How this all started

20 Jun

Looking at my stacked up boxes of food storage a few years ago I thought I was doing great and that I was prepared. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know specifically *how* I would pair up the various cans of food when it came time to use it — “we would figure it out” I told myself. “If we get hungry enough and as long as I have a basic cook book with food storage recipes in it, we’ll survive and we’ll be grateful to have it.”

Then something happened.  Sherida, a close friend of mine, decided to put her food storage to the test to see if she could feed her family with six kids on only food storage items for 6 months ( you can read more on her blog *or* listen to Sherida on this radio interview).  It was then that I realized how naive my previous plan had been.

She relayed to me her day by day report of meals she prepared that her children simply refused to eat.  I stepped back and re-thought my original opinion of  “if we’re hungry enough we’ll eat it”.  Watching it happen first hand woke me up to the fact that I’d been completely wrong.

Another awakening I hadn’t thought of, my friend spent practically all her time in the kitchen cooking and preparing food for the next meal!  Cooking with food storage was nearly 100% “from scratch”,  a never ending job with hardly a break in between the next meal.  There was no such thing as a “fast food” food storage meal.  I wondered how I would ever be able to manage that!  Later on I’d  discover “pantry meals” or meals where I’d pre-measure the ingredients ahead of time and store “ready-to-make”.  These would become my food storage convenience meals.

Beyond all of this, my friend discovered there were some key foods that she wished she’d stored but hadn’t. With it being a trial run she  went out and bought these things but if it had happened with no stores to turn to her family would have gone without.   “What had I forgotten to store for my family?”  I thought.

Oppositely, there were some foods she’d already stored (and invested a lot of money in) that she found out the family didn’t like and wouldn’t eat!  She ended up having to throw these foods away.

There was one more big eye opener. I realized by watching this that I hadn’t planned well enough to provide for our son’s severe allergy to nuts and beans.  She used beans all the time!  It was her primary source of protein and I realized that I had another problem to deal with.  I’d later find that there was a whole world of storable grains that contained amazing amounts of protein while also contributing new tastes my family would love.

With all of this in front of me, I had a serious “what was I thinking?!” moment.  I had my food storage, or so I thought, but the problem was that I was *not* organized and I didn’t know how I was going to use my various ingredients. The task of getting it right seemed overwhelming to say the least, so then and there I prayed  a very desperate prayer for help.  I firmly believe it’s only been with God’s help that I’ve been able to find a way to feed my family using food storage if I ever had to.

Two years later, I know how difficult it is to put a solid (and edible) food storage plan together. In the same breath I adamantly see how essential it is for a family to have one –specialized to their own family’s needs and tastes–and I want to help in any way I can.   Thanks in part to the many authors who have given permission to share their recipes here, I’m hoping the process will be made significantly less difficult for others since finding good recipes was definitely my biggest challenge!

My hope is that this blog will become a valuable resource to those who are struggling to plan a way to feed their family in times of need.

11 Responses to “How this all started”

  1. Michelle July 8, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    Hooray! I am so excited for your blog! I too am constantly trying to find food storage meals that my family will eat. Thank you for being willing to share with us! Can’t wait to tell my friends and family!

  2. Kirsten July 8, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    Very thought-provoking! Thanks so much for the explanations and the first-hand experiences. :)

  3. Shirley January 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Happy to have stumbled onto your site. Please carry on with this useful project!

    Hubby and I started a food storage plan (not a plan, actually) some months ago. A week or two ago, I also realized we’re doing it all wrong! So, we are in the process of ‘eating down our mistakes’ to make room for what we really need to store. I also realized that instead of buying up a lot of stuff and just setting it aside, we need to be eating it and replacing it as we go. We need to be thoroughly familiar with how to cook it. Wheat is an area I haven’t even begun to touch. I don’t really know where to start!

    The recipe notebooks is one that I had realized I need to do…a conversion of old favorites and collection of new recipes using food storage.

    We have discovered Thrive foods and love them! Just last night I was reading something about GMO corn and some issues believed to be associated with it. I understand that Thrive foods aren’t GMO?

    Anyway, it’s a new adventure for an old woman to be embarking on, but I intend to take it, grabbing help wherever I can.

    • myfoodstoragecookbook January 27, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Thanks for the note — I’m so happy that you’re finding some things here to help you on your journey, it’s great to have you along! It’s something I think we all realize — if we’re going to store the food then we have to know what to do with it, and if we don’t know how to prepare it (or if it’s not the right food) we’re in trouble. And I can totally relate. When you realize that you’ve gone about things wrong it feels like a huge mountain to climb to fix it. Working at it little by little we’ll get there — if there’s one thing we have to our advantage it’s the internet and the vast amount of knowledge available to us!

      I didn’t know that about Thrive not being GMO, but that’s good to hear! It doesn’t surprise me. I heard that they’re aiming towards switching their products to 100% organics as well though I don’t know when that will happen.

  4. Shelby January 18, 2013 at 4:53 am #

    Thank you very much for this site. I’m planning on starting on my food storage adventure. I’ve learned that the food gathering and storage is the easy part. The rotation is the hard part. And I know there’s two phases: the immediate daily usage (electric grain mill) and the preparation (manual grain mill). I’ve determined that it’s less about preparation and more about a life change. Hopefully, for the better as I hope to use more whole foods. As I type, I’m soaking dried beans for the first time. This is more for a recipe I’m making rather than a rotation thing. As I was showing the kids, we likened them to Orbeez. How sad is that?

    • myfoodstoragecookbook January 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      Yep, you’ve got it! As soon as you’ve got some recipes that your family likes — which also use your food storage– you won’t have any problem with rotation. You’re awesome for getting started!! It’s so overwhelming, and that’s why I’ve done all of this, hopefully you can learn from the successes I’ve had so you’ll have an easier go at it. Thanks for writing! I’m so glad to have you along!!

  5. DeeDee March 30, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I love your blog, preparedness philosophy, and ‘from’ scratch recipes. Thank you for so many great ideas–lightbulb moment for me when you mentioned using your pictures for the at home recipe binder. Mine definitely needs pictures for the less experienced cooks in the family.

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  7. Kelly September 24, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    We starting eating healthier by cutting out most processed food (http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/). We eat very little out of a box/bag/can, mostly eating real foods (grains, beans, LOTS of fresh produce [organic for at least the "dirty dozen"], fresh local organic eggs, fresh fish, some meat).

    Perusing your recipes (to get familiar w/ the Wonder oven which I want to make) and other pages, I’m getting the idea that preparedness includes food storage AND using that storage to rotate as well as become familiar with using it.

    I’m wondering how to go about getting started as I don’t really want to regularly use a lot of processed food or food in cans? Do you know of any preparedness sites that specialize in “real” foods? Or is that even possible? (Loving your site, by the way.) Thanks!

    • Megan September 25, 2014 at 6:21 am #

      You can easily still use many of the recipes here by substituting in home canned items or homemade copy cats for the canned if you’re interested in that, I’m not sure how you feel about cooked vegetables or if it’s simply the whole foods eating you’re wanting. “Canned” might be out for you if raw is the biggie. There are two sites I can think of right off the top of my head to refer you to though for ideas. The first (I’m sure you’ve probably heard of it, but if not, this cook is amazing): http://www.fatfreevegan.com. Her focus is not preparedness, but I’ve found a number of recipes which I’ve been able to tweek to use here. (Guilt Free Macaroni and Cheese is one, another is one of her Seitan recipes.) I’m sure if you perused her full index you’d be able to find others that would work — esp. since you have the bean option that I don’t. Another place you could check out for ideas is The Organic Prepper. I’ll try to think up some more ideas. A friend of mine eats similarly and is very fond of the blog Chocolate Covered Katie for ideas as well. She’s told me about recipes she’s converted to her food storage from that blog. It’s a great question! Maybe I should consider rounding up a post on all of these ideas so they could be kept together in one place ;) Thanks!

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  1. My Food Storage Cookbook | Prepared Housewives - January 25, 2013

    [...] inspired us all as we listened to her story of how she got started. You can read more about it HERE! She shared how she realized she had so much food, but yet nothing to eat, because she didn’t [...]

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