SHORT TERM STORAGE: Spices
A lot of my spices get used so rarely, that I don’t have to think about storing them. Allspice, for instance. I use it in just one recipe. Others, like Italian, I use a lot. Just make a mental note of what you use often, and pick up some in bulk at Winco. Depending on how much you want to store, you can store things in little Tupperware containers, or spice jars. Something like this: Ball 4-Ounce Quilted Crystal Jelly Regular Mouth Jars with Lids and Bands, Set of 12: Kitchen & Dining. Personally, I vacuum seal mine “storage” spices in about 1/4 c. portions. If you would like to do the same, and if you will buy a roll, I will be more than happy to vacuum seal whatever you have. I can vacuum seal the jars, as well. Removing the air will help the spices last longer. If you google it, they will tell you that spices lose their flavor after a year. My spices that have been vacuumed have still been flavorful after 4-5 years.
Spices make all the difference when you are eating bland food like beans or rice. You can make your own spice mix. Here is a useful chart:
These combinations are made from the following 22 spices: allspice, basil, bay leaf, cayenne, celery salt, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, garlic powder, ginger, marjoram, mustard seed, nutmeg, onion powder, oregano, paprika, pepper, rosemary, sage, salt, and thyme. Depending on how often you use each of these, it might be more cost-efficient to just buy the mixtures. Again, if you list your favorite 20 recipes, you should be able to come up with a good list of spices to store.
72-HOUR KIT FOCUS: Toilet Paper
It would be a smart idea if every 72-hour kit had something that could be used for emergency TP. I put a roll of bath tissue in a baggie and put that in each of my packs. OR, you could just include a small package of kleenex.
MISC FOCUS: Laundry & Dish Detergent
So, as promised, I marked the date that I opened my liquid dish detergent – June 30. Just today (July 28, I used the very last of that bottle.) Exactly 4 weeks. If I keep at least 6 bottles of detergent, that will last me for 6 months.
FOOD STORAGE RECIPES
Spices used in these recipes include: onions, parsley, pepper, vegetable bouillon, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic, cumin, chili powder, garlic salt
McCormick spices are on sale this week at Albertsons for 30% off. I always buy my spices in bulk at Winco.
Lentil Barley Stew
I’ve made this a few times, and it’s good. It calls for a carrot, (dehydrated carrots could be substituted), and a parsnip. Until I made this, I’d never used a parsnip and had to kind of search the fresh vegetables to find it. The lentils and barley could be stored long term.
1 medium carrot sliced
1 medium onion diced (or 2 TB dehydrated)
1 medium parsnip peeled and sliced (in an emergency, you could substitute dehydrated celery or any other vegetable that would go good in a soup)
3/4 c. lentils, rinsed
1/2 c. barley rinsed
28 oz. vegetable broth
2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp pepper
Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook 25 minutes till done.
Southwest Beef Stew
1-pint ground beef (or 1 lb. ground beef browned and drained)
1 16-oz can corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
1 c. salsa
3/4 c. water
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 c. tomato juice OR 8 oz tomato sauce and 8 oz. water
Heat 20 minutes
Serve over pasta
1 c. rice
2 c. water
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
2 TB beef bouillon
2 TB dry onions
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-pint ground beef OR 1 lb ground beef browned and drained.
Cover and simmer on very low heat for 20-30 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
Get in the habit of once or twice a week using something from your food storage. If you do this, you will automatically rotate all your food in a period of about 5 years. Check this list to see how you are doing. Something is better than nothing. Be consistent. Be committed. Be prepared.