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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Preparedness and Soup


Just saying the word preparedness makes me feel unprepared. Gets me a little anxious. And maybe that's why I have a sort of haphazard albeit organic approach to preparedness. We began thinking and implementing a storage system of sorts about ten years ago. And guess what? I still feel woefully unprepared in the event of a catastrophic event, even more so after seeing Japan's unfortunate tragedy. Where does one start to being prepared?

We ebb and flow in our planning for the event of an emergency reserving thoughts that no one can ever be completely prepared for an unseen event, believing that God is our ultimate provider. That's how we roll. Yet doing what we can, where we are, with what we have is my motto and guide in our planning.

The purpose to some sort of preparedness recommended by local and federal agencies is for families to be able to provide for at least 72hrs.(I'd double that for good measure)resources such as food, water, etc. to sustain yourselves in an emergency. You may have heard this repeatedly over the years in the media. I agree that the best way to help each other is to do what we possibly can with what resources we can reasonably acquire in order to sustain our families in the event of an emergency thereby giving our local and federal agencies the ability to effectively deliver aid as quickly and efficiently as possible to those more greatly impacted. Good common sense I know, but makes my brain go whirly whirly.

So where to begin? I would begin by researching on line Family Preparedness Guides put out by most state and federal agencies. Then figure out what would be the best in home location for storage. In our case we had virtually zilch storage space. However this prompted us to build a nice sized pantry in our barn. It's insulated and spacious enough for home canning supplies, dehydrator, and storage for winter vegetables in addition to store bought goods. But let me mention we seriously considered using the crawl space under our house as an alternative for the financial savings, and would have done it in a pinch if needed.

The unpleasant aspect of all this storage is the rotation of your supplies. I have made a point over the years of shopping to pick up maybe 2 extra items of canned goods for storage. I'll even use a sharpy to date them before putting them away. But, I am terrible about the rotation of these store bought canned goods into our diets. Because I prefer to cook using fresh ingredients or home preserved bypassing those cans of store bought.

Consequently, I have goods at least 12 years old. Yikes! Oh but I don't like to waste as you might have guessed from my Jiff peanut butter story. Well we have finally polished off the Jiff and because I like you enough to be a guinea pig for your experimental pleasure, I present you with our new trial with this 12year old dehydrated soup. Notice the slightly rusted exterior. Daring souls aren't we?




Guess what? We survived.

The contents were vacuum sealed under the foil lid liner. After giving the can a little (I mean vigorous) shake to loosen it up, I measured out a couple of cups, added water and within minutes dinner was on.




Now it wasn't the fresh cheddar broccoli soup we would have preferred to have but it was tasty enough. The dry milk taste evident but palatable. Overall it was good to taste the food we could possibly have to use if we needed to and so the experiment was worth it. And I like knowing that if our living situation was compromised this soup could be made within minutes. I like that it is available in family size too. And it stored really well for 12 years in the pantry. Way cool.

Jiff peanut butter and Bear Creek soup are keepers. Very long keepers. But don't do like me, rotate your storage. Start a storage. Think about storage.

Are you thinking?

1 comment:

Feminist Farmer's Wife said...

We are still in the process of trying to find the best place for this kind of storage. I started to build one two years ago but hit a snag and it sits unfinished, half buried. Now we're looking into buying an old shipping container and burying it. It'll be sealed, cooled, dry and huge - that's just for our vegetables headed to the market to sell. Anyhoo - I feel like I'll never stop thinking about storage. Hoarders are like that... Nice topic.