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Discussion Starter #1
The last three weeks we have started a new family tradition - Food Storage Meals!

The kids take turns, and every Friday we either make an entire breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert from only what we have in our food preps (including the garden which is... almost nothing at this point...). We pick one random ingredient that we have to use, to help us get creative with using everything. Here are the results so far:

Week One: Pinto Beans/Dinner
We made pinto bean applesauce muffins, not too bad actually. We also made potato flake mashed potatoes and canned green beans to go along with it. No one complained. Success!

Week Two: Onions/Lunch
We simply added dried onion flakes to our spaghetti and marinara sauce. They didn't love it. I think we were a little too liberal with the onion flakes. Oops. That's why we practice now, right?

Week Three: Rice Cakes/Dessert
This was tonight's and it was the most fun one we have done so far. Rice cakes, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Microwave for 15 seconds. Quick, delicious and totally a morale booster if we need one. I think our solar generator can power the microwave to make these in a grid down situation. Otherwise, we all know how to make Smores the good old fashioned way.

Benefits of this new tradition...
- I love that the kids are getting familiar with our food storage items, learning how to prepare them and enjoying them now, so it won't be unfamiliar if that's all we have to eat.
- I worry that we won't rotate our food stores fast enough if I'm not consciously thinking about it. This reminds me to use all of our ingredients regularly.
- This helps me think about how I am going to prepare family favorites in a grid down situation, which will make cooking less stressful in the long run.
- I'm also learning where our food storage holes are.

This week was the perfect example... Should we store marshmallows? I mean... we love them... but they aren't necessary. Then when trying to think of a creative way to use rice cakes, we realized marshmallows was the easiest thing to have on hand. Case closed. We now store marshmallows. :vs_box: Maybe not as important as rice and beans, but let's be honest... I'd probably regret it if I didn't buy them and they suddenly became unavailable. Morale probably needs to be a little higher on our priority list with small children.
 

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Anytime you actively use your preps in a fashion that you would if you had no other choice, you learn invaluable lessons. Too many people put food, water, batteries, fuel, etc away and never use them in actual practice. Murphy’s law is just waiting to put a crimp in your plans. There are often details in the use and application of your preparations that don’t show themselves until you actually use them.
As far as storing marshmallows… you might want to try dry-canning them. They have a tendency to degrade quickly in heat, moisture or exposure to the air. On the other side, getting enough calories is a constant challenge in a stored SHTF diet. A couple s’mores added to a daily intake of beans and rice might not be a bad thing.
 

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The last three weeks we have started a new family tradition - Food Storage Meals!

The kids take turns, and every Friday we either make an entire breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert from only what we have in our food preps (including the garden which is... almost nothing at this point...). We pick one random ingredient that we have to use, to help us get creative with using everything. Here are the results so far:

Week One: Pinto Beans/Dinner
We made pinto bean applesauce muffins, not too bad actually. We also made potato flake mashed potatoes and canned green beans to go along with it. No one complained. Success!

Week Two: Onions/Lunch
We simply added dried onion flakes to our spaghetti and marinara sauce. They didn't love it. I think we were a little too liberal with the onion flakes. Oops. That's why we practice now, right?

Week Three: Rice Cakes/Dessert
This was tonight's and it was the most fun one we have done so far. Rice cakes, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Microwave for 15 seconds. Quick, delicious and totally a morale booster if we need one. I think our solar generator can power the microwave to make these in a grid down situation. Otherwise, we all know how to make Smores the good old fashioned way.

Benefits of this new tradition...
- I love that the kids are getting familiar with our food storage items, learning how to prepare them and enjoying them now, so it won't be unfamiliar if that's all we have to eat.
- I worry that we won't rotate our food stores fast enough if I'm not consciously thinking about it. This reminds me to use all of our ingredients regularly.
- This helps me think about how I am going to prepare family favorites in a grid down situation, which will make cooking less stressful in the long run.
- I'm also learning where our food storage holes are.

This week was the perfect example... Should we store marshmallows? I mean... we love them... but they aren't necessary. Then when trying to think of a creative way to use rice cakes, we realized marshmallows was the easiest thing to have on hand. Case closed. We now store marshmallows. :vs_box: Maybe not as important as rice and beans, but let's be honest... I'd probably regret it if I didn't buy them and they suddenly became unavailable. Morale probably needs to be a little higher on our priority list with small children.
You can also learn to make your own marshmallows. I've not tried it yet, but seems simple enough.

https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/how-to-plant-and-grow-bamboo-zmaz00aszgoe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd have to store more ingredients to make vegan marshmallows (or regular marshmallows) than what I'm currently storing. Maybe one day I'll think about it... but right now I'm fine just buying them on sale. :)
 

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I'd have to store more ingredients to make vegan marshmallows (or regular marshmallows) than what I'm currently storing. Maybe one day I'll think about it... but right now I'm fine just buying them on sale. :)
They're not easy to find!! Almost all have gelatin in them - which we know are animal hooves.

Peace,
Michael J.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They're not easy to find!! Almost all have gelatin in them - which we know are animal hooves.

Peace,
Michael J.
No they aren't! We use the Dandy's brand and our local discount grocer gets them in regularly for really cheap. So I can stock up whenever they get a shipment. :tango_face_smile:
 

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We do the same thing in the winter. Really looking forward to sweet and sour spamballs over rice, it's a real favorite here. Summertime we don't do it because we do a lot of fishing and camping and that lets us rotate through canned goods easily without having to set aside a day for it.
 

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Week Four: Black Beans/Breakfast
This one was a good test for us because we aren't a beans-for-breakfast kind of family. But... beans are viable for every meal in an end of the world situation, yes? So, we decided to make a black beans and brown rice recipe we found for the instant pot. Used some mild salsa and canned tomatoes with it and seasoned it nicely. We took the two summer squashes (yes... we only got two this year...) we produced from our garden and lightly steamed those to mix in. I was really worried about this meal. It didn't look particularly yummy, it was outside of my kids' comfort zone and my kids hate anything remotely even mildly spicy. But to my great surprise, everyone liked it! We decided that it was actually really good!! The squashes added a nice little crunch since I didn't cook them too long, and everyone had nice full bellies. Success!

Last week was insane for us, but our random number generator picked dessert, so we are combining that with the dinner for today. Worked out nicely. Will post the results later after dinner.
 
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