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I have firsthand info on this, so be forewarned. There is a pumpkin shortage looming.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/11/19/libbys-pumpkin-shortage-stymies-thanksgiving-tradition/

Some of the grocery stores in Hot Springs already have bare spots where the canned pumpkin used to be, with signs saying there will be no more available until next harvest.

If you have not yet stocked up on canned pumpkin and you use it even semi-regularly, this would be a good time to put it back if it’s still available in your area!

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I was thinking recently that if it came down to it, we could survive on one meal a day for one year – if we HAD to.

So…I sat down with a legal pad and my recipe file and made a list of 30 meals that could be eaten each month, then calculated the the amount of ingredients needed.

Please keep in mind this is ONLY a general idea – it could be supplemented with fresh garden produce, eggs from your chickens, fresh meat, etc.   It also assumes you keep regular supplies in your pantry (such as sugar, flour, spices, baking powder/soda, etc).

This is just a starting point.  I hope it will give you some ideas!

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(Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist – I am a mom. The following list is a STARTING POINT and would need to be supplemented with food from a garden and also hunting. This is only given as an example and is not intended to be anything stated or implied other than a springboard for ideas. Nutrition information was not calculated. This was an example for a family of three.)
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Food for one year – one meal per day

1)  Chicken Alfredo 12 jars alfredo sauce

12 pkgs fettucine noodles

12 cans chicken

2)  Breakfast (biscuits:  flour, sugar, baking powder, shortening, salt, milk) 12 pkgs bacon
3)  Tacos (lettuce, cheese, taco sauce) 12 pkgs hamb meat

12 pkgs taco seasoning

12 pkgs taco shells

4)  Chicken Enchiladas (sour cream, cheese, milk) 12 cans cream of chicken soup

12 jars enchilada sauce
12 cans chicken
12 pkgs flour tortillas

5)  Chicken & Dumplings (biscuit mix or homemade) 12 cans chicken

24 cans chicken broth (or ckn base)

6)  SPAM / Mac & Cheese / Veggies 12 cans SPAM

12 pkgs mac & cheese

12 cans green beans (or other veggies)

7)  Beef Stew (rice) 12 cans carrots

12 cans potatoes

12 cans beef

8)  Bean Burritos (cheese or cheese sauce) 12 pkgs flour tortillas

12 cans refried beans

9)  Spaghetti (hamb optional /Parmesan cheese) 12 jars spaghetti sauce

12 pkgs spaghetti noodles

10)  Canned Ham / Rice / Veggies 12 cans ham

12 cans corn (or other)

11)  Red Beans & Rice (rice, dried beans, seasoning, cornbread mix/milk/eggs) 12 pkgs kielbasa

24 pkgs cornbread mix

12)  Meatballs w/Mushroom Gravy / Mashed Potatoes (flakes) / Lima Beans (dried) 12 pkgs hamb meat

12 cans cream of mushroom soup

13)  Hamburgers / Nachos (chips, pickles, homemade bread) 12 pkgs hamb meat

12 cans cheese sauce

12 cans rotel

14)  Chicken Spaghetti 12 cans chicken

12 pkgs spaghetti noodles

12 cans cream of chicken soup

12 cans cream of mushroom soup

12 cans cheese sauce

12 cans chicken broth

15)  Chili Macaroni (spices, dried beans) 12 pkgs hamb meat

12 pkgs macaroni pasta

12 cans tomatoes or sauce

16)  Chili Dogs (homemade bread) 12 pkgs hot dogs

12 cans chili

17)  Potato Soup (potato flakes, bullion cubes/ckn base/OR broth, cheese, powdered milk) 12 cans cheese sauce

24 cans chicken broth (?)

18)  SPAM, Mac & cheese, Veggies 12 cans SPAM

12 pkgs macaroni & cheese

12 cans green beans (or dried beans)

19)  Putanesca (parmesan cheese) 12 cans Putanesca

12 pkgs spaghetti noodles

20)  Gnocchi (potato flakes, powdered milk, eggs) 12 jars sauce (spaghetti/alfredo)
21)  Fried Rice (rice, soy sauce, spices veggies) 12 cans/jars meat (chicken, SPAM, etc)
22)  Pancakes & Sausage (syrup, flour, eggs, baking powder) 12 sausage chubs
23)  Chili (spices, rice, dried beans) 24 pkgs hamb meat

24 cans diced tomatoes OR sauce

24)  Chicken Pot Pie (biscuit mix or homemade, ckn broth or base, powdered milk, spices) 12 cans chicken

12 large cans mixed veggies

25)  PB&J  Sandwiches, hummus (dried chickpeas / homemade bread) Peanut butter

Jelly

26)  Hearty Beef & Beans (dried pinto beans, biscuits) 12 pkgs hamb meat

12 cans tomato sauce

12 cans vegetables

27)  Homemade Soup (dried beans, asst canned veggies, cornbread) 24 pkgs cornbread mix (or meal)

12 cans tomato juice

12 pkgs hamb meat (optional)

28)  Oatmeal
29)  Grits
30)  SOS (homemade bread, powdered milk) 12 pkgs hamb meat

Shopping/pantry list:

60 – Chicken breast
24 – Cream of chicken soup
24 – Cream of mushroom soup
at least 36 (or equivalent) – Cheese sauce
24 to 36 – SPAM
48 – Tomato sauce
88 to 100 – Hamburger meat
12 – Tomato juice
48 pkgs – Cornbread mix (or make from scratch)
6 – Peanut Butter
6 – Jelly
12 – Large cans mixed vegetables
12 – Sausage chubs
24 – Spaghetti sauce
36 – Spaghetti noodles
12 – Alfredo sauce
12 – canned beef
12 – kielbasa or beef smoked sausage
12 – Fettucine noodles
12 jars – Putanesca
12 to 24 – Rotel
24 (minimum) cans – Green beans
24 (minimum) cans – Corn
60 cans – Chicken broth (OR use bullion OR chicken base)
12 – Hot dogs
12 – Canned chili
12 – Canned ham
12 – Refried beans
24 – Flour tortillas (or make homemade)
12 – Bacon
18 – Enchilada sauce
12 – Taco seasoning
12 – Taco shells (or make homemade flour tortillas)
12 – Parmesan Cheese
12 – Macaroni noodles
24 – Macaroni & cheese (packaged)
12 to 24 – carrots (canned)
12 to 24 – potatoes (canned)

Basics onhand:

Spices (basil, oregano, chili powder, paprika, cumin, Cavender’s, etc)
Flour
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Salt
Sugar
Shortening
Powdered Milk
Dried beans
Rice
Potato Flakes

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We have been blessed to overflowing with cucumbers this year.  I don’t know if the wet/mild summer is the reason, or if the Good Lord just saw fit to teach me how to make pickles.  😀

I’ve made pickles 4 times so far – two batches of bread & butter, 2 batches of dill.  I can’t say which is my favorite yet.  I’ve eaten a jar of both almost by myself!

The dill pickles I’ve been making are fabulous.  I found the recipe on RecipeZaar:  Blue Ribbon Dill Pickles .

Changes I made to the recipe:  I put a healthy dash of pickling spice in each wide mouth jar along with minced garlic (from a jar), dried dill weed and dried dill seed.

I also kept the brine boiling and filled jars, then put them in the canner as I went.  I followed directions listed on the website the first time and the jars didn’t seal as well (I suspect because the brine had cooled off too much).  Keeping the brine boiling worked much better for me.

Now…where’s my jar of pickles?  🙂

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Er…in my case, rice, rice everywhere and none to cook with!

I learned a valuable food storage lesson recently.  I normally keep a quart jar of long grain white rice in my pantry so there’s not a huge bag open at one time.  I had already put most of the 50 pound bags we’d purchased into mylar and buckets.

Hence, the problem.

When I ran out of rice in the pantry, I quickly realized I had two options:  open a brand new 5o pound bag of rice or break into my long term food storage buckets.

Needless to say, I opened a 50 pound bag and spent the next half hour breaking it down into bags to vacuum seal.  This time, I did smaller bags of 4 to 5 pounds per bag.  Major “duh” moment on my part for not thinking of this sooner.  Since we are using/rotating most of our food storage, it just makes sense to have smaller amounts more accessible.

Lesson learned!

Don’t put all of your food storage into mylar and buckets!  There is such a thing as “long term” food storage, and then food that will be rotated more quickly.   I knew this already, but putting it into practice is another thing entirely.  🙂

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This should be part of every family’s emergency plans – food ready to go at a moment’s notice along with all of your other provisions (you do have a bag with a change of clothes and a toothbrush at the very least, right?  😀 ).

If you have to evacuate your home in a hurry, it pays to have an assortment of food storage in a bucket or two so you can literally “grab and go” without trying to decide what to take with you.

I took two of the orange “homer buckets” and divided up a variety of foods between them.  I don’t know how long this food will last for our family, but I can say with some confidence that it is at *least* a weeks’ worth, probably longer if we had to stretch it.  I’m using this only as an example – what you store in yours may be totally different.

(I also put a list in the top of each bucket in addition to listing on the outside for easy reference later – also make a note of rotation date, such as “rotate by 12/2010”.)

In bucket number one, we have the following:

Emergency bucket #1

(2) pkgs lima beans – dry (all pkgs vacuum sealed unless otherwise noted)
(1) large pkg pinto beans (dry)
5# bag white flour
4# bag white sugar
box of matches
powdered milk (probably 3 cups or so)
1# box baking soda
1/2 box instant potatoes (with instructions cut off of the box and included in pkg)
1 can vegetable shortening (inside a gallon ziploc bag)
1 large pkg popcorn kernels
1 pkg macaroni and cheese (removed from box, cheese packet vacuum sealed along with macaroni)

In bucket #2:
emergency bucket #2

Vacuum sealed packet of dried onion / packet of chili powder
3 – pkgs macaroni and cheese
6 – pkgs ramen noodles
1# yeast
10 oz baking powder
1# salt
pepper
2 – DAK hams
1 – can tamales
2 – cans chili w/beans
1 – can rotel tomatoes
2 – 6oz cans tomato paste
4 – cans Spam
1 – LARGE bag of long grain white rice
1 – pkg of dehydrated mixed vegetables from a #10 can

From both of these buckets, you could make almost endless combinations of meals – everything from beans and rice, vegetable soup to bread, pancakes, biscuits, etc.

Hope this inspires you to get some “grab & go” food together for your family as well!  😀

UPDATE 4/12/09:  I also added 2 – 12.5 oz cans chicken breast and a ziploc bag of restaurant ketchup packets to the buckets.  There was a little bit of room left, and I wanted to make the most of it.   I’m estimating we could have at least one substantial meal a day for nearly two weeks from the contents of these two buckets.

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I’ve seen this question in various places on the internet, and thought I’d put my 2 cents’ worth in on the subject.

First – let’s talk about the bucket. If your bucket was previously used for food (icing from a bakery, pickles, etc.), then wash the bucket thoroughly, maybe even put some bleach in it and then let it air out for a couple of days to get any residual smell out.

If your bucket previously contained chemicals, DO NOT USE IT FOR FOOD STORAGE.

There is some debate on whether or not the orange “homer buckets” from Home Depot are suitable. Please note this is just MY opinion – everyone has to decide for themselves on this matter. I use metallized Mylar liners in any buckets we use for food storage, so the bucket is really there just to protect the liner – food never comes into direct contact with the bucket this way. Home Depot has stated the homer buckets are not food safe, but some people say the manufacturer said they are, but the dye used in the buckets is not. For myself, using a mylar liner, I don’t have a problem using the orange Home Depot buckets. That’s just me though.

Now – the liner. I think it’s necessary because buckets in and of themselves are NOT air-tight. With the mylar liners, you can choose to put in a few oxygen absorbers if you’d like. I personally do not use the oxygen absorbers along with my liners.  I think to an extent, the food storage people are having a field day selling supplies to folks. Again, this is another area everybody has to decide for themselves.  I buy liners from www.beprepared.com

From my own experience, a 5 gallon bucket will hold approximately 30 to 35 pounds of long grain rice, sugar, beans, etc.

An addendum to this:  I was browsing yesterday and ran across http://sevenunits.blogspot.com/2008/03/basic-food-storage-on-budget.html

The info on their site says that a 5 gallon bucket will hold 80 cups of whatever you are storing (by volume – not weight).   Their recommendation is to store (5) 5 gallon buckets per person of rice, flour, and beans annually.   When you tell someone to store a year’s worth of food, it’s sometimes hard to visualize.  This will give you a better idea of a starting point.

I have also read about some people putting more than one item into a bucket, and there is some wisdom in doing this.  You could choose to vacuum seal packages of flour, sugar, beans, rice, salt, seasonings, some canned goods, etc. and put into the mylar bag, then seal for some extra protection.  That way you can grab a bucket and know you have enough to make a complete meal from one pail.  This would also be helpful if you need to give a bucket of supplies to family, friends, or neighbors (or if you have to evacuate in an emergency – you can literally “grab and go”).

The important thing is to actually START on your food storage.  Make it a priority for yourself and your family.  IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. Hard times are coming, and you may need to rely on your food storage.  Since I started this blog last fall, things have continued to go downhill – they will not get better anytime soon.  Sorry – not trying to be “doom and gloom”, just a realist.   Farmers have been unable to get loans to plant crops, there are droughts occurring on the west coast, and a large percentage of our food supply is being shipped in from overseas.

Getcher buckets ready, folks!

UPDATE 4/8/09:  Be sure to check another post I made on this subject – having “Grab and Go” buckets ready for an emergency (includes pictures!):  https://arksoaper.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/emergency-buckets-grab-go-food/

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If you are a Christian, the Bible has a great deal to say about preparedness.  We believe the Lord will provide for and take care of us, no matter what life brings, but He does expect us to do what we are able.

We have an abundance of squirrels, and enjoy watching them play and also gather acorns for the coming winter.  The Bible talks about ants and how they prepare:

Go to the ant, O sluggard,
Observe her ways and be wise,
Which, having no chief,
Officer or ruler,
Prepares her food in the summer
And gathers her provision in the harvest.
How long will you lie down, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
A little folding of the hands to rest”–
Your poverty will come in like a vagabond
And your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:6-11)

and also:

The ants are not a strong people,
But they prepare their food in the summer. (Proverbs 30:25)
(The previous verse talks about them being small on the earth, but exceedingly wise.)

The Bible also has a lot to say about “worrying”.  This is not to be confused with “preparedness”.  The words “fear not” appear over 60 times in the KJV of the Bible.  We walk by faith that the Lord is in control, and we also use what the Lord has blessed us with to take care of ourselves and family.

In Genesis 41, the Bible records that Joseph put back seven years’ worth of food in Egypt.  They were given seven good years in which they put back enough to withstand the coming shortage.  All of the nations came to Egypt for food because the famine was so severe.  During the seven years of plenty the land brought forth abundantly.

So he gathered all the food of these seven years which occurred in the land of Egypt and placed the food in the cities; he placed in every city the food from its own surrounding fields.

Thus Joseph stored up grain in great abundance like the sand of the sea, until he stopped measuring it, for it was beyond measure. (Genesis 41:47-49)

and:

When the seven years of plenty which had been in the land of Egypt came to an end,

and the seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said, then there was famine in all the lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, you shall do.”

When the famine was spread over all the face of the earth, then Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold to the Egyptians; and the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.

The people of all the earth came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the earth. (Genesis 41:53-57)

There are biblical principles of “feast and famine”.

Fast forward to 2009 A.D.   We have just come through a period of prosperity, and are on the brink of sliding down an economic abyss.

The Bible says that in the end of days … “nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.”   Matthew 24:7

also:

“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” Matthew 24:11-12

so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:33

If you don’t believe we are nearing the end of days, ponder this.  For thousands of years, things were basically the same.  People farmed their land for food, used animals for transportation.  We entered the year 1900 on horse and buggy, and zoomed out into the year 2000 with high speed internet.  Knowledge has increased DRAMATICALLY in the last 100 years, and continues to increase at a phenomenal pace even now.  I heard a scientist on tv the other day say that their knowledge of things is increasing at a rate that is astounding even them.  This was prophesied by Daniel:

“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”  Daniel 12:4

Every generation believed theirs would be the one to see Christ return.  Generations from now may be saying the same thing, but I implore you to consider, we are closer now than we have ever been.

2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promises, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”

In Revelation 6, the Bible describes the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  The 3rd seal which is broken is famine:   “And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.” (verse 6)

A denarius was equal to a day’s wages.  (Inflation at least 10 times normal.)  Can you imagine working ALL DAY for a QUART of wheat?

Many economists are predicting hyper-inflation is coming within the next few years.  While we cannot prepare for all circumstances, you can do what you are able.  Prepare your house spiritually first – do you know Jesus?  If your answer is “yes”, then prepare your physical house for hard times.

Jesus stands at the door and knocks.  Will you hear Him?

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Scripture quoted from the NASB or KJV Bible.

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