Saturday, January 2, 2010

I am almost embarrassed by the mass of food I have stockpiled. I was so serious about preparedness this past year (and the one before), but Life left me with other plans. Both the hubby and I spent multiple weeks away from home (for work). Additionally, I just found myself burning candles at both ends this year and rarely made big (i.e. slow cooked) meals. We ate a lot of eggs this past years because they are easy and our girls generous in this department.

When I was setting us with a stockpile of emergency foods, however, I must have had "slow cooked" on the brain as we are well stocked with grains and beans. I am still sorting through the piles, but just in the messy cupboard I photographed a few weeks ago I pulled out 16 pounds of beans (various types including kidney, lentils, pinto, black, chana dal, baby lima, small red, and Great Northern). I also must have thought we could survive on hot cereals and discovered 3 lbs of multigrain hot cereal, 5 lbs of steel cut oats (Irish style), wholegrain old fashion oats (at least 2 lbs); multigrain Cream of Wheat (multiple boxes), 7 boxes of cold cereal and 3 bags of Musli. i can't imagine using all of this stuff up so I am sending some of it to the church's food bank tomorrow. I may send some of the beans as well (sadly, I am the only one in the family that really enjoys bean dishes; I remind them they will thank me if the TEOTWAWKI occurs).

I also found at the back of the mess 1 each bag of brown and powdered sugar. Here is the issue: I bought new bags of these before the holidays to make a particular cookie. I couldn't find any and thought we were out (I have been mostly sugar-free since summer, but took a hiatus over the holidays). This is why this challenge is important to me. I am wasting our money and resources.

After reading some of the other participants' updates I do think I am much more prepared than many of them. I could literally feed us for a year on my reserves. I have no doubt! One month will not be a challenge (although, getting lazy may be) and will hardly dent the reserves. I really need to use some of this stuff up, do a good cleaning and start over (with a better plan). So, for me, the challenge is to be extended until the garden is producing (May-ish) something. I will restock in June. The only thing I will go to the store for is dairy (milk, cheese or yogurt). I bought chia and other sprouting seeds at the bulk store today and will try to incorporate those as fresh ingredients. I also have the partial boxes of oranges and grapefruit to utilize. My neighbor sells 50 lb bags of potatoes he gleans from local fields after the major crop is in (i.e. the rejects). I won't be eating potatoes (because of diet), but this will provide something fresh for the boys and man. I also stored about a bushel of butternut squash from the garden.

We should be able to harvest greens in late April or early May, hopefully, so if I can keep us afloat on the fresh thing, we should do fine. I am allowing myself a $20 lee-way for anything we may need, but it is best if I don't use it.

I am looking forward to this challenge and will post the contents of my pantry and freezers ever so slowly...!

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