The stark grocery shelves in Georgia this week serve as a reminder to each of us that we need to prepare. I almost feel guilty posting on Sunday until I remember that it is God's purpose to keep body and soul together. This week I reviewed the story of Joseph sold into Egypt. God prepared him to be in Egypt during a time of plenty so he could offer life saving food to his family during the times of want. Each of us must prepare.
Our family bought potatoes last October when they dropped to 10 cents a pound. We have eaten these potatoes for 3-1/2 months. We have 6 weeks more storage of fresh potatoes. We have enjoyed them mashed, baked, fried in potato skillets, Indian potatoes (recipe follows), and in soups. It cost less than $20 for a 20 week supply for our family of 10. Potatoes have 45% per serving of the RDA for Vitamin C if the skin is included in the meal. This is a smart investment if the climate allows for storage.
The 25 pounds of rice that we purchased for $7.00 in the summer lasted easily 3 months with heavy use. We use rice under stir fries, gravies and curry soups; in soup, in chicken and rice dishes cooked in the crock pot and oven, in rice pudding, in jambalaya, pork fried rice and meatballs...
Flour dropped from $2.00 for 5 pounds to $.80 a 5 pound bag. We bought a years supply of white flour. We put it outside when temperatures were below freezing for 2-3 days. This killed any larvae that may have been in the packaging. Flour will store well if frozen for 48 hours and put in water proof containers.
Celery dropped to 20 cents a bunch at Thanksgiving. I bought 8 bunches. We are still enjoying the celery in soups. It is still crunchy.
We have enjoyed a couple of turkeys from Thanksgiving sales, 80% lean ground beef has been on sale for $1.68 per pound. I brown 10 pounds at a time, drain the fat and rinse the meat with hot water unless I am cooking to add calories and flavor. I freeze the browned meat in meal size portions. For people with severely restricted diets due to allergies or intolerance's, the fat and flavor are needed.
Chicken hind quarters purchased for 40 cents a pound are prepared the same way: boiled, boned, and frozen in meal size portions. The broth from boiling the chicken is used in a big pot of soup.
Other loss leaders over the last few months have allowed us to have all the cottage cheese we wanted; pasta, cake mixes, and pineapple tidbits to last over a year.
Our homes are the most reliable place to have food stored for times of need. It takes minimal amount of cash to buy and store what one uses on a regular basis. Buying on loss leaders and using what one has allows families to store what they normally eat. The more variety in a "normal diet" insures greater flexibility in times of need.
Here is a recipe that our family really enjoys. Originally this is an aloo gobi recipe from the Internet. At an Indian restaurant, we found this dish to also be served with cabbage instead of cauliflower. I've modified the spices so it is not hot.
Indian Potatoes (for 10)
2 Tablespoons of oil
5 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch squares
1 small head of cabbage cut into wedges and halved again (or 1/2 head large cauliflower)
1 Tablespoon fresh ground ginger (purchased fresh in a jar from Indian store)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
1/2 cup water
Put oil in large pot, add cabbage or cauliflower cut into large floweretts
Add potatoes. Stir frequently. Add spices and water. Stir.
When potatoes are almost tender, I turn off the pot, cover the pot, and let the whole mixture steam.