Guest Article by NRP & Blue, May 3, 2021.
· 1.facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject: “a thirst for knowledge”
· 2.awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation: “the program had been developed without his knowledge”
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So why is this Old Fart yapping about Knowledge when writing Articles about a Deep Pantry???
Let’s explore that shall we?
Do you know how to do a “Good Inventory”, I mean a producing hunk of Paper you can look at and see ‘Exactly’ what you have on-hand, in that Everyday AND the Deep Pantry.
Something you can analyze the cost of when you bought something 5 years ago and look at the cost today. THAN analyzing what “may” happen in the next 5 years and decide if you want to purchase goods NOW at 1/2 the cost. BTW, if you don’t think cost are going up, Gas just went up another dime today.
How about Cooking, and NO I don’t mean tossing a DiGiorno Pizza in the oven and POOF its dinner with a six-pack of Coors Lite. I’m talking about “Real” cooking from Scratch (Or as my Grandma would tease… “From Scraps”).
Can you actually put together a Meal for your Family when there is little or zero Power while Subway Sandwiches and KFC are closed?
Do you have the Knowledge and Paper (Books) to process a Beef or even a Rabbit if things really do get tough? How about how to grow a garden to feed your Family, do you know when to plant seeds, how to amend the soil to get better crops?
How about to Preserve those Vegetables and Meat without using a Freezer? Can you store Food and Water for a couple of years, at minimal?
It’s all about having Knowledge and the availability of Information.
Here is the thing: How in the world you going to know what you have and can “Cook” and Live On if you have little idea what’s in the Deep Pantry?
So, here we go…. The Power is out, and your Family is whinnnnnnning, Ok Ok, not Whinning, but they need feed before the ‘Gang’ invades the Kitchen and eats all the Potato Chips, they are hungry How you going to fix that????
Easy, cook something, but what? Sure you can just go digging through what you see in the Kitchen or Everyday Pantry. And whip something together. Question… How long is the Power going to be out: a Few Days, a Week, a Month, 6 Months? With a Good Inventory, you can actually make a Weekly Meal Plan on how long you can make the food you have on-hand last. BTW, you should already have that “Plan” and how long your food will last.
I have mentioned before that you should be marking every “Storage Container” with what’s in it,
By making a Good Inventory you should be able to go to that exact Container and find that package of Dehydrated Eggs you need for Breakfast.
Here is how I do mine; you make up your own method that works for you.
I use an Excel Spreadsheet for the input, in different columns I list:
Item…Weight…Quantity…Date Stored…# Wanted…# Needed…Cost…Container Type/Size… Container #… Where
Anasazi Beans, 35 #, 1, 6/12/2020, 1, 0, $50.35 per 50#, 5-G Bucket, 8, Deep
So let’s look at this:
Item = Anasazi Beans
‘Weight ‘in Container = 35 Pounds
‘Quantity’ of Containers = 1
Date Stored = June 6, 2020
# Wanted = 1
# Needed = 0
Cost = $50.35 per pound
Container Type/Size = 5 Gallon Bucket
Container # = Bucket # 8
Where = Deep Pantry
With this Info I can pretty much tell exactly what is what and where it is, I can calculate the cost I paid for this and how old this item is and if it needs Used or Replaced
Yes, I do this on the Computer of course, BUT!!!!! I print it out every 4 months and hand write on that what is added or used. Why Paper?????? No Power = No Computer.
BTW, I keep the paper copy in the Safe (Fire Proof) just in case I have a Fire and the place is Smoke and Ashes. I have a List for the Insurance. AND Yes I have Backups of the Computer in that Safe also.
I’m sure someone out there is saying “This is a lot of work just to know what is there”. Yeppers, you’re exactly correct…. YOU may know what’s on hand and YOU may know how, when, what, so-on, BUT, What/If your injured and someone else needs to help? Maybe the Spouse or a Friend? If you have a Good Inventory they also can know what’s going on food storage wise…… Is there any reason NOT to use one more tool to safeguard your Family?
BTW, the Inventory goes hand and hand with the Meal Plans, more on that later.
I absolutely LOVE this photo, sort of like “Ohhhh CRAPO what do I do next HAHAHAH
Ok, so you think you know how to cook, right?
Here is a test, I ask you to make a batch of Buttermilk Biscuits; what do you do WITHOUT Buttermilk?
And nooooo using Bisquick that’s cheating HAHAHA
Ok, on a serious note, knowing how to cook is an art in-of-itself. Sure anyone can burn a hunk of meat on the grill, but knowing how to put together a “Healthy” meal in times of catastrophe may, MAY be an essential, think on it.
TX just went through a week of no power (basically) how did those people eat? KFC 7 days a week, FEMA handouts, Raid the Stores for whatever they could find?
Not too sure about you, but that’s NOT going to cut it for me and mine.
So, here are a couple of suggestions.
First of all, get a few GREAT Cook Books. Well that was easy huh?
Next take the Betty Crocker Book and just open it to any page and Cook that for Dinner. Do that once a week just to get the feel of cooking different stuff. BTW, this WILL drive the Family completely nuts, but that’s ok, were in Training Mode here.
Next thing I’d like see done, Go do a search on the net and find “Meals in a Jar”.
Yeppers, entire meals separated into a Caning Jar, mighty sneaky huh? Who said we could not cheat huh? So find some ideas on Meals in a Jar and make up a few dozen, they are VERY EASY!!!!
Here is a hint, figure out how many you would feed out of “a” jar and size the Jars accordingly. Pints, Quarts, 1/2 Gallon, or even One Gallon sizes if you think it best.
HINT: Put a Label on that sucker with Contents, Date, and Cooking Instructions.
Again, do a Net Search, get-r-done.
BTW, yes this is also cheating, but it’s cooking in an emergency, Right?
My answer to the question I asked above:
Go open that Cook Book…… Yes I cheat…
A Few Cook Books I would recommend in no special order:
Betty Crocker Cook Book
Joy of Cooking
Complete Book of Home Preserving (Caning Book)
Charcuterie (Food/Meat preserving Book)
Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book
That should get you started for now.
If you want to read a book on Food that will scare the heck out of you… ‘The End Of Food’ it’s basically about the declining Nutritional Value in today’s Food.
So if nothing else, YOU need to learn how to cook, now here is the hard part I saved till the end of Cooking.
Have the Knowledge of how to cook without that Stove or Oven and forget about that $4000 Microwave. You need to know how to feed your Family WITHOUT power, meaning on the BBQ, or over a fire, How are you going to cook if you are like TX for a week? How about a Month? Year?
BTW I would NOT want to be standing in a Food Line like they did during the Great Depression, would you (look up the photos)?
YOU need to provide for yourself If/When TSHTF, Do you really think Others will be holding you First in Line?
YOU !!!! are responsible for your Family FIRST! And yes others if you can.
YOU !!!! are the one that needs to have the Knowledge to keep your Family Safe!
Ok I wanted to touch on First Aid just a little here in Knowledge.
It’s not really a Deep Pantry sort of thing BUT it’s very important.
Have copies of ALL medical records of your Family with you.
Know what Medicines are Life Saving for them.
Talk to your DR. about how long these medicines will keep and if there is a way to save a “few extra”, Diabetes and extreme High Blood Pressure come to mind.
Also I’m not going into all the Hype on Fish Antibiotics and all that hyped up internet “stuff”, I will tell you that if we lose Power and TSHTF big time, there will be none or very little to have.
I truly believe everyone and I do mean EVERYONE should take a First Aid training course, CPR classes and anything else you think you should, might, maybe, ‘I don’t know’ need.
Have a GREAT First Aid Kit in your home (and I mean a Kit that will make the First Responders Proud), also one in each and every vehicle you have.
I will tell you I joke around a little in these Articles; I will NEVER joke around with this.
IT”S IMPORTANT PEOPLE!!!!!
I could never think of anything worse that losing a Family member or anyone else because you did not have the training or First Aid Kit to save a life. And yes the First Responders are there (hopefully)…. How long will it take them to arrive if your Spouse (God forbid) cuts off a hand or cuts their leg with a Chain Saw? Will they Bleed Out before they get there? Can you stop the bleeding? What happens if the entire City, Town, Community is in shambles because of a Major Earthquake, Hurricane, or Explosion?
I could think of thousands of reasons to have this Knowledge and Equipment.
Be there for your Family Folks.
Get the Knowledge.