Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 13 Starting Simple

No one is immune from economic downturn. Millionaires, or at least people who had millions of dollars running through their hands, fell victim in the housing crisis of a year ago. Despite the apparent prosperity, they failed to secure a place to live that wasn't carrying a million dollar mortgage. Now they have no home, no food, it is a day to day. My heart aches, if only they could have caught the vision to prepare.

If I were to be starting to stock some food, it would begin with a few extra items at the grocery store. For instance when I saw lasagna noodles on sale well below the best every day price, I bought 12 boxes for $11.00 planning to eat lasagna once a month. A few years ago when a friend said she planned for the whole year, I was shocked. Then she explained that she knew how many times a year she would be making a crab cheese ball. When she sees crab on sale for half price at Walgreens, she buys her whole year's supply. She planned out one month multiplied that by 12 and she knew exactly how much tuna she needed in a year, how many cans of creamed soups, how often she needed ramen noodles, etc... She wasn't concerned if she didn't stay exactly on plan because as she got better and better prepared she had more options not fewer. The first month was the tightest but after that she had to buy less and less food because it was already on her shelf. Money was saved in getting the sales and even bigger dividends came when she saved the cost of eating out because there was a delicious option at home.

One item that I have on my shelves is mung beans. I started sprouting them today so they will be ready by the weekend. I want to make real Chinese egg drop soup with bean sprouts. Mung beans are easy to sprout if you know the secrets. They like resistance. I put a brick on top of the little seeds that have been soaked for 8 hours. Then I rinse the seeds twice a day. The sprouts will grow straight and thick and tall as they push up on that brick. More details to come. We'll see how well they do.

Breakfast: Cheese bread on the leftover garlic bread, fresh squeezed tangerine/orange juice

Lunch: Leftover lasagna, green beans, water
Snack: Frozen yogurt
Dinner: Hawaiian Haystacks with rice, chicken gravy, topped with pineapple, raisins, crushed ramen noodles, chopped celery, bottled diced tomatoes from the garden last year, and coconut. Other toppers might include slivered almonds, chow mien noodles (the ramen was a substitute), picante sauce, grated cheese, onions, etc.... I use home bottled chicken. Until last year I had never tried to pressure can anything. Canning meat is quite simple once you've tried it. Now when there is a chicken sale, I buy enough to bottle and keep a few quarts on hand just for the convenience. I try to use it in dishes like this that allow a good boil before eating just as an extra precaution.
Bedtime snack: Winter Squash Bread made from all the large squashes that we grew in our garden last summer. More squash ideas tomorrow.


  1. Please share your recipe of winter squash bread. I just cooked a large banana squash that has been stored in our shed from last summer and I could use some ideas.

  2. Glad to share a recipe! Recipe in the "recipe" post.