Old Fashioned On Purpose

65. What's In My Everyday Preparedness Pantry

January 06, 2020
Old Fashioned On Purpose
65. What's In My Everyday Preparedness Pantry
Chapters
Old Fashioned On Purpose
65. What's In My Everyday Preparedness Pantry
Jan 06, 2020
Jill Winger

When it comes to homesteading, one of the most overlooked essentials is a well-stocked pantry.  Whether it’s an unexpected road closure, a blizzard, or a few additional guests, planning for the unexpected is sure to save you time and stress.  On today’s episode, I walk you through the absolute must-haves from my very own pantry.  Learn why to buy meat in bulk, what fats I always keep on hand, and so much more. 


• To begin this homesteading journey, head to http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/grow to access my full library of resources to guide you down the path.

Show Notes Transcript

When it comes to homesteading, one of the most overlooked essentials is a well-stocked pantry.  Whether it’s an unexpected road closure, a blizzard, or a few additional guests, planning for the unexpected is sure to save you time and stress.  On today’s episode, I walk you through the absolute must-haves from my very own pantry.  Learn why to buy meat in bulk, what fats I always keep on hand, and so much more. 


• To begin this homesteading journey, head to http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/grow to access my full library of resources to guide you down the path.

Speaker 1:
0:00
Welcome to the old fashioned on purpose podcast. Every once in awhile I'll accidentally end up at the grocery store right before a big snow storm is predicted to hit. Now I say accidentally because stocking up for a storm is actually something I never really do, which may surprise you. But basically we always have a generous supply of nonperishable food at home and so we're pretty much ready for whatever emergency or life events that might be thrown our way. Now case in point, we had a huge blizzard last week. The roads were closed, we had extra company at our house. Um, and we didn't go anywhere for a good couple of days. But even with all of that, I didn't have to go stock up at the grocery store ahead of time cause I had plenty to keep us rolling. So I've had a couple of you as you watched us go through this blizzard experience on social media, ask what I keep in my pantry for times like those.
Speaker 1:
1:07
And so I wanted to dive in to my every day preparedness pantry and hopefully give you a little bit of inspiration in the process. I'm your host Jill winger. And for the last 10 years I've been helping people just like you who feel uninspired by modern life. I'll help you create the life you really want by learning how to grow your own food and master old fashioned skills. So before we get started with us, I just want to clarify, this is not necessarily zombie apocalypse preparation. We do have some longterm food storage. Uh, this is more like everyday emergency, uh, food storage. Okay. So, and I, I'm not the blogger or the home center who has a ton of like survival stuff. I don't have, I just don't talk about that a lot. It's not something that we are super big into. Honestly, whenever Christian and I get into a discussion about survival, we're always like, let's stock up.
Speaker 1:
2:09
And then we're like, you know what, we probably won't, even if something like horrible happened, like the ultimate apocalyptic event, we probably wouldn't even stay where we are. We'd probably end up heading for the Hills. So we're kind of like in this weird limbo of, do we have a ton of food storage? Do we keep more mobile? Uh, anyway, that's beside the point. But this is not a discussion of the ultimate zombie apocalypse survival pantry. I'm talking more like what I keep on hand for blizzards and road closures and unexpected company and honestly just when I don't want to go to the store for a couple of weeks because that's kind of always the mood I'm in to not go to town. And so this is what I have just perpetually in our freezers and our pantry and the fridge and it gives me the ability to cook pretty much most of the things on our normal food rotation without any issue.
Speaker 1:
3:03
And honestly, this is the food. These basics are the ingredients I use. When I wrote the prey homestead cookbook and at the, um, most fun compliment I've received from that cookbook is when people say, I love the recipes because it's using ingredients I always have in my pantry. And I'm like, yes, that was the goal because honestly that's just how I cook. Um, I have a repertoire of ingredients and honestly if a recipe calls for something a little too exotic, I don't even go to the store and get it. I just don't make the recipe. So this is just how I cook and it serves us well and it ensures that I do not have to run to the grocery store, uh, before a blizzard because that is just not how we roll. Now that being said, I might run out of things like avocados and bananas because those don't keep very well.
Speaker 1:
3:54
Or maybe we might run out of something like milk if we don't have an animal who is currently producing but you know, go quite awhile. Otherwise. Now before I go into my list, I wanted to talk a little bit about mentality because I'm kind of passionate about this as a little bit of a soapbox for me because even if you live smack in the middle of the city, the number one thing you can do to adopt more of the homestead mentality if that's something you're drawn to, is to opt out of the idea that someone else will take care of me. And I see that happening at mindset's very pervasive. I see it very much present with a lot of city folks. Now, I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm not saying this to be judgemental, but um, sometimes it surprises me a little bit.
Speaker 1:
4:47
Our neighborhood and I use that term loosely, which cause it's like a 20 mile radius of anyone who lives in that bubble of us but are near us. But you know, obviously rural minded people and it's just a different mindset. So I, I'm used to the mindset where uh, snow removal is on us, right? You get stuck, you figure out how to get yourself out or you find a neighbor to help you. Um, and we always have a lot of food on hand. If there is a creditor attacking the chickens, we take care of it. We don't call animal control. Um, well, you know, it's all on us. Even even small emergencies we do, we can call nine one one. There are ambulances sort of in the area ish. But you know, if you, if your pastor catches on fire, the first thing you do is see if you can deal with it yourself and call the neighbors.
Speaker 1:
5:38
And then you call nine one one. Um, just because it can take nine one, one a long time to get here. So there's just more of this natural mindset of being self sufficient. So when I, when I go to town and we hang out with people, um, who have, you know, who are more entrenched in the city mindset. Again, I'm not saying this to be like pointing fingers or judgemental, but it's, there's a difference and I want you guys to, to acknowledge or to see this and to identify this. Um, but in the city, a lot of times there's, people are just used to it. This idea of I will be taken care of, right? Um, if my car, if I can't get out of my driveway, then I'm just waiting for someone to dig me out or I don't have enough food. So I'm waiting for the truck to bring it to Walmart so I can go get a banana and a roll of toilet paper and I'll just go back and get it tomorrow and I'll just go back and get it tomorrow.
Speaker 1:
6:29
And instead of, you know, taking some of that control back and being a little more self sufficient, um, and taking more charge now for, for me, I know I'm not in control of everything and I never will be and there are still people in systems that we depend on, but having the mindset of self-sufficiency and knowing that Christian and I can get a lot done and do a whole lot of problem solving on our own and we don't have to be reliant on systems and snowplows necessarily all the time. Like that's very freeing and very reassuring. So, um, all that to say you can adopt this mindset. I don't care where you live, you can be living in an apartment and you can still take charge of your health care. You can take charge of some of your food supply. Maybe not all, but some of it.
Speaker 1:
7:22
Um, and just be more aware, even if you do have the snow removal and the trash pickup, you'll be better off if you just have a more independent mindset. Even if an emergency never happens, you'll still be better off and be a little more competent too. So that's my little soapbox. Um, I will jump off of that and let's talk about practical pantry stuff. This is what I have on hand all the time, usually in quantity and I'm, it gives me a really strong foundation to make pretty much everything we need with some exceptions of course. So the big one is beef. We have beef, a lot of beef in the freezer. We buy our beef in bulk. I recommend it. Everybody buy beef in bulk because it's cheaper and you can usually get it from better sources, it, you know, and get it in bulk versus buying a package of hamburger every time you go to the grocery store.
Speaker 1:
8:22
Because we raise our own beef, we have all the cuts. But honestly, if you just have some roasts and some burger and a couple of steaks, uh, on a mission, say a couple, cause if you're buying beef in bulk, it'll be more than a couple. But simple state cuts, simple roast cuts and simple burger will take you a very long way in as long as you have quantity of those so you're not having to get it at the store every day. You'll be way ahead. And beef we use as a basis for a lot. You know, you throw some pasta in a skillet with some tomato sauce and some spices and some ground beef. You know, you can do a kind of a down and dirty homemade hamburger helper in a, in a pinch, you can do different soups and stews and it's filling and it's Hardy and you just gotta have a lot of beef.
Speaker 1:
9:07
Chicken is another one. Um, we butcher chickens about once or twice a year and have the freezer stocked with those. And I like to cook a whole chicken about once every two weeks. And that gives me a nice generous gallon or so of stock. So stock or broth is another piece of my pantry that I kind of cannot function without it. Now obviously you could buy a lot of store-bought broth and stock up that way, but I would absolutely recommend you make it yourself. We've talked about that before. I have videos and I have blog posts all about how to do that. So I won't go into it here, but you can make stock from your beef bones or your chicken bones. You can freeze it, you can can it. Or you can just have a giant jar of it in the fridge. And as long as you're using it up within about 10 days or so, you'll be fine.
Speaker 1:
9:56
And that's what I do. We eat a chicken, I make the stock, I keep the jar in the fridge, I use it heavily, and then I just do it again. So beef and stock, big deal, and the chicken of course as well. So another piece of my constant preparedness pantry is all purpose flour. Now I do have other flowers. I have whole wheat and I have wheat berries that I grind. I have I am corn flour. And I know how to use all of those and do different things with them. But if you can just keep a stock of all purpose flour, not only does it not go bad as quickly as your whole grain flours, but you've got some fat, you've got some salts and you got the flour. You can make so many things. You can do breads, tortillas, biscuits, rolls, pies, um, flowers, that base ingredient.
Speaker 1:
10:47
And you can go so many directions from there. And, and even if you're out of everything, you want to have tacos in your, out of tortillas, you know, make them up, make a batch real quick or make flatbreads or, um, crackers or desserts. If you need to go to a function. Obviously you're not going to a function in the middle of an emergency, but if you're just needing to take something to a potluck, make up some banana bread, you know, things like that. But you got to have some flour. And I keep a lot of it on stock just so I don't run out. Uh, as far as fats and oil, I like to have a big tub of coconut oil in the basement. I get it from tropical traditions and I get it in bulk so it's cheaper and it lasts forever. It won't go bad.
Speaker 1:
11:28
So coconut oil and then I have lots of butter in the freezer. So those are my two fats and I also will have all of oil and lard and tallow in different quantities. But those two, coconut oil and butter are the ones I don't ever ever want to run out of because I use them as a basis for so many things. Now as far as vegetables and fruits go, um, I like a lot of frozen vegetables. The freezer and I usually get them at Costco. I don't get them mixed vegetables because I have bad memories of those from childhood. But I do like, um, just bags of organic broccoli bags of organic green beans. Um, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, maybe you don't freeze brussel sprouts, I guess I get those fresh. Those lasts for a long time in the fridge. If you grow them yourself or you get them fresh and no frozen vegetables are not the most ideal situation, obviously I would prefer to have them growing in my garden and sometimes I do.
Speaker 1:
12:23
But in the middle of winter, which is at least 50% of the year here in Wyoming, there is no garden and the F the fresh vegetables at this grocery store are not awesome. So there's no shame. I don't believe in having some frozen vegetables to add to your soups, your stews or just steam them up with some salt and pepper as a side dish. And it definitely beats no vegetables at all. Right? Cause you can only do beef and potatoes for so long. Okay. I love, uh, having a lot of tomato sauce. If you go downstairs in my pantry, the bulk of my home cans shelves will be filled with tomato sauce. And that's usually from tomatoes. We grow ourselves or ones that I get from the farmer's market. And when I make my tomato sauce, I keep it simple. So we do the onions and garlic and some dried herbs to make it Italian. [inaudible]
Speaker 1:
13:16
and then I can't get in court jars and we use that for any sort of pasta or soup or spaghetti. So I can throw together a quick spaghetti. We Brown up a couple pounds of burger with some seasoning and we throw the jar of tomato sauce in there and cook up some pasta and call it good. So that is something if I have company coming last minute and I'm a little bit stressed out about not having a lot of food in the, in the fridge. Spaghetti is something that is always a crowd pleaser. You can make a lot of it very quickly and it's filling. Um, [inaudible] also cheese. So I do buy blocks of cheddar cheese and I feel like this is a little bit of a compromise food for us. Um, it's not homemade, it's not super fancy, organic ultimate quality. But if I buy it in the block when it's on sale at Costco or wherever, um, it keeps requite awhile.
Speaker 1:
14:15
As long as it's sealed in the fridge, it doesn't get moldy. And we use that for tacos. For homemade pizza. You can put cheddar cheese on pizza. It is legal, um, or for any other sort of skillet dish or soup, you know, broccoli, cheddar soup, things like that. And it's a good pinch hit in the case of a low pantry day and you have company coming over. You're trying to feed a bunch of people and putting cheese on stuff. Let's see, I mean, let's be honest, cheese makes it better. So I do have a good supply of cheddar cheese. Like I said, it's a compromise. It's not the best quality cheddar, but it works in a pinch. And so I use it. Other things I keep on hand are potatoes, lots of potatoes, whether they're homegrown or store bought. If you keep them cool, they'll last a good long while and they're a great side dish or a component to a main dish.
Speaker 1:
15:06
And I just use potatoes a lot. If I had to go on a diet without potatoes, I do not know what I would do with myself. So anyway, I do use potatoes shamelessly. Um, and as far as the, the dry ingredients, I like to have some rice on hand. Um, dry beans, I keep those around in good quantity, Pinto and Navy and I'm sorry, pencil, black and Navy are the three I liked to have and I use my instant pot to cook 'em up often if we're running low on lunch food or we're out of leftovers, um, I will cook up a batch of beans with some seasoning and my instant pot and the kids have those with some sour cream and some cheese or if we have tortilla chips, they'll dip them in the beans and it's a good filling meal with some protein and it's cheap too.
Speaker 1:
15:51
Right? Rice and beans, you can't go wrong, cheap and filling. I also keep plenty of Sucanat, which you've heard me talk about it before. It's my preferred version of Brown sugar. It's a little more molasses, a little more strong than your typical store bought Brown sugar. But it's what I use in all my baked goods and any recipe that calls for a little bit of sugar. That's, that's what I use. And so I make sure I buy it in bulk so I'm not having to go back to the store and get it all the time. And then lastly, probably goes without saying, I make sure I never run out of good quality sea salt. Real salt is my favorite and lots of herbs. I overbuy on the herbs. Um, it's a little embarrassing how many baskets and buckets and bags of herbs I have stashed all over the kitchen.
Speaker 1:
16:39
But uh, running out of oregano or Bazell or whatever is akin to the world falling apart for me. So I have to have all of those at all times to make sure the food tastes good. So of course that's not the comprehensive list, but it's just something I wanted to share to get your wheels turning a little bit on how you can buy a little bit more than normal of certain ingredients that store well or freeze well so you can just be more prepared. You don't have to go to the store every time they call, um, for a little bit of inclement weather. And you can just start adopting that mindset of I got this, I don't need to rely on the systems and the the retailers to keep me going if something goes a little bit wrong. So anyway, that's my biggest takeaway for you today is how can you shift out of the mindset of dependence even if you live in town and adopt more of that independent homestead mentality.
Speaker 1:
17:38
So if you're ready to do this homestead thing, no matter where you live, but you're not quite sure how to get where you want to be, I can help you out. I have put together a little library of resources just for homesteaders and you can get complimentary access to it over@theprairiehomestead.com slash grow I'll drop that link in the show notes, but one more time. It's the Prairie homestead.com/grow and that's it for this episode, my friend. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed it, it would mean a lot to me. If you could go over to your favorite podcast player, hit subscribe and leave a quick review so other homesteaders can find this podcast. And that's all for now, but we'll chat in the next episode. Happy homesteading.
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