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Old 09-07-2021, 02:51 PM
 
Location: northern Alabama
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When I lived in New Orleans, we 'ate down' our freezer each year. The space was filled with frozen water. Not only did we have emergency water, it also kept the food frozen longer. Ditto for space in the refrigerator! Cold water keeps things cold longer, and tastes good when it's 99 degrees outside with 99% humidity!

By the way, mixing dry milk half-and-half with whole milk improves the taste of the dry milk. I have also been told that adding creamora to dry milk makes it taste better. Haven't tried that one myself.

Kool-aid is wonderful and helps a bland meal. MRE's are good only if there is nothing else and the hunger is unbearable.
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
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When I was growing up, there was a Nat'l Geo article about North Atlantic Cod fishermen. At one point, they talked about the cook who served each night......cod. The article said that with spices and sauces, he made each meal seem different.

So, LIVE LIKE A KING! (that is, one back in the middle ages who could spice up his food) and go to places like Big Lots and Dollar stores and buy as many spices as you can. Of course, compare the costs with your regular store to make sure that just because it is at the dollar store, it is worth the price. When I am the camp cook, I am carrying a box with all the different kinds of spices from my pantry. I may not cook with it, such as soup base, but there might be someone in the group who wishes to use it.

Finally, a trick I learned years ago (but don't use now since white rice isn't good for me) is to boil my rice with a bouillon cube, to add some flavor to it.
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Old 09-07-2021, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Puna, Hawaii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countrysue View Post

Kool-aid is wonderful and helps a bland meal.
I used to do a lot of backpacking / camping in Alaska. I frequently had to drink from whatever natural water sources I encountered. I boiled it to make it safe, but safe doesn't always mean palatable. I carried Tang with me, not only to cover up unpleasant flavor but also because orange water looks more appealing than brown water.
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
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Round 2!


Get a sauce cookbook or research one the Net (and download into your at home data base) and see what they list for the ingredients.

A couple of things I do which might be used in this direction:

keep a decent stock of olive oil

keep my wine cellar stocked. Since I don't drink any more, this is mostly for gift giving and water purifying but it could be used in cooking as well

buy canned goods packed in oil. This is a give and take one. While for survival purposes, I go for the stuff in water, for a community kitchen, I go for the stuff in oil so to have a wok pot source in my food

stock up on Parmesan cheese. Parmesan can often be found cheap and it is a good thing to have lots around. The thing is that when it goes bad, I think due to moisture, it turns black

peanut butter--makes a good base for other spices in the wok pot
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Old 09-09-2021, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Puna, Hawaii
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Parmesan cheese that is properly waxed can be stored for decades if kept cool. It is sometimes aged for 3 years to develop flavors but it doesn't necessarily have an expiration date so long as the wax isn't breached and it's kept cool. Some people recommend turning it over every couple of months to keep the moisture content even. I've heard the same for other cheeses, but they will continue to get more sharp over time until they may no longer be recognizable as the cheese they started out as even if they are safe to eat. Parmesan being a drier cheese will change less over the years.

Another option to waxed cheese is canned cheese (not processed canned cheese).

The University of Washington sells some very good canned cheese.

https://creamery.wsu.edu/cougar-cheese/

And we can testify that even after storing it for several years is still delicious!

From their FAQ:

HOW LONG WILL THE CHEESE LAST?

As long as the cheese is unopened and refrigerated it will last indefinitely. An unopened can of cheese becomes more flavorful, sharp, dry and crumbly with age. Our Natural Cheddar, Smoky Cheddar and Viking flavors may develop a bitter aftertaste, especially if over 2 years aged. Cougar GoldĀ® does not become bitter with age. Once opened, the cheese lasts similar to other store bought cheese, depending on how it is handled.
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Old 09-11-2021, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
22,179 posts, read 12,555,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countrysue View Post
When I lived in New Orleans, we 'ate down' our freezer each year. The space was filled with frozen water. Not only did we have emergency water, it also kept the food frozen longer. Ditto for space in the refrigerator! Cold water keeps things cold longer, and tastes good when it's 99 degrees outside with 99% humidity!
.........
For me, that is a sort of theorized, learned trick, another reason for all those water bottles in the fridge....and the frozen milk in the freezer.

I inventoried half of my pantry today. Something I have been meaning to do for weeks, before my next major grocery trip. Glad I finally did for there are things in there: beans, croutons, rice, canned fish, etc....that I am stocked to the gills with. I don't need to pick them up this time.

I try to eat my frozen food first more regularly than going for the canned stuff for if something does happen, the frozen stuff's clock starts ticking. Even so, just got done with a lunch of older (brown rice, split green peas, old canned tuna, croutons, parsley flakes, Parmesan, rosemary). Tasted pretty decent at that ........ but if I kick off, it was probably the tuna.

A spice that I find fantastic but haven't had it for years since I don't remember to buy it (mine came from Mom's pantry) is dill weed.

Food for thought........do we feel lacking if our stocks are not completely filled? Do we feel unprepared if the pantry shelves are not stuffed to the gills?

Experiment with your food. I've had parsley flakes for years but never used them. Did today and not too bad, not sure if I tasted them or not. Equally, one might start talking to graduate students to find out how they spice stock their kitchen, especially those who do away studies like in marine biology.

.............need to get a spice rack for the doors........

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; 09-11-2021 at 02:34 PM..
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Old 11-17-2021, 01:43 AM
 
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I am not a good preparer but I do ok for myself. I have something lately that is annoying me. I keep a lot of food in the freezer prepared for cooking. I take it out the night before and cook the next night. Lately I have been having this bad feeling I should be careful not to stock/freeze to much when my power went out a few weeks ago.

I will be getting a food vacuum sealer for when I freeze my food I just don't know what to for when there is no electricity. Keep in mind I live in an apartment so I don't have a garage, backyard or anything I can control outside my living space. Ok canned food is ok. I have no clue how to jar food and I hate jelly type of food. The most I can do is freeze what I have and buy canned soups. But they only last about a year.

I need a simple way to safe up some food for emergencies for at least two years. I can't live on soup to much salt and I should watch all the sugar too.

Am I doomed to just live day by day?
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Old 11-17-2021, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staystill View Post
I am not a good preparer but I do ok for myself. I have something lately that is annoying me. I keep a lot of food in the freezer prepared for cooking. I take it out the night before and cook the next night. Lately I have been having this bad feeling I should be careful not to stock/freeze to much when my power went out a few weeks ago.

I will be getting a food vacuum sealer for when I freeze my food I just don't know what to for when there is no electricity. Keep in mind I live in an apartment so I don't have a garage, backyard or anything I can control outside my living space. Ok canned food is ok. I have no clue how to jar food and I hate jelly type of food. The most I can do is freeze what I have and buy canned soups. But they only last about a year.

I need a simple way to safe up some food for emergencies for at least two years. I can't live on soup to much salt and I should watch all the sugar too.

Am I doomed to just live day by day?
With limited space you need to think "inside the box", in other words, where can you find storage space inside a defined area.

Easy place is under the bed. Actually quite a bit of unused space there, and depending on the kind of bed, you can put small blocks under the legs to increase the space.
Milk crates are stackable and are a great way to make a small pantry inside a closet without sacrificing a lot of space. You can usually get a stack of 4 or 5 crates in a closet corner and have room for a lot of food.

You don't have to live on canned food alone. Dehydrated or freeze dried foods can be very good and maintain nearly all of their nutritional value.
You can buy #10 cans of freeze dried meals or components that last 25 years until opened.
There are of course vegetables, the fruits like dried strawberries and bananas are very nice.
Freeze dried ground beef and chicken can be used in any dish you would use fresh for, (once rehydrated), and dried eggs and butter, while not an exact match for fresh flavor, are still a good food source.
You can even get dried peanut butter powder!

There are meals too. Spaghetti, chili, beef stroganoff and lasagna are some of the basics. Easy to prepare, just add boiling water.

Fresh or frozen foods have the best flavor, canned stuff is nice, but for long term preps its hard to beat the new freeze dried foods, especially since they don't need refrigeration and less storage space, plus the longevity of 25 years.
Also, freeze dried doesn't have the added salt that most canned food does.

Might be the answer to your question.

Grab a couple Mountain House or other backpacker meals to try if you haven't used freeze dried before to see if this is something you could use.

I would grab a couple bottles of hot sauce or soy sauce or whatever you like to vary the flavor to your taste.
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Old 11-17-2021, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Truth may hurt, but it's still true.
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I pretty much mirror MT's advice.

Obviously an urban apt is less ideal, you need different plans than someone surburban or those living rural lives. You won't be "bugging in" in a truly terrible event. Not for long. High rise residents have different issues from garden apts. A "slow burn" event, like many are facing now is different still. It becomes inconvenient, even dangerous, but not to a point of being driven out.

I would continue your frozen foods for convenience. I live in a house, so our freezer holds about a months food for two. We mostly eat fresh food and cycle through the frozen about every 6 months. When we lived in a city we shopped every day or so, but the market was two blocks away. It basically was our pantry, and we mostly ate out.

First thing I think you should do is a risk assessment. What issues may affect you? Will you have water? Will the sewer back up and force you out? Is fire a danger? Another tenant knocking over a candle and burning down a high rise? Uncontrolled crime? Try to estimate how long you might "bug in," vs becoming a refugee. There's no point in storing a year's food if you are forced to evacuate in a week or a month. Then figure out a mobile supply such as you can manage to take. You aren't going to drag a red wagon stacked with MRE's through the city for very far.

There are low or salt free options. Walmart has a few salt free canned veggies. Tuna and meats can be rinsed in fresh water and reduce the salt. Pastas can last quite awhile. We just ate some Trader Joes wheat pasta that was 2 years out of date - it was just fine. But we live in a desert, so rancidity is less an issue than someone in FL.

As MT said, freeze dried is the best long term option. But it is expensive. And requires heat and water. We use old paint buckets, one bucket holds 15 meals. Realistically that is about a weeks survival rations for one. Cost, about $150. You could stack about 4 buckets in a closet and have a months food you don't have to worry about.

We also store canned meat, tuna, kippers, etc.. Most have about 4 year use by dates. We have a half dozen hams that don't expire for 4-5 years, and are possibly safe twice as long. Fruit cocktail and pears are good carb, fast energy, but shorter lifespan. I got a case of peaches last year when our hotels were giving away food due to the lock down. We need to start eating that down.

I would consider what is the max you could stay home under various conditions. Store food for that, and have a bug-out stash for vehicle or foot escape. Obviously a car can carry more - if you can drive it.

We use old steamer trunks for our emergency gear. Two food trunks, a weapons trunk, a camping trunk, a survival trunk with odds and ends. We also have backpacks, and day packs - our go bags. If we must leave we can load our trunks in minutes, if we have no vehicles we can hump our packs a block, until I have a heart attack... If we really gotta go, we can grab our day packs and a rifle, and run! Worse case, I usually have a mini leatherman, switchblade and flashlight in my pocket and can grab my pistol and walking stick on the way out the door if there's time. If you are forced to leave, IMHO weapons take priority over food.

Multiple levels is your goal.

Last edited by jamies; 11-17-2021 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 11-18-2021, 06:14 PM
 
6,272 posts, read 3,419,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staystill View Post
I need a simple way to safe up some food for emergencies for at least two years. I can't live on soup to much salt and I should watch all the sugar too.

Am I doomed to just live day by day?

Much of Italian cooking is made with prepper foods - like polenta (cornmeal), rice and pasta.

Get Marchella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking..

She has recipes for Polenta (corn meal). It's mixed with water and served with butter and parmesan cheese. It's healthy, shelf stable and totally delicious peasant food. About twenty years ago, NYC fancy restaurants began serving polenta. Polenta became the "new" thing and was priced accordingly. LOL!

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/f...polenta-236987

She has a chickpea and tomato soup made from all canned goods - tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken broth, garlic and dried herbs. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/chick...t-it_b_6429696

She has lots of risotto recipes - rice, chicken broth and whatever vegetables you have like celery.

If you have a can of tomatoes, some butter and an onion, you are all set for Marchella Hazan's tomato sauce. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/...s-tomato-sauce

Anther great recipe is tomatoes, mushrooms and anchovies. It doesn't taste fishy. The mushrooms can be canned.

Sicilian Sardine Sauce is made with canned sardines. It's sooo good!

There is always lentil soup and pasta and bean soup (pasta e fagioli).

If I get home late and don't anything in the house, I make spaghetti Aglio e Olio. Heat a 1/2 cup of olive oil, add five chopped garlic. A minute or two later, I add red pepper flakes and mash in a can of anchovies. It's not fishy, but spicy.

I only store food that I eat on a regular basis. I have a lot of chicken, eggs and cheeses. However, if I had to survive on canned/dried food, I can.
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