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Calculated Preparedness

In a previous blog post I gave you a brief overlook of what our food stores look like. Many of you responded to my post wanting to know more and it made me realize there is a great need for us all to share how we become prepared. I can’t stress enough the first step to preparedness is knowledge. Find someone who is already partaking in the ancient craft or storing larder and become an apprentice. Start simple, learn to cook, make bread from scratch and can jam. Don’t feel the need to learn everything in a year, becoming prepared is a gradual process that never ends. Every year I learn a few new techniques and recipes to add to my collection.

Now to jump in to how I plan for my family. A good rule of thumb in our household is to keep 6 months worth of food on hand. For our family of five that looks like: 100# of rice, flour, and dry beans, 30 jars each of tomatoes, fruit and green beans/peas, a cold frame in the winter of fresh greens, a half of pig and a quarter beef cow in the freezer. I also have another hundred pounds of assorted meats pressure canned. This is an incredible way to create a quick meal for our family and also guarantees that we have an adequate protein source in the event of a long stayed power outage.

Learning to pressure can is an invaluable skill. Although water bath canning is also important it only preserves high acid foods like jam and pickles which I consider to be more of a luxury than an essential. Pressure canning allows you to preserve low acid food (you must use a specific pressure canner) in water and salt. This process allows you to store things like, carrots, squash, potatoes, peas and meats along with “ready made” meals like soups and casseroles. These meals I mentioned are a huge help for our extra busy nights I can simply prepare a pie crust and dump a jar of my pot pie filling in and bake! Delicious, nutritious and extremely convenient.