don’t forget anything. I don’t mean to rag on the buckets of wheat folks, but buckets of wheat? I don’t even like whole grain bread.

Breakdown of food stores:

  • I have some prepared foods like chili, soups, ravioli, beef stew, corned beef hash, chicken ala king, sloppy joe mix and those sort of things.
  • A good pile of canned tomatoes - the big 32 oz. cans and an assortment of smaller cans of sauce, paste, stewed, chunks, cans with chilies or basil. Also, have spaghetti sauce in jars and you know what the spaghetti sauce that comes in cans is great. It’s real tomatoie. The canned spaghetti sauce is cheaper than the glass jarred sauce too.
  • Then you need veggies like green beans, french cut beans, carrots, spinach, asparagus and corn. I like Chinese food so I also have cans of water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, chow mein mix and bean sprouts. If I can’t buy my number 5 with fried, eggroll and chicken fingers than I’ll make it myself. Don’t forget jars of salsa. I also like Goya salsa verde, salsa roja and Mexican salsa. They come in little cans, but it’s good stuff.
  • Then there are the canned potatoes, both whole and sliced.
  • You gotta have your fruits so have a variety of fruits in cans and the little plastic tubs. Stuff like mandarin oranges, pears, fruit cocktail, pineapple,peaches, tropical mix with mangoes (!), applesauce and a good assortment of canned fruit juice, coconut juice and coconut milk.
  • Get a shelf with proteins on it like canned roast beef, canned chicken, some small canned hams, tuna, also that real tasty Italian tuna in olive oil, Spam, potted ham and Vienna sausage. Get some cryovacced sausage that can be stored at room temp. Can’t forget about the anchovies, sardines, canned crab, oysters and smoked trout. Seafood is high in fatty acids that are good for you.
  • You know you need a good pile of spaghetti, pasta, egg noodles, rice, Chinese and Japanese noodles.
  • Boxed stuff like ramen noodle and macaroni and cheese. The ramen noodles are incredible. They are so small and so cheap and I don’t think they ever go bad. I like them. They can be spiced up by adding spices, proteins or veggies to them. Add a can of tuna to mac n’ cheese and all is good. Also in here would be the hamburger helper, boxed scalloped and au gratin taters along with stove top stuffing. Don’t forget about bags of soup mix. These things are great too. A package of soup mix, 8 cups of water, a can of this or that and you can feed 10 people if you had to. Charity, helping and assistance are a good thing.
  • Canned beans of all sorts. My favorites are small red beans and garbanzo beans. Cans of baked beans are good too. You can make a nice spread from mashing garbanzo beans.
  • Also have some dried beans.
  • Some snacks like crackers, granola bars, poptarts, bags of chips, pretzels, and cans of pretzels, chips and tater sticks. Can’t forget to get chocolate pudding and chocolate bars. Some old fashioned popcorn is a great snack too. It pops fast in a little hot oil.
  • Then there are the drinks. I like juice so I have canned juice concentrates. I water them way down because corn syrup is death. Also need tubs of Tang, ice tea, funky red stuff, lemonaide and whatever you may like. Tea is great because it tastes good. Plus you can teas for specific ailments or if you can’t sleep or have a cold. Don’t forget powdered milk if you like milk. Coffee and teas and non-dairy creamer. Hot chocolate.
  • You need your spices: garlic and onion powders, lots of black pepper corns. Don’t ever buy pepper that is already ground. You don’t have to know why, just don’t do it. Get peppercorns and smash them yourself, with a hammer if you need to. Walgreens sells already filled salt and pepper grinders for a buck a piece. So you hhotsaucecatalog_2046_7327548ave chili powder, dried herbs like: oregano, Italian, rosemary, basil, thyme, dill, crushed red pepper and so on. Any special rubs you may like. I like Jamaican jerk and Paul Prudhomme redfish magic. If you like grated cheese on your pasta you better buy a bunch and store it. The dry kind in a jar can last a long time.
  • You also need your sauces and condiments like bbq sauce, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, hot sauces, terriyaki. I like things spicy so I have Tabasco, Franks, Buffalo, Siricha (that is Sriracha to the right.) It’s from Vietnam and it’s spicy and flavorful. Don’t forget relish, pickles, jalapenos, pepperoncini and other hot peppers.
  • Sweeteners - I like that natural brown sugar for my coffee. You need maple syrup and honey. I don’t think honey ever goes bad. Also try to get a good pile of sugars both brown and refined. I like molasses so we got some molasses. Might as well put jams and jellies here too.
  • Don’t forget gravies. A gravy will make anything more palatable. You can buy cans, jars and packages of gravy that you just need to add a cup of water to and heat. A can of roast beef, a pack of gravy, a cup of water and some egg noodles or rice and you got a good dinner.
  • Salt gets its own bullet point. You need lots of salt. Salt will last forever as long as you don’t let it get washed away. Salt can be used to pickle things and cure things. You need lots of salt. Near the ocean you can at least make some salt through evaporation. Inland I don’t know. Get a variety of salts: pickling, kosher and iodized. You should also get some one pound containers because that size would be good for bartering if it ever gets that bad. You should make sure that you have salt and pepper in your bug out bag. Store pounds and pounds of salt. I’d say you need to think in the tens of pound range for storing salt.
  • Vinegar also gets its own category. Vinegar can be used to cure and pickle things. Vinegar is also a great all natural cleaner. Get cider vinegar, red wine, distilled and balsamic. You can get most of them in gallon containers for small money and vinegar lasts a very long time. I’d say you need to think of vinegar in gallons.
  • Baking stuff like flours and packaged goods like pancake mix, corn bread mix, Bisquick, bags of pizza mix and yeast. The bags of pizza dough mix are great, under a buck on sale. Might as well throw in the corn meal, oatmeal, corn starch, evaporated milk and such other things in this category.
  • Fats - I like olive oil a lot so I buy it by the gallon when it goes on sale. Olive oil can last a long time if it is kept cool and in a dark spot. You also need to get lots of corn or vegetable oil. By it by the gallon and keep it in a cool dark spot. You need fats in your diet and it makes clean up easier which may save you water. Some folks like canned butter. I don’t have any, but I’d like to try it.
  • I’d also give bouillon it’s own category. There are all kinds: chicken, beef, fish and pork. You can add bouillon to rice or make your own soups from scratch. A few cubes, a box of elbows, cans of corn, beans and tomatoes and you got some minestrone soup.

Get outside everyday. Got a day off midweek last week so went skiing with a friend. It was my first and only time downhill skiing this year that I didn’t hike up in order to ski down. The tickets were $62 each!!! But, but, but, but they got six inches of snow the day before and this day promised to be sunny, warm and not too much wind. it was a great day.

sk17The ski area we went to was Mount Sunapee. That’s Lake Sunapee there that you are looking at. You probably can’t make it out, but there are still ice fishing huts on the ice and snow mobile tracks criss crossing the lake.

When we pay that much, which we never do, we make sure to get as much out of the day as possible so of course we got there well before the lifts opened. The lifts generally open at 9, but we were lucky to be riding up at 8:55. We skied until 1:30 or there abouts, ate lunch outside on a picnic table and back on the lifts by two. The lifts close at 4 and we managed to still be riding the lift after 4.


We were the third persons on in the morning when the place opened and the third from the last in the afternoon when the place closed. I bet we skied over 35,000 vertical feet. We’ve both been skiing a long time. It’s good when you go with someone that skis like you do becuase you can ski the same trails without holding eachother up.


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