Dear Neighbor,

Today we will begin your food preparation list. This will result in food to stock on your shelves, use and replace. It all begins with meal planning. Without planning you will either end up with food your family doesn’t enjoy or a hodge -podge of food that you have no idea what to do with, much like a closet full of clothes with “nothing to wear.”

I find that most families eat the same 14 things for dinner (or even less) and even fewer variety for breakfast and lunch. Since we will store, use and replace, this must be food you actually want to eat, now, not just in the event of a crisis.  The goal is one month of the recipes in your journal.

When choosing these recipes, make sure some of them do not need fresh meat. In the case of an electric shortage, due to weather, etc. your frozen foods wouldn’t last very long. Plan pasta or bean dishes, meals with canned meats, eggs (if you plan to have chickens) or meat free meals.

Also, add a few meals that don’t need heat. Unless you have a backup to whatever currently heats your food, you might have to eat cold food. That could include boxed cereals, canned fruits, canned meats, etc.

Once you have chosen your recipes, get them into your Homestead Journal, in sheet protectors. You may know these recipes by heart, but you need them written out to gather your grocery list and  remember what you bought all that food for!

Think of meals that contain:
Casseroles created from creamed soup. (cream of mushroom, broccoli, chicken, etc.) Rice and pasta can be stored for years and creamed soup is a great staple for casserole building.
Sandwich meals- peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, tunafish, egg salad, chicken salad.
Spaghetti casseroles or dishes. Spaghetti sauce is so flexible and with noodles and anything else you can find in your home, fresh from your garden or not, it makes a filling and satisfying meal.
Pancakes, waffles and anything made with biscuit mix. I do not use store bought mix, but make my own. It doesn’t have nasty chemicals and it is so flexible. I will share my recipe in the Forum.
Tortillas to make burritos or wraps. What can’t go inside a tortilla? They put everything into a wrap these days. Refried beans are a wonderful protein and very filling.

Cold cereal, oatmeal and other hot cereals- powder milk is not drinkable but for cereal, can be used hot or cold.

Soups and stews. Keep beef and chicken broth in mind for meatless meals.
Egg dishes. Even if you do not have fresh eggs, eggs keep pretty long and should you always have 4 dozen in your fridge, you can eat like a king. Crepes, omletts, boiled and fried make great dishes.
If your family likes protein shakes, these are excellent storable meals. Make sure to notice the shelf life of the powder or prepared mixes. For snacks, energy bars make excellent sustainable choices for storable foods.

Next we will work on your Pantry Inventory List. This will be easy because you will have everything thought out and planned.

Happy homesteading, S