Time to Stock Up
Sorry for not posting on my usual Mondays. No internet for days.
Several weeks ago I said that I wouldn't be shopping until inflation settled down a bit. Even though many prices were starting to stabilize, the cost of gas/oil suddenly skyrocketed, putting a stranglehold on shipping and all the industries affected by oil. Hence, prices are now higher than ever.
My spidey sense has been tingling though. It’s like seeing lightning and knowing the thunderstorm isn’t far off. There has been too much saber rattling of late. Not so much from the states, but by many of the US’s allies. If any of them get into trouble with the bullies of the world, we have an obligation to help.
If you think prices are high now wait until there’s another world war. All it would take is for someone to take a step too far.
To that end, I’ve decided to start buying a few things I’d hate to live without—or can’t grow easily in Texas heat.
I’m going to tell you what I’m stocking, but your
circumstances may be different. Run a checklist on your pantry and supply closet. What are the things you would hate to run out of if they became unavailable? Put those first on your list.
Garden: I’ve already stocked up on seeds. I got caught with my pants down early in the pandemic and my favorite seed companies sold out before I could reorder. Not this time. I got everything but onion seed—which is best bought fresh.
Supplies: I’m also well stocked with oil, alcohol, alcohol wipes, and hydrogen peroxide. None of these items are anything I can produce here. They were also in staggeringly short supply during the pandemic.
My other concern came up recently. When my immersion blender stopped working suddenly, I panicked. It’s the only way for me to emulsify food for Jammy, my disabled cat.
I have a quality grinder—for which I paid big bucks, but it’s electric. I have to find an old fashioned food mill. It still might not emulsify as much as required, but I might be able to mash the meat into puree with enough liquid.
Why a manual food mill? Because many times we are without power for one reason or another. I can’t tell Jammy to wait a couple of days until the power’s back, can I? He’s a cat. He would be rightly miffed. And he’s not a quiet cat when he’s miffed. MEOW!
Food: This is where I’m going to mix things up this time. Generally I’m all about stocking cans or freezer food, but this time I’m adding commercially dehydrated food.
The reasons are two-fold. Dehydrated food takes up less room. Also, because we’re older and not prone to polishing off a whole bag of potatoes or a pound of cheese in a sitting, dried foods will patiently wait until we’re ready to use more.
Dehydrated Meals: If you’ve gone camping, you may have already tried some dehydrated meals. They’re not bad.
I’m going more for specific ingredients to supplement what I already have. But you can buy the whole meal if it suits you. Just add water and heat.
I would choose companies that produce and process food in the US or Canada. Don’t get cheap and get the off-world stuff. You’ll notice it in the taste and texture.
That said, you’re better off buying some foods in bulk rather than through companies that sell dehydrated food.
Such food would be flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk, oatmeal, dried beans, and rice/pasta. All of these foods can be bought in bulk and repackaged to the amounts that suit your needs. If you’re storing them for long term, do yourself a favor and invest in a vacuum sealer. There are many brands out there, but I’ve always liked and bought FoodSaver.
I still have powdered milk that I vacuumed sealed seven years ago. I use it now with no difference in flavor. Note: powdered milk will never taste as good as fresh milk, but it’s indistinguishable in baked goods.
When I make my list, I always take into account what I would miss most if it was unavailable, un-growable, or too expensive.
I can grow a lot of vegetables, but I have to plant during the sweet spot between the hot temperatures of north Texas and the one month of bitter cold in February.
I would hate to be without tomatoes, onions, potatoes, cheese, and oil. That’s my starting point.
And don’t forget textured vegetable protein (TVP). It’s good even if it looks weird and it’s a great substitute for meat whether you’re a carnivore or vegan.
How about you? What food would you hate to live without?
PS. Keep some water stored too.