I have always said it is better to be prepared and not need to use your kit than to need an emergency preparedness kit and not have it. Have you been procrastinating about putting together one?
When I was a young mother, I read a cookbook by a precious Mormon lady who taught how to build a pantry that would protect her family for two years. Having never even known about the Mormon faith I really didn’t understand the reason behind this. Now that I have been acquainted with their religion I know the reason is to protect the family. Desperate people do desperate things. When your family has food and shelter then most of their needs are provided for. I wish I still had her cookbooks. I had three of them. I don’t even remember her name. This would have been in the late 70s or early 80s. I am thankful that I read them and had a pantry to feed my family.
We can rest better knowing that we have prepared for any emergency. Storms knock out power, earthquakes take down bridges, floods prevent us from traveling to the grocery store, villains keep us barricaded in our homes, and bad germs make us want to lock the doors to keep the world outside. We can’t allow terror to invade our homes. This is why being prepared will keep us sane.
I want you to begin thinking about this. Where would you put your extra food? Is clutter taking over that linen closet that would be ideal for this purpose? Is your pantry so full of junk food that there is no room for storage of your emergency pantry? Are your shelves in your basement covered by piles of clutter so that you can’t get to them?
First things first! Eliminate this clutter to make room for peace of mind. Then you can start to build your emergency pantry. There are examples on the internet. I saw one this morning that was the God Breeze for this essay. I remember an essay that Leanne wrote for us many years ago. Here it is.
But What if I don’t HAVE a Pantry?
By Leanne Ely
If you are living in tight quarters and feel you can’t afford a pantry, start a massive decluttering plan and start looking. If you’re smart and creative, you can always pull a rabbit out of your hat. During the Y2K madness, I had cases of canned goods under my bed, the kids beds and dressers (this was before FlyLady–I know better than to have stuff under my beds now–LOL). I pulled stuff out and rotated with stuff from the cupboards. So it wasn’t the most convenient. It worked, though.
Even if you have no pantry space, you can easily make pantry space out of almost anything–like the linen closet. What do you do with the linens? Here’s where you need to declutter. First, only two sets of sheets per bed. Why should we store several sets of sheets anyway? That’s crazy. They never get all used. You will have one set obviously on the beds, put the other set (folded very spare and flat) and store it in-between the mattress and box spring. The case of too many sheets solved!
The next issue to deal with is towels. At my house, we have 8 towels. Two per person. I use big hooks in the bathroom and everyone has their own hook, with their own towel. The second towel is hung on the back of everyone’s door. Towels are dealt with. Beach towels go in plastic storage containers and go into the attic–this is a seasonal item. Keep kitchen linens in a drawer in the kitchen (clean out and declutter to make room!) Dining room linens–tableclothes, napkins, runners, etc., can all be stored in a sideboard or buffet in your dining room. If not, find a drawer for them in a dresser somewhere. If you have too many for A drawer, it’s time to declutter!
As you can see, there is obviously no need for a linen closet anymore and a pantry is born. And in my old farmhouse, there isn’t one so that’s a moot point, but in your house if you have a linen closet and no pantry, and you really want one, you can now have one. Plus, you get extra FlyLady points for all the decluttering! 😉
Leanne Ely, C.N.C.
This is from Leanne, she writes our Food For Thought Essays each week. I asked her to put together a Pantry List for our Control Journal. Please adapt this for your family’s likes and dislikes. We are not expecting you to go out and buy all this stuff at once. It takes months to build up your pantries so don’t get upset that it doesn’t happen overnight. Just edit and print for your Control Journal and put it in the menu and grocery list section.
Here’s my pantry list. It’s geared for my book Healthy Foods, and has appropriately healthier alternatives to some basics, like brown rice instead of white rice, for example. Use my suggestions as is OR make appropriate changes to fit your family.
Baking powder (non-aluminum: Calmut is a good brand. Refrigerating keeps it fresher)
Cocoa or carob (I have cocoa)
Vinegars: rice wine, red wine, balsamic, apple cider
Whole wheat flour*
Whole wheat pastry flour*
Gluten*(helps make bread rise better)
Whole grain pancake mix*
Pure vanilla extract
*From the bulk bins at the health food store. I keep mine in plastic containers with screw on tops.
Whole wheat bread
Tortillas: sprouted whole wheat (health food store), corn
Whole stewed tomatoes
Apple sauce (although I make it, I like to have it on hand, too)
Beans (an assortment for emergencies, otherwise I make my own)
Pickles (an assortment, plus what I’ve canned-zucchini relish, okra pickles,
Bragg’s liquid aminos
Mustards (regular yellow, Dijon, honey mustard, coarse)
Jams (raspberry, wild blackberry, plum and peach that I canned)
Pepper corns (use a grinder and grind your own. A quantum leap above the already ground stuff)
Nutmeg nuts (I bought some at a dollar store and the little grater came with it-unbeatable flavor)
Ground nutmeg (only get this if you can’t find nutmeg nuts and the itty, bitty grater)
Garlic powder (NOT salt)
Pasta & Pizza seasoning
Legumes & Grains & Pasta:
Barley (not pearled)
Brown rice (short and long grain)
Brown basmati rice
Cous cous (whole wheat)
Kamut pastas (we like this better than whole wheat)
Assorted winter squashes when in season
Cheeses (romano, cheddar, mozzarella, ricotta, jack–block and shredded)
Yogurt (homemade or store bought)
Cold-pressed oils (I have olive oil and safflower)
Worcestershire sauce (probably not necessary to refrigerate, but I do)
Frozen vegetables (for emergency dinners, otherwise I use fresh and in-season)
Frozen fruits (for smoothies)
Frozen overripe bananas (ditto)
Vegetable & fruit baskets: