>> Saturday, May 17, 2008
A: The ‘food storage recipe’ is a recipe that the ingredients can be pulled from the food in your food storage. These recipes are to get people to use what is in their food storage and begin rotating through the ‘basic’ items in their storage. Sometimes there will be an ingredient or two that you would need to make substitutions if you were unable to go to the store or use the items in your freezer. For example, if you didn’t have butter, or sour cream, in an emergency (or in a situation we had to live on our food storage solely) then you could substitute shortening, oil or powdered sour cream in it’s place. For oils you could also substitute applesauce, that is why I recommend having quite a bit of applesauce in your food storage. Either way, these food storage recipes each week are ones you can make from the items in your storage. I don’t make up the food and save it for the year—that could get messy and make for a big headache :) I just make sure I have a year supply of each of the ingredients I would need for each particular recipe (ex: a year supply of baking powder, sugar, powdered eggs, oil, raisins, flour, etc.). That way, if I were to have to cook from only my food storage, I would know I would be able to make all of the ‘meals’ and recipes from my food storage recipe collection (you can get the recipes and checklist on my website under the FREE DOWNLOAD tab on the homepage and download the FOOD STORAGE RECIPES download.
Q: This is just my personal preference but I would love to see the shopping list for the items created in Excel with columns for the ingredients, store, sale price and also the meal & area of store to find ingredient in (produce, canned/dry, frozen, bakery, meat/dairy, etc.). My reasoning is then it would be sortable – I could sort the list by meals and delete the meals I am not using for that week and then sort the list by store so my shopping list was ready to go, is that possible?
A: We are working with our programmer to help create a better format for our grocery list page. Would it help if we had the produce a certain color, canned goods another color, etc. and a chart at the top to help you know which items are which? We used to have the recipe/grocery list formatted per store and that seemed to cause more problems. People seem to enjoy it broken down into recipes verses store or grocery category because it easier to cut out the ingredients they aren’t going to buy (because they are not making that particular recipe that week). We are definetly looking into ways to stream line the process and make it easier to read—if anyone has suggestions, feel free to email me :)
Q: On the excel note it would be cool to have an editable excel meal plan file that would have the meal plan for the week and you could add the ingredients and then macros would actually generate the shopping lists after you edit – can you do that?
A: We are working on a simplified process, but we have found ‘excel’ may not be the answer because several of our customers don’t have this program, or have a Macintosh and wouldn’t be able to have access to the excel program. Kind of a tricky one—although that would be VERY cool and helpful if it worked. We’ll keep thinking.
Q: Can you freeze blocks of cheese or do they need to be shredded first? Can you chop and freeze green onions? (It would be great to get a list of items that one could buy on sale and freeze with prep work) I have heard you can freeze milk but I have never personally tried it – I also have heard you can freeze eggs… would love to know your thoughts.
A: You can freeze just about everything—here is a quick list of items I keep stocked in my freezer:
Butter, margarine, whipping cream/heavy cream/half&half, tortillas, bread, hamburger/hotdog/hoagie buns, cheese (shredded and blocks of cheese—you won’t have a problem with blocks of cheese being crumbly as long as you wait until it is COMPLETELY thawed and then it will slice just fine)—I keep parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, Colby jack, provolone cheese, and swiss cheese in my freezer at all times (I buy these cheeses at Costco unless they are on sale for less at a store, and put them in smaller Ziploc bags for later), lunch meat, pepperoni, hamburger, pork, shrimp, steak, chicken, ham, sausage, bacon, frozen vegetables (corn, peas, stir-fry vegetables, carrots/peas (for chicken pot pie), broccoli, bell peppers in every color (just wash, cut in big slices and put in a Ziploc bag), onions (cut up and put in a Ziploc bag), freezer meals (lasagna, chicken cordon bleu, taco soup, Hawaiian haystacks, Homemade marinara sauce, taco meat, shredded chicken, shredded BBQ Pork, etc.), freezer jams, milk (if it is a great deal and I have room—this freezes fine, just make sure it completely thaws or you will have ice chunks in it for awhile), over-ripe bananas (for banana bread), yeast (it lasts longer in the freezer), frozen fruit, (and I think that is about it :) I am surprised it all fits!! **I have never frozen eggs, but I assume as long as you crack the eggs and put them into a Tupperware, it would be fine to freeze.
Q: Do you store frozen vegetables, dehydrated or canned? Or a mix of all? How about fruit?
A: It is good to have a variety of all kinds of fruits and vegetables (canned, dehydrated, frozen, etc.). In an emergency you would eat out of your fridge and freezer first, then your canned food and then lastly your dehydrated food. They all have different shelf lives and will be beneficial if you were to need to survive off of what is ONLY in your storage. The cheapest place to buy dehydrated fruits and vegetables is the cannery. You can either can each item in a #10 can or buy them in bulk and keep in a cool, dry place. Canned fruit and vegetables go on sale for less than ‘warehouse’ prices at least 2 times a year, generally during caselot time (Aug. & February--generallly)—watch for them to go on sale and then stock up!
Q: Where is the best place to buy a deep freezer? How many do you have and what brand is it?A: My husband work at RC Willey, so of course we bought our freezer there (great discounts!). I know you can buy freezers at Sears, Lowes, Best Buy, online, etc. You can also buy them used through the trifties. I haven't done a lot of research on how long they last, all I know is we have a Fridgidaire 15 cubic feet deep freezer and in 10 years we have not had any problems with it (I don't even defrost it--oops!) How many do I have?...I have the double sided fridge and freezer in my kitchen, a fridge & freezer combo in our garage, a fridge/freezer in our basement, and a 26cubic feet deep freezer in our garage. It’s funny that sometimes I wish I had another one! It may seem crazy, but I save SOOO much money by ONLY buying items when they are on sale and keeping my freezer well stocked. If I didn’t want to, I could easily live out of my freezer and fridge for 6 months (with only using minimal food from my food storage). I try and keep AT LEAST 3 months of meat in my freezer at all times. Doing this makes meal planning quick and easy! I don’t ever have to run to the store for anything unless it is fresh produce. That is the great thing about food storage—it is like having a complete grocery store in your own house :) When you get the weekly deals each week (if you’re not a member, it is only $4.95 a month) I will tell you which items to stock up on for your food storage and also tell you which items you can add to your freezer and how much you would need of each item for a one year supply. I take all of the guess work out of it—just follow the ‘deal sheet’ and you will be set! ***I have never frozen eggs, but I’m guessing as long as you crack them into a Tupperware and then freeze them, they would be fine. I will have to look into that :)